Friday, May 16, 2014

Increasing Adiposity - Consequence or Cause of Overeating?

Picture from NYTimes

I'm back! I apologize for being MIA for the past month - I was simply held hostage by board exam prep.  In the interim, I've been (sporadically) cooking healthy but mostly uninteresting food - and I've been too tired to take any photographs. You didn't miss much. But with the exam behind me, and much more time and energy, I'm looking forward to whipping up some new stuff in the kitchen soon! 

I was browsing the news and just had to share this NYTimes article:  Always Hungry? Here's Why
As I read it, I cackled evilly because I finally have ammo against my husband's argument that "calories are calories". I've always contested this but never really had any solid evidence to back it up. This does not stop me from putting vegetables and fruits on his plate. 

Seriously though, the whole debate about weight, how to lose weight, why some people gain weight, why some lose weight, etc can be exhausting. Even worse, the dietary fads out there are just as short lived and fickle as fashion trends. I'm sure you've probably heard by now that "oh, guess what? Fat actually isn't bad. The low-fat diet craze of the 80's was actually harmful to us".  I wish people would admit the same about shoulder pads.

Realistically, there are million factors at play when it comes to weight and health. So no, we're never going to figure out exactly what gives. This NYTimes article though, is well put and refreshing. It summarizes a recent JAMA publication by David Ludwig and Mark Friedman, which suggests that the composition of food consumed is equally, if not more important than the standard "calories in, calories out" rhetoric. Of course, this isn't a radically new idea (other people have tried to champion it before, but largely failed), but it is gaining hold. The thing that puzzles me is - yes, intuitively, calories in, calories out makes sense. But doesn't putting good fuel in your body also make sense? Would you put some crappy mystery fuel in your car? Exactly. 

I'm not knocking the calories in calories out model (I'm sure it still holds true on some level), but like the authors of the JAMA article argue, focusing exclusively on calories may only be symptomatic treatment of an ominous underlying disease - the crap food that is ubiquitous in our environment. So if you needed another reason to eat better, I hope you're satisfied. 

For your reading pleasure, a link to the actual JAMA article here

Thanks for stopping by - let's catch up over some real food soon :)


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