How Fat Happens, nutrition

How Fat Happens, an Introduction

If you’re overweight or if you’ve gained unwanted weight, I’m positive that at some point, you’ve been made to feel that it’s 100% your fault. That you’re a lazy glutton, and that’s why you got fat – or that’s why you’ve always been fat.

Well, I’m here to tell you that – according to a huge body of scientific evidence – that’s not true. While I’m sure there are some overweight people who are lazy gluttons, the vast majority of people who are overweight are neither lazy, nor gluttonous. The very same is true for normal weight folks, as well.

Instead, their weight problem is a byproduct of an obesogenic environment (fancy science word for environment that promotes obesity) paired with a genetic predisposition toward obesity.

One of my biggest pet peeves is hearing health professionals (most of whom have never struggled with excess weight) say “just eat less” and think that that is valid or helpful for people who are struggling with their weight.

Yes, you do have to change your lifestyle to lose weight. Yes, a necessary part of losing weight is eating less. But telling someone who is overweight to just eat less is like telling someone who’s behind on their bills to just make more money.

It’s. Not. That. Simple. There is a whole, unthinkably complex network of hormones and biological precedents directing our food choices, and – I hate to say it – but you can’t out-willpower your biology.

So, for my next several posts I’ll be deep-diving into the many different causes of obesity and how – starting in about the 1980s – they all converged at once to create a literal perfect storm, resulting in today’s obesity epidemic. I’ll also be reviewing some of the evidence-based ways that we can overcome and successfully lose weight in spite of these factors.

There are 5 main factors that I believe have had the biggest role in the growing rates of obesity, and each will have its own post (I’ll link them here as they are published):

1. Hyperpalatable foods

2. Modern lifestyles

3. Chronic stress

4. Genetic predisposition

5. Insulin resistance

In the mean time, I want to know: what do you think? Any theories as to why, in the past 50 years, obesity has exploded?

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