How often do you tell yourself, ‘I can eat whatever I want today… I exercised!’ or perhaps, ‘Dieting doesn’t matter, as long as I do my exercise, I’ll lose weight!’? Well, while the exercise will give you huge health benefits, there’s a myth that needs to be dispelled – and a group of scientists and medical researchers have the stern words to do it.
In an article published in the May edition of the British Journal of Sports Medicine, researchers have said that although regular exercise will reduce the risk of developing a number of health issues such as heart disease, dementia, some cancers and type 2 diabetes, it doesn’t promote weight loss unless it is paired with dietary changes.
The authors of the study say the public is “drowned by an unhelpful message” from the food industry that obesity is caused entirely by a lack of exercise, even describing the tactics used as “chillingly similar” to those utilised by big tobacco companies when the links between smoking and lung cancer were first revealed.
They said, “The tobacco industry successfully stalled government intervention for 50 years. This sabotage was achieved using a ‘corporate playbook’ of denial, doubt, confusing the public and even buying the loyalty of bent scientists, at the cost of millions of lives.”
We forget that diet is as equally important as exercise and without each one, people simply can’t efficiently lose weight – to be frank, it comes down to the science.
The Australian Government recommend that to lose weight a combination of healthy eating that includes a balanced diet rather than kilojoule restriction paired with regular moderate exercise is necessary.
So have you felt like you’ve been mislead by the food industry? Tactics like teaming high-sugar and high-fat products with messaging that involves health has been used as well as sponsorship of healthy, active living and exercise like sporting teams and clubs.
Both of these tactics are misleading manipulative and have blurred the average Australian’s view of what is needed to be healthy.
So next time you’re having a snack because you exercised, remember that despite the exercise, you won’t be any better off than you were before your workout on your way to weight loss.
Tell us, when you set out to lose weight, how do you do it?