Obesity researchers have come up with a novel ‘Top 10 List’. They have looked at causes of obesity that are not related to diet and exercise.So why can’t we blame the familiar “poor diet” and “no exercise” reasons?
“This has created a hegemony whereby the importance of the Big Two [diet & exercise] is accepted as established and other putative factors are not seriously explored,” they say. “The result may be well-intentioned but ill-founded proposals for reducing obesity rates.” (src)
The report is the result of 20 researchers investigating more than 100 studies. The report was published in the International Journal of Obesity (abstract).
The Top Ten
- Inadequate sleep. (Average sleep amounts have fallen, and many studies tie sleep deprivation to weight gain.)
- Endocrine disruptors, which are substances in some foods that may alter fats in the body.
- Nice temperatures. (Air conditioning and heating limit calories burned from sweating and shivering.)
- Fewer people smoking. (Less appetite suppression.)
- Medicines that cause weight gain.
- Population changes. (More middle-agers and Hispanics, who have higher obesity rates.)
- Older birth moms. (That correlates with heavier children).
- Genetic influences during pregnancy.
- Darwinian natural selection. (Fat people out-survive skinny ones).
- Assortative mating, or “like mating with like,” as Allison puts it. Translation: fat people procreating with others of the same body type, gradually skewing the population toward the heavy end.
I don’t doubt there are a huge number of complex interactions that are at play – but surely the main issue must always be: we consume more energy that we use.