The world can be a crazy place at times. Never is this more apparent than when it comes to our approach to health.
In the last two months we have seen another weight loss medication removed from the market and the FDA knocked back two weight loss drugs under development.
This may seem obvious but if it was not a pill, which caused people to become overweight why would a pill, be the solution. In simplest terms people become overweight if their intake of energy exceeds their output. The body stores the excess as fat. If you fill a car beyond the capacity of the fuel tank, the rest spills out onto the side of the car and then the ground. You immediately stop filling the car, as you do not need more until the fuel has been used up and you do not want to waste money on fuel, which is going to waste.
In the body the excess fuel spills onto the midriff.
Perhaps if it were as instantaneous as with filling the car we would know when to stop filling ourselves. The principle is the same though.
It has emerged that the US government has been funding marketing initiatives to promote more sales of cheese whilst at the same time running campaigns to encourage people to eat less fat. According to a New York Times report a government funded agency worked with a pizza chain to develop and market a new pizza with more cheese. This led to higher sales of pizzas and cheese.
There is nothing wrong with eating and enjoying some cheese. However consumption in the USA has trebled since 1970 and no doubt this is mirrored in other countries too. There is also nothing wrong with having some saturated fats in your diet. It is about the quantity consumed.
The fat is bad mantra has led to billions of dollars being spent on statin medications to lower cholesterol. Yet in a major analysis of over 65,000 people (in 11 studies) there was found to be no effect on all cause mortality by treatment with statins in those at “high risk” of heart disease.
It has also emerged that men who are obese have lower fertility. Once again the costs of going through assisted fertility are considerable. Does anyone look for the obvious cause and address that first?
And just to prove again that what we do matters a review of over 300,000 people showed that those who drank two sugary drinks per day were 26% more likely to develop diabetes compared to those consuming less than one such drink per month. Drinking one soda per day increased diabetes by 15%.
In reality health is not difficult and does not need to be expensive. Rather than costly drugs we can drink water instead of soda and enjoy cheese in moderation. We can fill our body no more than we fill the fuel tank in our car.
We also can ask politicians and governments why they spend our money both telling us to eat less and to eat more.