A team of British cardiologists are keen to put an end to the myth that regular exercise is the key to tackling obesity.
The editorial published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, explains you can’t outrun a bad diet. And although regular exercise will combat health issues such as heart disease, dementia, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers, it doesn’t promote weight loss. According to the World Health Organisation, since 1980 obesity has more than doubled. They estimate that in 2014, 1.9 billion adults were overweight with 600 million being obese. The authors of the study believe this is down to the ‘unhelpful message’ from the food industry that obesity is caused solely by a lack of exercise.
British cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra, a critic of the food industry blames companies such as Coca Cola for over-emphasising the role physical activity and sport can play in preventing people becoming overweight.
In the past 30 years, as obesity has rocketed, there has been little change in physical activity levels in the western population. This places the blame for our expanding waistlines directly on the type and amount of calories consumed.
Members of the public are drowned by an unhelpful message about maintaining a ‘healthy weight’ through calorie counting, and many still wrongly believe that obesity is entirely due to lack of exercise.
The authors of the journal go on to explain that the tactics used by the food industry’s public relations mirror those of big tobacco companies in the past – denial, doubt and confusion. Buy the loyalty of quack scientists, who will deny the facts, spread doubt and confusion amongst the general public, ultimately costing the lives of millions in order to make more money.
The authors strongly criticise the link between sports and junk food. They believe the British government must put a tax on sugary drinks and ban the advertisement of said food.
Tam Fry of the National Obesity forum said:
The next government has to crack down on junk if obesity is to be halted and the NHS not brought to its knees. Whitehall could also crack down on commercial sponsorship of sport – but it won’t.
Funding sport makes corporations feel good about themselves and they know it’s good for business. They have the cash and the public purse doesn’t.
You may not have noticed it when you first watched it, but animated movie, Wall-E, is a satirical indictment on the rampant consumer culture we have today, and what the future could look like if we don’t take action.