What Causes Obesity? - AnabolicMinds.com
    • What Causes Obesity?


      From Science Daily

      The science of obesity: what do we really know about what makes us fat? If we are to make any progress in tackling the obesity crisis, we have to look again at what really makes us fat, claims a new article.

      Gary Taubes, co-founder of the Nutrition Science Initiative, argues that our understanding of the cause of obesity may be incorrect, and that rectifying this misconception is "absolutely critical" to future progress.

      "What we want to know," he says, "is what causes us to gain weight, not whether weight loss can be induced under different conditions of semi-starvation."

      The history of obesity research is a history of two competing hypotheses of energy balance and endocrinology, writes Taubes. Since the 1950s, conventional wisdom on obesity has been that it is caused by a positive energy balance -- in other words we get fat because we overeat. The alternative hypothesis -- that obesity is a hormonal or regulatory disorder -- was dismissed after the second world war as being unworthy of serious attention.

      But Taubes believes that the wrong hypothesis -- energy balance -- won out and that it is this hypothesis, along with substandard science, that has fuelled the obesity crisis and the related chronic diseases.

      He argues that attempts to blame the obesity epidemics worldwide on increased availability of calories "typically ignore the fact that these increases are largely carbohydrates" and, as such, these observations "shed no light on whether it's total calories to blame or the carbohydrate calories."

      Nor do they shed light on the more fundamental question of whether people or populations get fat "because they're eating more, or eat more because the macronutrient composition of their diets is promoting fat accumulation in effect, driving an increase in appetite."

      Taubes also points to "substandard" research that is "incapable of answering the question of what causes obesity."

      As a result, he has co-founded the Nutrition Science Initiative, a not-for-profit organisation to "fund and facilitate rigorously well controlled experimental trials, carried out by independent, sceptical researchers." Our hope, he says, is that these experiments will answer definitively the question of what causes obesity, and help us finally make meaningful progress against it.

      If we are to make progress in the struggle against obesity and its related chronic diseases, he believes we must accept the existence of alternative hypotheses of obesity, refuse to accept substandard science, and find the willingness and the resources to do better.

      "With the burden of obesity now estimated at greater than $150bn (100bn; 118bn) a year in the US alone, virtually any amount of money spent on getting nutrition research right can be defended on the basis that the long term savings to the healthcare system and to the health of individuals will offset the costs of the research by orders of magnitude," he concludes.

      Story Source:
      The above story is reprinted from materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal.
      Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.

      Journal Reference:
      G. Taubes. The science of obesity: what do we really know about what makes us fat? An essay by Gary Taubes. BMJ, 2013; 346 (apr15 5): f1050 DOI: 10.1136/bmj.f1050

      Source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...Weight+Loss%29
      Comments 5 Comments
      1. pmdied's Avatar
        pmdied -
        I blame the fork.
      1. Wrivest's Avatar
        Wrivest -
        Why the F is this article on here??
      1. Bigcountry08's Avatar
        Bigcountry08 -
        Obesity is caused by taking in more calories then the body needs to survive, so the body stores the excess calories as fat. If it were a genetic issues we would be seeing people in third world countries suffering from obesity, but that doesn't happen because most people in third world countries get under or just barely enough calories to survive.

        This is like introduction to biology stuff man I mean really, how much money are these guys getting to research this crap.
      1. fueledpassion's Avatar
        fueledpassion -
        Ironically, Bigcountry08, Obesity is also caused by taking in a far less amount of calories than the body needs to survive.

        Remember, obesity is a reflection of body fat%, not an overall body weight number. Why would I even mention this? Let me tell you why..


        When you starve your body of calories (I'd say 20% below your maintenance level is a form of semi-starvation), your body is always trying to stabilize its weight. It wants to be in a homeostatic state. So to do this, your body will deteriorate its muscle mass to lower its Basal Metabolic Rate. It can do this quite easily since amino acids can be broken down into usable glucose molecules much easier than fat can. By lowering BMR, the body's maintenance calories begin to approach its current intake of food. This is especially true for very active people as well.

        In the mean time, your body's hormonal system is also doing something else which is very contrary to your efforts. Because you are starving yourself, the body will adapt to said changes and plan for the next starvation event as well. It piles up more fat in an ever-increasing amount. It does so to avoid starvation in future situations. We call this "starvation mode". You can read a brand new article all about starvation and its downfalls here:

        http://anabolicminds.com/forum/conte...stopping-3454/

        So by eating too little calories, you eat away at muscle mass and store up more fat. Basically, you make good progress in getting fatter, approaching obesity, even though your total body weight is less than when you started. Furthermore, your starvation diet plan isn't sustainable and eventually you will start eating more food again. Whats worse, your body stays in starvation mode for some time after you stop starving yourself. This is to create additional stored energy (fat) for the next round of starvation. The body is adaptive. As an example, think of the "skinny fat" guys who are sticks but carry 25% BF!! There are tons of those guys!

        This is also what causes yo-yo dieters. They lose weight, only to put it all back on and usually another 5lbs within 12 months after the diet.

        I personally say it has more to do with our work culture - this idea of being extremely efficient with time and to value productivity so much that we create unhealthy, processed and fast foods, we eat as little as 2-3 times per day and we don't exercise near enough, if at all. This productivity era has to end in order for people to start getting healthy again. We just want everything quick and easy and in doing so we have neglected the need for long-term, hardcore efforts at staying healthy - which is what it takes.
      1. Bigcountry08's Avatar
        Bigcountry08 -
        Originally Posted by fueledpassion View Post
        Ironically, Bigcountry08, Obesity is also caused by taking in a far less amount of calories than the body needs to survive.

        Remember, obesity is a reflection of body fat%, not an overall body weight number. Why would I even mention this? Let me tell you why..

        When you starve your body of calories (I'd say 20% below your maintenance level is a form of semi-starvation), your body is always trying to stabilize its weight. It wants to be in a homeostatic state. So to do this, your body will deteriorate its muscle mass to lower its Basal Metabolic Rate. It can do this quite easily since amino acids can be broken down into usable glucose molecules much easier than fat can. By lowering BMR, the body's maintenance calories begin to approach its current intake of food. This is especially true for very active people as well.

        In the mean time, your body's hormonal system is also doing something else which is very contrary to your efforts. Because you are starving yourself, the body will adapt to said changes and plan for the next starvation event as well. It piles up more fat in an ever-increasing amount. It does so to avoid starvation in future situations. We call this "starvation mode". You can read a brand new article all about starvation and its downfalls here:

        http://anabolicminds.com/forum/conte...stopping-3454/

        So by eating too little calories, you eat away at muscle mass and store up more fat. Basically, you make good progress in getting fatter, approaching obesity, even though your total body weight is less than when you started. Furthermore, your starvation diet plan isn't sustainable and eventually you will start eating more food again. Whats worse, your body stays in starvation mode for some time after you stop starving yourself. This is to create additional stored energy (fat) for the next round of starvation. The body is adaptive. As an example, think of the "skinny fat" guys who are sticks but carry 25% BF!! There are tons of those guys!

        This is also what causes yo-yo dieters. They lose weight, only to put it all back on and usually another 5lbs within 12 months after the diet.

        I personally say it has more to do with our work culture - this idea of being extremely efficient with time and to value productivity so much that we create unhealthy, processed and fast foods, we eat as little as 2-3 times per day and we don't exercise near enough, if at all. This productivity era has to end in order for people to start getting healthy again. We just want everything quick and easy and in doing so we have neglected the need for long-term, hardcore efforts at staying healthy - which is what it takes.
        Your spot on perfect with your explanation. This is what I have been trying to tell my wife for a long time who thinks dieting is skipping meals and eating horrible carbs. Yet I take in 3400 cals and I'm losing roughly 2lbs a week for this summer.

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