It is amazing, in an age where nutritional advice is far from scarce, that obesity rates continue to rise. It is time to turn back the clock and isolate the cause of the obesity epidemic and unwrap the mystery behind our expanding waistlines. Many references will be made to Gary Taubes most recent publication â€œWhy We Get Fatâ€. Taubes states that weight gain is not as simple as energy in = energy out, in other words eating less energy than you expend. This article sums up a few of his key points.
When Did We Become Overweight?
We would love to believe that fast food brought with it the rise in obesity rate. It is an easy explanation, however, it is incorrect. There have been many studies documenting the rise in weight of many different societies throughout history, dating back as far as the Pima population between 1901 and 1905. The Pima are a Native American tribe in Arizona. Gary Taubes most recent publication (Why We Get Fat) referred to a study where Frank Russell (anthropologist) studied the Pima and commented on how extremely fat they were, especially the women.
Surely 100 years ago the Pima population didnâ€™t have access to Mc Donaldâ€™s Quarter Pounderâ€™s or Burger King Whoppersâ€¦ The hypothesis that I Taubes argues in â€œWhy We Get Fatâ€ is that the introduction of a western diet, high in refined carbohydrates such as sugars and white flour, increased the obesity rates of this specific population. Prior to the western impact on their diet, the Pima were a hunter-gatherer society and were renowned as being athletic and healthy.
Why Do We Gain Weight from Eating Carbohydrates?
Taubes documented that prior to the Second World War, many European nutritionists and scientists studied the impact of hormones on fat retention. It is commonly known that hormones control every process in the human body, so It is a safe assumption that they also control fat tissue. This was the premise that these scientists were working under. Unfortunately the War took with it these scientists and most of their work.
The Fat Regulating Hormone, Insulin â€“ secreted from the pancreas, Insulin essentially controls the amount of fat the human body stores (Adipose Tissue).
So why are we retaining more body fat than we should if our friend insulin is here to help us out?
- The answer is that carbohydrates, particularly refined ones, spike insulin and cause it to store fat in the adipose tissue.
- If we are constantly spiking insulin, you can imagine what happens.
- This can eventually result in insulin resistance, meaning you cannot regulate your insulin levels, resulting in diabetes, hence the overwhelming percentage of diabetics today.
Along with Obesity refined carbohydrates bring with them many other evils, which are commonly grouped and refered to as western diseases.
What Can You Do?
- This is in no way a promotional piece about Gary Taubes. You should however read his most recent publication â€œWhy We Get Fatâ€ because it underpins everything I have spoken about.
- You can relent from drinking sugary drinks and heaped plates of pasta; instead have an enormous steak with a glass of red. Trust me you will forget that coca cola ever existed.
- Donâ€™t kid yourself and clean out your pantry, we have no self-control. Trust me I learnt this the hard way.