Some of you may have seen in the media (in the UK anyway) that apparently the Government have been wrong for a number of years by advising people to eat minimal fat. So because of this, some obesity organisations are claiming that this is the cause of the obesity epidemic. Some things astonish me...
One of the quotes that I've read from an obesity organisation is something along the lines of "you've told us not to eat fat, but fat is healthy, such as avocados". Now here is the problem. First of all, yes, avocados are healthy fats, but the majority of fatty foods that are consumed, are bad fats. If the Government had always said "fat is perfectly fine to consume", what will happen? people will scoff their faces with fatty foods. Another comment I read was "eating fat doesn't make you fat". Yes it does actually. If you eat a load of saturated fat, you will get fat - it contains 9kcal per gram!
To me, it always seems as though there has to be someone, or something to blame for obesity. Why don't people take more of a responsibility? Let's be fair, most people don't listen to the government anyway. They tell you that smoking is bad, but people continue to smoke. They enforce a speed limit on the roads, which is broken by thousands of people every single day. So if the Government came out 20 years ago, and said that people should eat fat (like these obese organisations are doing) would that mean that we wouldn't have an obesity epidemic? NOT AT ALL!! The reason why we have an obesity epidemic, is because too many people are consuming far too many calories - simple as that.
Yes people should eat foods such as avocados - which are fats, but healthy forms of fat. However, most people do not know the difference in fats, so when they see an avocado that is a 'fatty food' and a pastry that is a 'fatty food', they will think it's the same - which is not their fault, it's simply that they do not know the difference. So if the Government said "eat fat!!", most people wouldn't eat the right fats.
Another side to this argument is that people should eat a high protein, high fat, low carb diet, because apparently it's the golden ticket to fat loss. Yes, that was sarcasm, because there is no such thing. Will you lose body fat with that diet? yes, is it because it's magic? no. If you eat a higher fat, higher protein and low carb diet, you will end up eating less food in general. Carbs are the easiest type of food to eat, and are usually some of the nicest. It's not easy to eat a ton of chicken or turkey, or even avocados! So by cutting down carbs, your overall calorie intake will be lower - which means fat loss! See, it's not magic, it's simply calorie manipulation.
Don't blame the Government, they come out with guidelines, but to be honest, I don't even agree with some. There needs to be a country wide increase in education to do with food, calories and exercise - without that, the obesity epidemic will not get any better. There is no 'quick fix' to this, and it will require investment (in the right places!!), commitment from the public and education to avoid current and future obesity related issues.
Lee Gregory Fitness