Digestable Science

I regret to inform you all that my “190” celebration was shortlived. Apparently, my scale was hungover after the holidays and decided it would feel better if it played a cruel joke on me. The display hasn’t read “190” since the day I wrote that blog entry.

Feeling rather frustrated, depressed, and generally blah, I decided that there must be a scientific explanation for my thwarted attempts at weight loss. I perused the Google Scholar database today, searching the words “weight gain”. Lo and behold, the very first hit was a 2004 research article entitled “Diet, nutrition and the prevention of excess weight gain and obesity“. Basically, the authors wanted to review the apparent risk factors for obesity and also determine strategies to help prevent people from becoming fat in the first place. Here were the results of the review, according to the abstract:

“Protective factors against obesity were considered to be: regular physical activity (convincing); a high intake of dietary non-starch polysaccharides (NSP)/fibre (convincing); supportive home and school environments for children (probable); and breastfeeding (probable). Risk factors for obesity were considered to be sedentary lifestyles (convincing); a high intake of energy-dense, micronutrient-poor foods (convincing); heavy marketing of energy-dense foods and fast food outlets (probable); sugar-sweetened soft drinks and fruit juices (probable); adverse social and economic conditions—developed countries, especially in women (probable).”

So basically, if you suckled on your loving, upper-middle class mother’s teat as a baby, had teachers who stayed after school to help you with your studying, played on the varsity soccer team, and had a great workout this morning followed by a breakfast of bananas and oatmeal, you’re more likely to be a lean, mean, calorie-burning machine.

However, if you’ve spent your existence sitting on your couch all day watching McDonald’s ads broadcast on your stolen-because-you-can’t-afford-it cable TV while snarfing a Snickers and sipping a Sprite, you’re pretty much screwed.

Well I could have told you that…