Despite the lengthy research and the millions of dollars invested into studying obesity, it seems there is no definitive answer to many of the ‘big questions’ such as:  Why is the population getting fatter when we know more about losing weight? Is sugar the real villain in this story? Moreover, is there one diet that is better than another? Take a look.

Despite all the research, one diet doesn’t ‘stand out’

Although there have been many short-term studies into diets, it is difficult to draw any firm conclusions about which is best. The lack of a definitive answer is because it’s not known if the participants stick to the diet when unobserved and secondly, it’s unknown whether they keep the weight off after the research period has finished.

What works for one person might not work for another

It’s not uncommon to find one person loses weight on a low carbohydrate diet while another has better results with the Paleo diet or 5:2 fasting. The reason there is such differentiation is partly our make-up but also down to factors such as our metabolism, motivation levels and adherence to dieting rules.

Not all diets are good for you

While people generally lose weight while on a diet, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are any healthier. Some diets that restrict calories lack any real guidance when it comes to making good/poor food choices. Health-based diets, however, focus on preventing or lessening the symptoms of disease by eliminating certain foods and replacing them with others that are rich in nutrients, vitamins and anti-oxidants as well as being low in carbohydrates or sugar. A low carbohydrate diet, for example, is favoured by dieticians to treat patients with high blood sugar or diabetes.

It’s not all in the genes

There was a time when people either thanked of cursed their relatives for their body shape, however, research shows that it’s not only our genes that are body weight predictors. While genes play a role, other significant factors affect our weight including an individual’s ability to produce insulin and the dieter’s willpower and motivation levels.

There’s no single solution to prevent regaining weight

If you’ve ever dieted, you will know how disappointing it is to regain weight. So, what if there was a diet that stopped you from piling it back on? Unfortunately, researchers are yet to find the answer to this age-old problem. Research is currently underway to investigate whether a low carbohydrate diet is an answer. The difficulty is that participants will need to be under constant surveillance and controlled conditions for months on end.

Why are we getting fatter?

Sugar is one of the main factors for soaring obesity levels. However, scientists now suspect that although sugar is one of the villains, it has accomplices. Starchy foods such as refined grains, larger portion sizes, acceptance of being overweight and interestingly, the fact that lots of people have stopped smoking (smokers tend to be slimmer as cigarettes suppress appetite) are also under suspicion.

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