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Obesity is not caused by overeating – Study finds

California, USA (CU)_ Obesity is a serious global health problem. According to 2016 World Health Organization estimates, this lifestyle illness affects around 650 million individuals globally. Obesity, for the uninitiated, is an abnormal buildup of fat in the body that frequently increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other disorders. 

According to a USDA dietary recommendation, “In order to lose weight, adults should reduce the number of calories they get from foods and beverages and increase the amount expended through physical activity”. Indeed, every health professional recommends the need of a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle for effective weight control. This indicates that in order to avoid obesity, one must burn off the extra fats consumed.

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However, according to a recent study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, there is a different strategy to lose weight effectively. According to the study’s authors, body weight or obesity is not necessarily related to the amount of food consumed; rather, it is strongly related to the quality of food consumed.

The chief author Dr. David Ludwig, Endocrinologist at Boston Children’s Hospital and Professor at Harvard Medical School, spoke about the root cause for overeating. He said, “The energy balance model doesn’t help us understand the biological causes of weight gain. During a growth spurt, for instance, adolescents may increase food intake by 1,000 calories a day. But does their overeating cause the growth spurt or does the growth spurt cause the adolescent to get hungry and overeat?”

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According to the experts, the present obesity issue is due to the modern eating pattern. Modern food contains meals with a high glycemic index, are processed, and are heavy in carbohydrates and starch. According to the study, these diets ultimately alter our metabolism, causing fat accumulation, weight gain, and obesity.

According to Dr. Ludwig, “Reducing consumption of the rapidly digestible carbohydrates that flooded the food supply during the low-fat diet era lessens the underlying drive to store body fat. As a result, people may lose weight with less hunger and struggle.” However, the researchers note that further study is required to determine if this new approach aids people to lose weight more quickly and avoid obesity effectively.

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