Monday, October 17, 2011

Rethinking Overweight

In recent weeks, a flurry of obesity-themed blog posts have come out of the ancestral health (AH) blogosphere.

For the most part, paleo leaders argue for a different approach to overweight and obesity. Whereas conventional health wisdom (CW) focuses on simply losing weight, the AH community tends to argue the following:

  1. Overweight (including obesity) represents a poor state of health, meriting
  2. A holistic treatment to restore patients' health
Granted, much debate still exists on the specifics. Is it mainly white flour and sugar? To what extent do industrial seed oils play into the disease's etiology? How about what overweight people aren't eating? And finally, what about emotional stress? Regardless of the exact mix of factors, AH leaders seem to agree that excesses of white flour and sugar can cause nutrient deficiencies, fatty liver disease, and weight gain, though genetics determine individual sensitivity to obesogenic foods.

Instead of fad diets, overweight individuals should adopt diets that restore health. The focus becomes bodily rejuvenation as opposed to just weight loss. Fasting, elimination of the neolithic agents of disease (sugar, white flour, food additives, and industrial veg oils), and intense bursts of exercise are the most commonly-cited methods for reducing weight and restoring health.

See Stephan Guyenet's thoughts on obesity here, here, and how to combat it here.

For Chris Kresser's take on the causes and cures of obesity, click here to see his blog series on 'Perfect Health.' Then read his piece on 'diabesity.'

Click here to see what the Jaminets have to say about overweight/obesity.

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