How to Fix the Obesity Crisis

Although science has revealed a lot about metabolic processes that influence our weight, the key to success may lie elsewhere

From my cover story in the February 2011 issue of Scientific American

Obesity is a national health crisis—that  much we know. If current trends continue, it will soon surpass smoking in the U.S. as the biggest single factor in early death, reduced quality of life and added health care costs….
   Why are extra pounds so difficult to shed and keep off? It doesn’t seem as though it should be so hard. The basic formula for weight loss is simple and widely known: consume fewer calories than you expend. And yet….almost everybody who tries to diet seems to fail in the long run—a review in 2007 by the American Psychological Association of 31 diet studies found that as many as two thirds of dieters end up two years later weighing more than they did before their diet….
   Maybe someday biology will provide us with a pill that readjusts our metabolism so we burn more calories or resets our built-in cravings so we prefer broccoli to burgers. But until then, the best approach may simply be to build on reliable behavioral psychology methods developed over 50 years and proved to work in hundreds of studies. These tried-and-true techniques, which are being refined with new research that should make them more effective with a wider range of individuals, are gaining new attention. As the NIH puts it in its proposed strategic plan for obesity research: “Research findings are yielding new and important insights about social and behavioral factors that influence diet, physical activity, and sedentary behavior….” read more (Subscription or payment to Scientific American needed to read full article, but I hope to be able to make more of it available here soon. Meanwhile, I see a university has posted the full article here.)

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4 thoughts on “How to Fix the Obesity Crisis

  1. Arcadia says:

    Can I make a suggestion? I think youve got something good here. But what if you happen to added a couple links to a page that backs up what youre saying? Or perhaps you could possibly give us something to take a look at, something that might join what youre saying to one thing tangible? Just a suggestion. Anyway, in my language, there will not be much good supply like this. New Car Loan Rates

  2. Anoopbal says:

    If you are reading this, have these approaches tested in an RCT and shown to help maintain weight loss?

  3. Alissa Bonds says:

    I wonder how the state can solve a problem rooted in personal choices. Our society is naturally enabling, bad credit car loans being one of the examples. I do hope this ceases to be a problem though.

  4. RoryCarrodus says:

    An attention-grabbing discussion is price comment. I feel that you must write extra on this subject, it won’t be a taboo topic but typically people are not enough to talk on such topics. To the next. CheersWeight Loss Motivation

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