Among healthy lifestyle behaviors, attaining and maintaining a normal weight is the Building Block
of good health that is the most difficult for many people. Over the past 40 years,
an alarming 70% of U.S. adults have become overweight or obese. Because living
with a high amount of body fat has serious consequences for health, and because
of the frequency of relapses after weight loss, obesity can be classified as a chronic
Most of the obesity epidemic is a result of our behavior and environment: a sedentary
TV watching lifestyle and exposure to and availability of calorie-dense hyper-
palatable high-fat, high-sugar, high-salt processed food. Among these factors,
what we eat, the food environment is probably the most important. As Michael
Greger says in his book, How Not to Diet, “It’s the food.” Food scientists have
developed ever more palatable processed foods, marketers have become more sophisticated
at getting us to buy them, and mass production costs have gone down,
so that portion sizes have ballooned.
Coping with too much hyper-palatable food and therefore too much body fat is difficult
because evolution has programmed us to eat copiously when food is available
to tide us over during food scarcity—but scarcity now never occurs. Science is still
unraveling the complex details of our metabolic systems and how our modern lifestyle
has conspired to leave many of us overfed and overweight. But even though
our environment is conducive to overeating, we know much about how to fight back
and craft our own successful strategy to gain the benefits of normal healthy weight.
Unlike exercise, where gradual increases are essential to avoid soreness and injury,
for a healthy person, a diet change can be either gradual or all at once. However,
before a dramatic change in diet, to avoid health-related problems, it is essential that
you consult with your health care provider if you are on medication or are being
treated for a health condition, such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
This blog presents opinions and ideas and is intended to provide helpful general information. I am not engaged in rendering advice or services to the individual reader. The ideas, procedures and suggestions in that are presented are not in any way a substitute for the advice and care of the reader’s own physician or other medical professional based on the reader’s own individual conditions, symptoms or concerns. If the reader needs personal medical, health, dietary, exercise or other assistance or advice the reader should consult a physician and/or other qualified health professionals. The author specifically disclaims all responsibility for any injury, damage or loss that the reader may incur as a direct or indirect consequence of following any directions or suggestions given in this blog or participating in any programs described in this blog or in the book, The Building Blocks of Health––How to Optimize Your Health with a Lifestyle Checklist (available in print or downloaded at Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble and elsewhere). Copyright 2021 by J. Joseph Speidel.