The obesity argument is raging again over what should be common sense by now. Researchers are claiming the public has been lulled into the false notion you can eat whatever you want as long as you exercise.

Hmmm, what fad diet said I could lay waste to a buffet and exercise it off? Sorry, I must have missed the ‘have you lost your damn mind diet’ on NY Times bestseller list.

Yes, the editorial is right in pointing out it is what we eat and how much of it that contributes heavily to the obesity epidemic.

Published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, the report says poor diet causing more diseases than smoking, alcohol and physical inactivity combined.

“This places the blame for our expanding waistlines directly on the type and amount of calories consumed,” they write.

Gyms and the Health Halo

Authors of the report slam what they call the ‘health halo’ at gyms and fitness clubs. They target the sugary snacks and drinks sold at various gyms.

“Celebrity endorsements of sugary drinks and the association of junk food and sport must end,” they declare, adding that health clubs and gyms need to set an example by removing the sale of these products from their premises. “The ‘health halo’ legitimization of nutritionally deficient products is misleading and unscientific,” they write.

Dr. Aseem Malhotra, a cardiologist and adviser to Action on Sugar, hammered the ‘false perception’ that exercise was more important than eating healthy. Instead, the doctor says the opposite is true.

The paper keeps hammering away at the junk food industry.

“It is time to wind back the harms caused by the junk food industry’s public relations machinery,” the editorial concludes.

“Let us bust the myth of physical inactivity and obesity. You cannot outrun a bad diet.”

It’s Not Diet or Exercise

Is the editorial overzealous in targeting what we eat (sugar) and discounting physical fitness in the fight against obesity? A bit. Other experts are calling the group’s conclusion overstated and incomplete.

Citing the editorial’s figures on physical inactivity as a cause of chronic diseases, health experts are pushing back, saying it makes sense to combine the two. Studies have consistently shown diet when combined with exercise fares the best when compared to an either/or study.

Are the authors really saying eschew exercise in favor of a better diet? You will never hear a doctor tell you just sit on down with Netflix 24/7 and eat carrots. Hey, the Netflix diet.

Their target is sugar and the level to which it contributes to obesity.

obesity and sugar

Are Carbs the Enemy?

That depends. Are you downing a case of Mountain Dew after a 10 minutes on the treadmill? Probably not the best idea. Eating whole grain pasta a couple of times a week? Load up.

You can’t outrun a bad diet. But, you can combine that run with a healthy diet and start working towards a healthy life and cutting risk factors for chronic diseases.

Just add a little common sense to your diet and fitness regimen.


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