Obesity is a serious problem and it’s even worse when it starts in childhood. Now research has shown that childhood obesity could be turned around with just small lifestyle changes. Do they really believe this?
“The study indicated steps such as cutting out one small chocolate bar and doing 15 minutes of exercise a day could more than halve the rates of overweight or obese children.” Read this statement carefully. The study didn’t prove it, it just “indicated” it. What does that mean? I don’t know and you probably don’t know either. But it’s remarkable how many studies like this only “indicate” or “suggest” things. That means it’s just wild interpretations of the researchers. Usually these wild statements are followed by “more research is necessary”. So it’s just a neat way to keep themselves in a job.
“Professor Tom Cochrane said one in four Australian children were overweight or obese.” I would really like to know what they base these kind of numbers on. When I walk around in the shopping mall I do not see anything like this. It could be that we just live in an area with particularly slim people, but I doubt it. I have no idea what the government officials want to achieve by making overweight “normal”. But that’s exactly what they do. If everyone is overweight, then it doesn’t matter anymore. Still, there are too many obese children and adults.
“He said the team wanted to find out what it would take to reverse the decline in the physical fitness of young people.” Professor, you are mixing two things up. Weight and fitness are different things. There are people who have too much weight, but are perfectly fit. And there are people who are slim and in terrible shape. But I suppose you cannot fit that in simple numbers, so you ignore it. That’s not very scientific.
“just a small daily dietary restriction equivalent to just one treat-size bar of chocolate and about 15 minutes extra of moderate physical activity per day,” A treat-size bar? What is that? If a four year old cuts out that much sugar it probably will make a difference. If a 12 years old does the same it won’t change anything. The category “school children” at least ranges from 5-12 years, but it could also be 5-18 years. It’s not mentioned what age groups they used. That makes any statement of this category laughable. Do they really think the energy needs of a 5 years old are the same as for a 12 years old? And do they think we believe that too?
“He said there were many factors contributing to the rise in childhood obesity.” This is the first true statement in this article. Overweight and obesity are not just caused by too many calories and not enough exercise. It’s known that exercise doesn’t make you lose weight anyway. It makes you fit and that’s why it’s so important. Besides children have a habit of eating junk food while watching television or playing video games.
What is always missing from any list of factors that contribute to overweight is baby formula, environmental pollution and antibiotics (just to name a few important ones). Baby formula is full of sugar, so the tiny body is getting used to sugar at a way too early age. And it’s known that things we are exposed to at a very young age program our bodies and brains. Formula should be prescription only, though first something should be done about the high number of traumatic births, which often block the ability to breast feed.
The environment is full of endocrine disrupting chemicals, which the baby is already exposed to in the womb. These are known to mess up the metabolism, which can cause obesity. And then there are antibiotics. Farmers have given these drugs to healthy animals for a long time, because the animals will gain weight quicker. There is no reason why this would be any different for humans. Babies often get already multiple rounds of antibiotics before their first birthday. Is it then really a surprise that they become overweight toddlers and school kids? Australian doctors still prescribe these drugs like they are as harmless as water. But they are very heavy, toxic, harmful drugs, that should only be prescribed in life-or-death situations.
A study with “school children” that only looks at exercise and energy consumption is per definition useless. There are many of such studies, but they never change anything. Because they don’t look at all the other causes of the problem. And they don’t change the behaviour of people.