Friday, February 26, 2010

In spite of ..... or because of?

This is one where there are some assumptions at play! The paradigm is that fatty food is bad and exercise is good. Within that paradigm rising obesity in the face of a low fat diet must mean that exercise has been reduced.

There is of course an alternative paradigm - maybe one of the factors at play (and there will be a number of factors) is diet. Maybe less fat - replaced by carbs - is the problem

Anyway - here is the BBC story

Despite fewer visits to gyms and a love of high-fat foods, people in the 1960s were slimmer simply because they were more active, the government says.
Rates of obesity in English adults have risen from 1-2% in the 1960s to around 26% today, figures show.

.
......high fat foods like condensed milk and cooked breakfast were popular ..........


Of course there is a role for activity and movement is vital.....but see how fatty food is seen as a problem, not a reason for the lower levels of obesity

6 comments:

Asclepius said...

"There is of course an alternative paradigm - maybe one of the factors at play (and there will be a number of factors) is diet. Maybe less fat - replaced by carbs - is the problem"

Hmmmm VERY clever Mr Highcock, but you are ignoring the fact that back then in the 1960's exercise was how you 'worked up and appetite' whereas nowadays it is how you should 'burn off calories'!

;)

Chris said...

Indeed....

jleeger said...

Partly true...they also lived in a culture that promoted "slimness" (which our current culture does not, despite assumptions we may have to that effect).

The adults of the '60's grew up in the 1920's, and came through the Great Depression and World War II. Their parents had lived through the Great Depression as adults, and had served/lived through WWI.

They knew hardship firsthand, and practiced moderation as a matter of social responsibility.

So it isn't just the cultural values, or levels of physical activity, but also the social history that needs to be considered in conversations like this.

Chainey said...

I sincerely doubt that they were more active then. Would, say, an accountant have gone jogging after work in 1960. I very much doubt it. Exercise was something for "youngsters".

Natural Athlete said...

With that data one could conclude that it was excercise that makes you fat, increasing your appetite ;-).

Or of course excercise, saturated fat and carbs could all be secondary to the real cause such as a simple rise in overall calorie consumption.

Chris said...

I think that there are lots of factors at play. I suppose I was thinking about how we tend to focus on one or two only when there might be lots of different reasons.