What causes obesity?
Obviously we haven’t figured it out, because the epidemic of obesity is only getting worse. Even more tragic is that rates of obesity are increasing faster in younger generations than older ones, meaning it will not only rob them of their youth, but increase their risk of early-onset chronic conditions associated with obesity. During the pandemic, rates of obesity have also increased, another tragedy considering that obesity makes COVID-19 so much worse, especially in the younger populations. One reason I get so disgusted by “food bribes” for COVID-19 vaccinations, is that they help fuel a culture that promotes an unhealthy food industry and one that uses unhealthy “treats” as rewards. ( I have a podcast coming on my thoughts on COVID-19 vaccines and bribes, so stay tuned!)
Still, what causes obesity is tricky. It’s a phenomenon…, a disease that is multi-factorial and not as simple as cutting calories and exercising. In my recent Causes or Cures podcast, I was delighted to talk to a doctor, Dr. Fatima Cody Stanford, who is an expert on obesity and ask her some tough questions.
In the first part of the podcast, we discussed why obesity is a disease, what causes obesity, and why every public health measure fails to lower obesity rates in the US. Remember, the CDC and WHO declared obesity an epidemic in the 1990s! Despite well-meaning and large efforts to combat it, our rates have gotten significantly worse. Dr. Stanford also explained the relationship between obesity and sleep, what a set point is and why that is so important, and the relationship between obesity and stress. We also discussedwhat to do for people who are “doing everything right” but still unable to lose weight. ( Do you know anyone like that? I sure do!)
In the last part of the podcast we discussed how addressing obesity fits in with the Body Positive and Fat Acceptance movements, both prominent in society and on social media, and where her message about obesity intersects with theirs and where it deviates. For the record, I have reached out to supporters of the Fat Acceptance Movement to come on my podcast and discuss their position, but haven’t heard back yet. Of course I’ll keep trying, because I think it’s important to share a wide variety of perspectives.
To listen to the What Causes Obesity Podcast with Dr. Stanford, please click here!
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Other podcasts/interviews to listen to: