Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that obesity affects more than 40% of American adults, placing them at higher risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
The USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020—2025 further tells us that losing weight “requires adults to reduce the number of calories they get from foods and beverages and increase the amount expended through physical activity.”
This approach to weight management is based on the century-old energy balance model which states that weight gain is caused by consuming more energy than we expend.
By this thinking, overeating, coupled with insufficient physical activity, is driving the obesity epidemic. On the other hand, despite decades of public health messaging exhorting people to eat less and exercise more, rates of obesity and obesity-related diseases have steadily risen.
In a new study from…, researchers point to fundamental flaws in the energy balance model, arguing that an alternate model, the carbohydrate-insulin model, better explains obesity and weight gain.
Moreover, the carbohydrate-insulin model points the way to more effective, long-lasting weight management strategies.
In contrast to the energy balance model, the carbohydrate-insulin model makes a bold claim: overeating isn’t the main cause of obesity.
Instead, the carbohydrate-insulin model lays much of the blame for the current obesity epidemic on modern dietary patterns characterized by excessive consumption of foods with a high glycemic load: in particular, processed, rapidly digestible carbohydrates.
These foods cause hormonal responses that fundamentally change our metabolism, driving fat storage, weight gain, and obesity.
When we eat highly processed carbohydrates, the body increases insulin secretion and suppresses glucagon secretion.
This, in turn, signals fat cells to store more calories, leaving fewer calories available to fuel muscles and other metabolically active tissues. The brain perceives that the body isn’t getting enough energy, which, in turn, leads to feelings of hunger.
In addition, metabolism may slow down in the body’s attempt to conserve fuel. Thus, we tend to remain hungry, even as we continue to gain excess fat.
The team says to understand the obesity epidemic, people need to consider not only how much they’re eating, but also how the foods they eat affect their hormones and metabolism.
For more information about obesity and your health, please see recent studies about a new way to treat obesity and type 2 diabetes and results showing that this drug may prevent obesity, liver damage caused by high-fat diet.
The study is published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. One author of the study is Dr. David Ludwig.
Copyright © 2021 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.