You’re trying to get healthy, so you heed this near-universal advice: eat well and start exercising.
Good advice, but those two things aren’t equal. According to Dr. Aseem Malhotra, of Frimley Park Hospital in the U.K, and two other researchers, the emphasis on exercise is wrong.
It’s pretty simple—over the past thirty years, obesity rates in the Western world have skyrocketed. However, we’re as physically active as we ever were. And that suggests it’s what we’re eating that’s causing the problems.
Malhotra and friends say that not only is our diet and not lack of physical activity to blame for obesity, but our poor diet is a problem for people who aren’t obese. They write, “Up to 40% of those with a normal body mass index will harbour metabolic abnormalities typically associated with obesity, which include hypertension, dyslipidaemia [i.e., fat in the blood], non-alcohol fatty liver disease, and cardiovascular disease.”
It’s pretty simple: you can’t eat fast food all week and then “make up for it” at the gym later. There is no making up for it later. Even if you work the calories off, you’ve still elevated the risk of heart problems, liver problems, and more. If you’re looking to lose weight or get healthy, don’t fool yourself—the gym alone won’t save you.