Daniel Engber, the author, disagrees with the notion that obesity causes ecological destruction. I'm not sure I agree with this either, and isn't what has me shaking my head in disbelief. In an excerpt taken from the article, Engber pretty much states that obesity isn't a person's fault
How fat you are has a lot more to do with your genes than with your behavior. As much as 80 percent of the variation in human body weight can be explained by differences in our DNA.
I honestly don't know if that genetic bit is true or not. I haven't read the necessary scientific research articles about the issue. He goes on to say
there's little evidence that overeating causes obesity on an individual level and no real reason to think that anyone can lose a lot of weight by dieting. (Most of us fluctuate around a natural "set point.") We also know that children who watch a lot of television are no less active than other kids and that pediatric obesity rates are not the direct result of high-fat diets.
So let me get this straight. You mean to say, should I choose to eat a super sized Big Mac meal for dinner everyday, along with calorie-rich super sized portions for breakfast and lunch, and some savory high fat snacks throughout the day, I won't get obese if my genes are just right? Well, there's no obesity in my family so I guess I'm safe here. Why have I been watching what I eat all this time when I could have been safely stuffing my face with this crap?! Are you kidding me here?! As I was reading these words, I was in such disbelief that I convinced myself that this whole article was a joke of Engbert's, that he was going to write at the end of it, "Gotcha! Just kidding!" True, some people cannot control the fact that they are obese, no matter the effort they put into their diets, but that's not everyone's case! It's simple math for the rest of us here. If you want to stay slim, calories in must equal calories out, and daily calorie requirements are different for everyone due to genetic makeup.
In college I managed to gain 25 pounds in the first year (eek, I went above the Freshman 15!). But how did I do this? I consumed more calories than I was used to consuming and my body compensated by growing larger. As long as you keep your calorie intake consistent, your body will reach an equilibrium state and you will stop gaining weight....but you won't lose it because now you are consuming enough calories to maintain your new, larger self. If I chose to eat even more calories I would have grown larger. So how did I lose that weight? Duh...I ate less. I just ate enough to maintain a lower weight. And of course I had to exercise too because being overweight and inactive can wreak havoc on your metabolism and hormones (why can't losing weight be as easy as gaining it?)
What do you all think? Am I crazy in telling myself that I will limit my children's TV time and try to be active with them, all the while feeding them wholesome, nutritious food?