The “obesity era” is bigger than us.
“We are increasingly understanding that attributing obesity to personal responsibility is very simplistic.”
Berraby begins by explaining that over the years, the obesity rate has exploded. This has caused an increase in diabetes, heart ailments, strokes, and kidney failures.
Long-term illnesses that stem from obesity come with significant financial costs and since health-care systems are facing bankruptcies, they’re shifting the blame to us.
Several organizations benefit and thrive off of consumers’ weaknesses. So, while there have been many regulations put in place to avoid promoting products that lead to obesity, they typically are framed to blame only the customer, without considering organizations’ contribution.
The research does not support the notion that only the individual is to blame. Scientists have found that calorie consumption can not be only the factor at play because they are seeing these obesity rates in other species that do not have access to a large number of calories.
Other statistics and research has also debunked the “calories in, calories out” idea that weight gain is simply because we eat more than we burn.
One such powerful piece of evidence is that there has been a huge increase of body weight in lab and domestic animals over the last decade. While you may think, “everyone spoils their pets a little too much,” this doesn’t explain the same weight gain in lab animals.
Calories requires food, and food requires money, but in rich countries, it is the uneducated and poor people who are overweight. Similarly, there are three obese women for every two obese men. These abnormalities are making scientists rethink obesity.
So why is everyone gaining weight? Berraby believes real problem is the chemicals, hormones, bacteria, and viruses that alter our cells and bodies. These small contributing factors are overlooked because individually they do not cause great impact. But, together, Berraby says that they can create the kind of epidemic that we are seeing today.
What exactly are causing these small effects that turn into significant weight gain?
- Chemicals: Chemicals surround us. BPA is found in many household plastics (even including plastic baby bottles). This chemical disrupts the energy storing and usage processes in the body, therefore effecting and promoting fat storage.
- Bacteria: Those who are overweight often have a higher level of gut microorganisms called Methanobrevibacter smithii. These organisms are better at digesting food, so the body takes in more nutrients for storage.
- Viruses: Ad-36 is a virus that has been found to cause weight gain and it is contagious. It leads us to believe that it is possible that other viral infections could have the same effect.
- Other factors: Sleeplessness and stress cause you to eat more, because they are known to disrupt leptin levels – which can prevent your body from knowing that it is full.
According to Berraby all of these factors play a role in obesity, but we are the only ones who can change that. Authoroties are not going to consider such “small” factors while they have an easy scapegoat in personal responsibility. We should consider this research in our public policies and legislation going forward if we are ever going to start to reverse obesity.
Background David Berreby from David Berreby:
“I write. Mostly non-fiction, most often about sciences that try to explain why people act the way they do.
For the past few years I’ve written about how people relate to algorithms and machines. In earlier years I wrote often about how people’s identities drive their feelings and actions.
For instance I’m the author of Us and Them: The Science of Identity, about why people are so wrapped up in identities like race, nation, religion and others.
I’ve taught science writing at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA, and at the American Museum of Natural History. I’ve receive fellowships from Yaddo and the American University of Paris.
I’ve also worked as an editor at venues from The Sciences magazine to the New York Post. I live in Brooklyn with my wife and son and cats.”
More Fasting Flamingo Resources that may be of interest to you:
- Fasting and muscle protein: The top 4 takeaways–
- In this video Dr. Franciose de Toledo discuses the results of a published study by the Buchinger Clinic of 16 healthy men during a long term water fast.
- Scientific Review: 100 years of clinical fasting experience and latest research
- Dr. Françoise Wilhelmi de Toledo presents a review article published in June 2020 which outlines the timeline of fasting research and prevalence
- Shattering the CICO Myth: Top 5 videos explaining why Calories In – Calories Out is WRONG (and why fasting is different)
- 5 of our favorite videos for explaining WHY CICO is such an inaccurate understanding of how our amazing bodies work. Just in case someone in your life needs a little help awakening to the truth.
Read the entire article here!