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14 Obesity Myths You Should Know About

#1: People are obese because they don't exercise enough It is not the lack of physical activity that causes obesity, but it is the consumption of food with high-glycemic index, like refined carbohydrates, processed foods and sugars.

By Vijay VeeraPublished 2 years ago 7 min read

When it comes to addressing the issue of obesity, we have our own set of myths and preconceived notions about what causes this condition.

We also have ideas about how to address it and what the root cause might be. As a result, you can find yourself confused by what is true and what are simply false claims.

Here are the myths of obesity you should know about

1. Myth #1: People are obese because they don't exercise enough.

It is not the lack of physical activity that causes obesity, but it is the consumption of food with high-glycemic index, like refined carbohydrates, processed foods and sugars.

2. Myth #2: Obesity is a matter of willpower and discipline.

A lot of people think that obesity is a matter of willpower or discipline. These are just myths. Obesity is caused by hormonal imbalance, insulin resistance and is directly affected by the food we eat.

The truth is that if you are overweight or obese, it isn’t because you lack discipline or will power, but rather that you’ve fallen victim to the many myths surrounding weight loss and dieting.

3. Myth #3: You can't be obese if you eat healthy food

One of the most common myths is that eating healthy foods can make you lose weight. That’s not true.

Eating healthy food doesn’t mean you will automatically lose weight. This myth makes you think that you can eat chips, chocolate, and pizza all day long if you eat one apple with it.

The truth is, you shouldn’t eat more than one serving of a healthy food in the same meal that contains these less healthy foods.

4. Myth #4: There's nothing wrong with being overweight, so long as you're physically fit

Another myth is that overweight people can be healthy if they are physically fit. This myth can lead to insidious thinking.

The idea that overweight people who are physically fit have a low health risk leads to the assumption that it's okay to not lose weight because being physically fit makes that weight okay.

This myth is similar to the first myth, but it's a little more complicated. It is true that regular physical activity has many benefits, including a lower risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. And exercise can help with weight loss, which is good for your health as well.

5. Myth #5: If you're at a healthy weight, you should be able to maintain it forever without any effort

Everyone has heard this one before, that if you eat well and exercise regularly, you can maintain a healthy weight. But this is not true.

A study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that 75 percent of obese women who participated in a structured weight-loss program regained all the weight they had lost within three years.

Another study conducted by researchers at Duke University revealed that people who lose as little as 10 pounds are likely to regain some or most of it within four years.

6.Myth #6: If you're overweight, it's because you eat too much and don't exercise enough

Most people believe that obesity is a result of eating too much and not exercising enough. This idea is only half true. It’s actually the environment that causes people to become overweight or obese.

Diet and exercise are important, but when it comes down to it, your weight depends on the food industry and urban design. If you live in a neighborhood where you have access to healthy food, you’re more likely to eat healthy.

7. Myth #7: Obesity is a matter of genetics or metabolism

Genetics may play a role in obesity, but it certainly is not the whole picture. In fact, recent research shows that our genes only account for 10% of the weight that we gain in our lifetime.

Metabolism is also a factor, but again, it’s not as important as most people think. A study conducted by the National Institutes of Health showed that the difference in calories burned through metabolism was only about 300 per day on average.

People who are overweight have an average daily calorie intake of 2,000 calories more than the amount needed to maintain their weight.

8. Myth #8: If you're fat, it's because you don't try hard enough to lose weight

If you're fat, it's because you don't try hard enough to lose weight. This is one of the most annoying myths out there, and it's especially confounding that people believe it when they themselves have been overweight and know how hard it is.

I'm going to say this straight up: if you are obese, it is not your fault.

What causes obesity?

People who have been overweight or obese typically have a harder time losing weight than those who aren't.

9. Myth #9: Fat people are just lazy gluttons

It is a myth that fat people are just lazy gluttons. The lack of physical activity does not cause fatness, but it does make you fatter and less healthy.

There are many reasons for fatness, but one of the most important ones is a hormonal imbalance.

It is true that the first thing to do in order to lose weight is to start moving more and eat less, but if you don’t solve the problem at its roots, then all your efforts will be in vain.

10. Myth #10: If you're fat, it's because you have a slow metabolism

There's an assumption that overweight people have slower metabolisms. The logic follows that if your metabolism is slow, then you must eat more in order to maintain a certain weight.

But is this true? No.

According to a study published in the May 2013 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers from the University of Colorado tracked energy expenditure among 10,841 people and found that differences in resting energy expenditure (REE) explained only 4% of the variation in body mass index (BMI).

In other words, genes play a much bigger role than metabolism when it comes to weight gain.

This is also why some people can eat like pigs and never gain weight, while others can eat like birds and still gain weight.

It’s not because they have a faster metabolism, but because their genes are programmed in that way.

11. Myth #11: You can spot-reduce fat from specific areas of your body by doing exercises that target those areas

There is no way to spot-reduce fat from any specific area of your body. The reason you can develop muscle from lifting weights is that muscle requires more energy to maintain than fat, so the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn.

Practically speaking, this means that if you were to add 10 pounds of muscle to your body, you’d burn an additional 200 calories per day – enough to lose about 1 pound of fat per month.

If you want to lose fat from a specific area of your body, the best thing that you can do is eat less and/or exercise more in that area.

When you eat less, your body burns more calories to keep its energy levels constant. This is called the thermic effect of food (TEF).

12. Myth #12: If you're fat, it's because you have a slow thyroid

Truth: The thyroid gland regulates the body's metabolism, but it doesn't have much to do with weight. In fact, a slow thyroid can make you gain weight, and a fast one can make you lose it. (I'm not making this up. I have a slow thyroid, and I'm fat.).

13. Myth #13: If you're fat, it's because your body is fighting itself and your hormones are out of whack

The truth is that you can't be fat for these reasons. Your body is a complex system of organs, and it's unlikely that your eating habits are the root of all evil.

14. Myth #14: If you're fat, it's because your body is insulin resistant and/or diabetic

Insulin sensitivity is the body's ability to respond to insulin. Insulin binds to receptors on cells, which allows glucose to enter and be metabolized. With greater insulin sensitivity, cells are more responsive to the presence of insulin, and more glucose can be taken up into cells.

In an insulin resistant person, there is a reduced sensitivity of cells to the presence of insulin. Without an increase in the amount of insulin present, glucose cannot be adequately taken up into cells.

Many people believe that if they gain weight it is because they are "insulin resistant" or "diabetic."

It makes sense that this would be the case, since many people with diabetes are overweight. But what if it's not true? What if there is no connection between insulin resistance and weight gain?

Insulin Resistance Is Not the Same as Diabetes

Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body's cells do not respond normally to insulin. The pancreas responds by producing more insulin, but eventually it can't keep up with the demand. At that point, blood sugar levels rise and diabetes develops.

Conclusion: The fact that 1 in 3 adults is obese or overweight and an estimated 17% of children are also facing obesity issues should be enough to convince anyone that this is a serious problem.


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