In case you’re curious, the latest research indicates that weight loss—and weight gain, for that matter—is about 80 percent diet and only about 20 percent exercise
For the past 40 years, the US Food and Drug Administration, Health Canada, and countless other seemingly reputable sources have recommended a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet. The first US dietary guidelines, introduced in 1980, were designed to combat heart disease, which was then thought to be linked to a diet high in saturated fats: the so-called Diet-Lipid-Heart Hypothesis.
Today, about half of the calories in a typical American diet come from ultra-processed, high-carbohydrate foods.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and US government sources report that 40 percent of American adults are now obese, a number that is expected to exceed 45 percent in the next decade. Compare this to 1970, when only about 14 percent of American adults were obese.
Obesity among young people, ages 2 to 19, increased from about 14 percent to nearly 19 percent in the past 20 years, and type 2 diabetes among those between the ages of 10 and 19 increased by a whopping 21 percent between 2001 and 2009.
It’s estimated that about 70 percent of American adults are now overweight or obese, and most suffer from insulin resistance and chronic inflammation as a result. Recent research, conducted over the past 15 to 20 years, has shown us that these conditions are all linked to a high-carbohydrate diet.
According to the Journal of Health Economics, current estimates for obesity related healthcare costs in the United States range from $147 to $210 billion per year. Job absenteeism as a result of the disease adds another $4.3 billion annually.
In Canada, the direct and indirect costs of obesity on the already overstretched healthcare system are expected to reach $33 billion by 2025.