bite my words

Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving

The new normal

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A recent article in the Globe and Mail discusses How Fat Has Become the New Normal. While, it seems fairly evident that, as a greater proportion of the population becomes overweight or obese, this would tend to normalize that state, this “duh” conclusion is not the focus of my post today. My issue is with the approach taken to combat the obesity “epidemic”. The approach many doctors are reported to be taking, according to the aforementioned article, is “to shift the discussion from weight to activity. Instead of telling people about the importance of losing weight, it could be much more effective to make it easier for people to get out and be physically active in their communities.” I definitely think that shifting the focus from the negative and focusing instead on the positive is essential to reducing obesity rates. However, I don’t think that placing the emphasis on getting people to be more physically active is the solution. Yes, we should be encouraging people to be more physically active, to engage in active transportation, and to get daily exercise. My quibble with this article, and approach, is that there’s no mention of diet. For prevention of weight gain and for overall health, both physical activity and a healthy diet are essential. For weight loss, a healthy diet is far more important than physical activity. Why is this fact so frequently overlooked in discussions of obesity? The solution is not as simple as “getting out” and “moving more” we need to take a long hard look at what we’re ingesting and why.

Author: diana chard

I'm a registered dietitian living in Nova Scotia, Canada. My goal is to help people relearn how to have a healthy relationship with food.

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