Why are we fat?
The answers will surprise and astound you.
The facts are in – most of the world’s people are getting fatter.
But not for the reasons you think.
So here’s the first big surprise: we ate more in 1976.
Currently we consume an average of 2,130 kilocalories a day.
But in 1976, we consumed 2,590 kilocalories.
Another contention is we are getting fatter because of less manual labour.
But again the facts don’t support that.
A paper last year in the International Journal of Surgery says: “adults working in unskilled manual professions are over four times more likely to be classified as morbidly obese compared with those in professional employment”.
So how about voluntary exercise?
Plenty of people argued that, as we drive rather than walk or cycle, are stuck to our screens and order our groceries online, we exercise far less than we did.
It seems to make sense.
So here is the next surprise.
According to a long-term study at Plymouth University, children’s physical activity is the same as it was 50 years ago.
A paper in the International Journal of Epidemiology finds that, corrected for body size, there is no difference between the amount of calories burned by people in rich countries and those in poor ones, where subsistence agriculture remains the norm.
It proposes that there is no relationship between physical activity and weight gain. Many other studies suggest that exercise, while crucial to other aspects of good health, is far less important than diet in regulating our weight.
Some suggest it plays no role at all as the more we exercise, the hungrier we become.
So why are we fat?