Two experts in the field of obesity and nutrition say it's time to throw out the diet plans, stop counting calories as a weight-loss strategy, and start stockpiling the pantry with rapidly digestible carbohydrates.
"With reduced consumption of refined grains, concentrated sugar and potato products and a few other sensible lifestyle choices, our internal body weight control system should be able to do the rest," state the two experts in a column published Sunday. "Addressing the underlying biological drive to overeat may make for a far more practical and effective solution to obesity than counting calories," they claim.
The column, written by David S. Ludwig, who directs the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children's Hospital and is a professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Mark I. Friedman, VP of research at the Nutrition Science Initiative, lays out a detailed, research-based biological case of why calorie counting and diets aren't the approach to take if one wants to lose weight.
It seems that the more weight gained, the more food a body craves and that, say the two authors, is a simplistic reason why heavy people get heavier and obesity has become a rising concern in the U.S.
"When it comes to body weight, this means that calorie intake minus calorie expenditure equals calories stored. Surrounded by tempting foods, we overeat, consuming more calories than we can burn off, and the excess is deposited as fat," they write.
But eating less isn't a viable diet option as it's not sustainable. The two experts believe that the process of getting fatter causes many to overeat.
"We get hungrier because we're getting fatter," they state.
The viable key to weight loss is tied to the hormone insulin and Americans eating more refined carbohydrates.
"We need to invest much more in this research. With the annual economic burden of diabetes - just one obesity-related complication - predicted to approach half a trillion dollars by 2020, a few billion dollars for state-of-the-art nutrition research would make a good investment," they state.