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Let’s Stop Lying About Physical Activity and Obesity

There were many impressive people at the recent Cape Town conference, but to me two people stood out the most. One of them is the British cardiologist Aseem Malhotra. A man who is not the least bit afraid to eloquently tell the truth that most people keep silent about.

Not long ago he wrote in the impactful British Medical Journal that it’s time to bust the myth that saturated fat has anything to do with heart disease. This placed him on the front pages of papers all over the world, but now a lot of people realize that he was right.

Malhotra has not slowed down after this. He is often on TV, expecially in his home country of England and it’s not hard to understand why when you meet him.

The Interview

I managed to get an interview with Dr. Malhotra in South Africa and above you can see a short section. He explains that the common idea about physical activitity as a cure for obesity is something we need to forget – because it’s not true.

In the full 22 minute interview ha talks more about what we should focus on instead of calories, what food can lower risk of heart disease more than statin drugs… and how he lost weight eating 1,000 calories extra of a certain kind of food.

The full interview can be seen on the membership pages (free one month trial):

How to Make Your Food a Powerful Medicine, Not a Slow Poison – Interview with Dr. Malhotra

More

A Calorie Is Not a Calorie – Not Even Close

How to Tailor Your Fitness Routine if You’re Overweight or Suffer from Metabolic Syndrome

What Is More Dangerous – Inactivity, Obesity or Something Else?

Why Calorie Counting is an Eating Disorder

Low Carb Made Easy How to Lose Weight Low-Carb Recipes Low-Carb Success Stories

16 Comments

  1. Charles Nankin
    it is great that Aseem focuses on refined carbohydrates - given the findings on the gut microbiome, and the importance of prebiotics to this microbiome, it seems we need to see further than simply lowering all carbs.

    a 2nd point that arises: it does seem that the guiding principle of the fitness industry is "burn calories", and that the major antidote then becomes aerobic exercise. this focus brings with it a host of further problems, such as overexercise and its effects on the body, loss of muscle mass after the age of 45, and the great amount of extra time that it takes away from family and other less inwardly-orientated pursuits.

    a further problem I see is that aerobics creates an image of frenetic, exhausting exercise which many parts of the population can't relate to, and therefore give up on any form of exercise.

    meanwhile, resistance training activities have not traditionally been associated with health, and therefore are monopolised by another extreme group, further discouraging wider participation.

    thanks for all your efforts andreas,

  2. Kat
    I know it's super popular to blame food manufacturers for obesity, but food manufacturers are not the problem.

    Food manufacturers predated the obesity epidemic, which started when government set out moronic guidelines and vilified fat, particularly saturated fat. In response, the food manufacturers followed those guidelines in order to gain the right from - you guessed it - the government to slap the "healthy" label on their food. And this is food that is defatted, which means it tastes like crud. To be able to sell product at all, the manufacturers were forced into complicated and unnatural chemical combinations in order to stick with government dietary guidelines and also make a palatable product.

    Until the United States government eschewed scientific data (as it always does) and jumped into the meddling with what people ate game as well as the subsidy of carbs game, manufacturers were able to fry food in lard and carbs weren't made less expensive than they actually are by government farm subsidies. Why can't intelligent people understand this?

    Of course manufacturers are going to point the finger at exercise. They've already sunk billions of dollars into R&D for foods that meet government guidelines and doesn't taste like dirt. Billions of dollars, mind, that were required only because government decided to meddle in the human diet. Nobody needed to find alternatives to lard and nobody needed to find a way to find ways to make food taste good with the fat taken out until the monkeys in the American congress came along in the 1970's.

    Reply: #4
  3. Ivan Janssens
    No it's not the cure, however physical activity can be a tremendous help, in different ways (going beyond the simplistic calories view):
    1) it increases insulin sensitivity;
    2) certain kinds of excercise increase metabolism and muscle mass;
    3) a moderate amount of excercise (45 minutes or so) per day actually helps to CONTROL appetite, by increasing certain kinds of hormones.
    Replies: #5, #10
  4. Vicente
    Why do you think politicians are moronic when they act like they were corrupt?
    Why do you think those guidelines were not funded by the grain industry?

    Vegetarian zealousy and money from agrabusiness are the culprits here.

