There was an interesting article in BBC news that suggests that the reason people in the Western world are obese is because we over eat. It compares the Hadza Tribe, who are hunter-gatherers in Tanzania, to individuals in the US and the UK. It found that the amount of calories we need as humans is a fixed amount and that is the energy expenditure. It also found that when adjusted for size, the metabolic rates were the same in the Hadza and Western populations. The Hadza diet consists of roots, berries, fruits and meats. It is obvious that the Hadza eat little or no processed foods, eat fruits when they are in season and consume roots and berries.
I have noticed in my practice that patients who avoid processed foods, eat fruits when in season, limit their sugar intake and eat equal servings of carbohydrates, vegetables and protein are able to lose weight without limiting calories. Processed foods tend to override the set caloric limits based on my observations. In addition, their cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure and overall health improve. Of course, a little processed foods once in a while does not really make much difference, the problem is the regular consumption of these foods. The real cause of obesity is the marketing of processed foods and snacks that the body was never intended to use, as healthy. The hardest task with combating the obesity epidemic is to convince people to unlearn everything they have been taught about food. Processed foods like cereal, 100 calorie snacks, prepackaged foods, diet soda, juice, skim milk, energy bars, white rice, sports drinks etc. are not healthy but fuel the epidemic of obesity and various associated disorders including diabetes, heart disease, strokes and some cancers.
Copyright 2012 Adeyemi Fatoki, MD.. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.