  5. Zepp
    Or rather.. its inactivity that have bad side effects?
  6. Ian
    I hope this works and provides a bit of money for good research.
  7. CarolR
    Eat less, exercise more. That's all there is to it.
    Replies: #9, #13
  8. Mary
    Awesome article, you are truly an inspiration I lost, thanks to you advice 60 pounds in the last 7 months, I completely agree you cannot outrun a bad diet, still we need some physical activity.
    Refined carbohydrates are truly the problem, once I renounced them my weight loss really skyrocketed.
    Here is my story:http://marysreviews.weebly.com/
  9. Carly

    Eat less, exercise more. That's all there is to it.

    Oh dear you sound just like most Governments, and how has that worked out so far for the general population???

  10. BobM
    I like physical activity and have exercised all my life. However, eating a low fat diet, I still got fat while exercising as much as 100+ miles per week of bike riding. If you're insulin resistant, exercise only does so much. You need to cut your carbohydrates. I've lost more weight simply cutting my carbs near zero than I did though a spring/summer/fall of 100+ miles per week on my bike (which took me 9+ hours of bike riding). And, as soon as I stopped riding, all the weight I'd lost came back because I still thought I HAD to eat carbs for energy. (NOTE: I did not stop exercising; I just stopped riding my bike.)

    Plus, the scientific evidence is against exercise for weight loss. See, eg:

    http://nymag.com/news/sports/38001/

    I still believe exercise helps to reduce stress, and provides other benefits, but I no longer believe exercise causes weight loss.

  11. John
    The food industry merely wants to shift the blame. They make us feel guilty about what we do to ourslves (According to them) so they can make money, which is what obesity is all about; for the comglomerates. Nutritionists also have to take some blame. They too want us to feel guilty, so they can 'prove' their theories and claim 'We told you so!'. Problem is, most of them still cling to the 'fat is bad' idea. They belly-ache on about additives in food, and correct labelling, so the consumer is informed. The problem is we are being 'informed' with duff science. If a person wishes to eat non-fattening foods, then it's as simple as ABC. Don't eat processed food, including, and especially bread. Buy your food fresh, and learn to cook. That way you know what is in your food, and labelling becomes redundant in one fell swoop. Just be aware that some vegetables contain starch and sugar. For exercise, as has been said, a brisk walk every day will keep you ticking over nicely. It worked for this 76 year old 'couch potato', so it should work for most normal people.
  12. Wenchypoo
    The good doctor blames the food industry for blaming inactivity for obesity. The fitness industry fed right from this, and created forms of activity to make money from. So in effect, both the food industry AND the fitness industry have circumvented efforts in the obesity fight.
  13. pantograph
    Just trolling? Or perhaps you haven't read much of Dr Eenfeldt's blog. It's not about eating less; it's about eating the right foods that provide appropriate nutrition without the rebound hunger from excessive carbage. And exercise is a totally impractical way to lose weight, since generally it increases your appetite enough to compensate for the calories burned.
  14. Miss Laurie
    I've tried to exercise to lose weight
    before and it didn"t work.
  15. Mel
    The Government's dietry guidelines to eat a low fat diet, contributed significantly to the obesity epidemic. When are they going to wake up and take notice?

    I spent my entire adult life buying low fat versions of foods, coupled with counting calories/points, until the craving for carbs and debilitating low blood sugars, would send me scurrying to the kitchen to feed my addiction.

    I felt deprived and hungry. I could barely walk let alone exercise, due to my weight and inflammatory arthritis. I felt undisciplined, greedy, lazy and ashamed, with a deep sense of hopelessness.

    Then something truly wonderful happened. I found Diet Doctor, and have lost 80 pounds in the last 6 months eating delicious food that keeps me satiated. My arthritis is in remission and I feel fantastic. The only exercise I do is walking the dog at a leisurly pace.

    Thank you so much for this brilliant site.

  16. Judy Edmond
    Mel, thank you for your post. You are giving me hope. I have been following this program now for two months. I can't walk much as have a "mild, degenerative change" according to the X-ray last week, which my doctor says in Arthritis. So very hard to even take a short walk. In the first month on this program I lost eight pounds. Now that I understand and follow this program better I haven't lost any weight. My primary doctor wants me to see a certain orthopedic doctor re: my knee pain, and I have an appt. with him on June 23, 2016. So hoping your above testimony will be mine also --and soon!!!

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