Obesity does not result simply from over-eating and a lack of exercise, but is a consequence of modern life, a British government think-tank said on Wednesday.
Weight gain does not result from people's actions -- such as over-indulgence or laziness -- alone, and is a far more passive phenomenon than is often assumed, according to Foresight.
It found that the technological revolution of the 20th century has led to weight gain becoming unavoidable for the majority of the population, because our bodies and biological make-up are out of step with our surroundings.
"Stocking up on food was key to survival in prehistoric times, but now with energy dense, cheap foods, labor-saving devices, motorized transport and sedentary work, obesity is rapidly becoming a consequence of modern life," said Sir David King, the British government's chief scientific adviser and head of the Foresight program.
The British Department of Health-sponsored project is the result of a two-year-long study into the causes of obesity involving almost 250 experts and scientists.
They predicted that the so-called obesity "epidemic" would take at least 30 years to reverse.
So let's break this down. Before the technological revolution, people were doing more physical labor, i.e., unintentional exercize, and were eating better foods because fast food was unavailable. Now, we're sitting around behind desks at work, driving everywhere, and eating cheap foods.
I can picture it now. This British think tank is sitting around, and someone mutters this to themselves, and then jumps up and shouts, "EUREKA! It isn't lack of exercize and eating too much crap, it's modern life!"
But isn't what this so-called "think tank" discovering what we already know? People used to have more physical exertion on a regular basis and ate better quality food. Now, we engorge ourselves with McDonald's and sit on our asses all day long. To counteract that, most people work out and try to eat healthier.
But oh no, says this "think tank". Encouraging people to exercize more and eat better is looking at it the entirely wrong way. We have to change our attitudes -- we must stop looking at obesity as something that comes about from over-eating and/or laziness!
So what is the answer? Why, changing society, of course!
"Foresight has, for the first time, drawn together complex evidence to show that we must fight the notion that the current obesity epidemic arises from individual over-indulgence or laziness alone," he said.
"Personal responsibility is important, but our study shows the problem is much more complicated.
"It is a wake-up call for the nation, showing that only change across many elements of our society will help us tackle obesity."
The researchers said there was no single "magic bullet" solution; even a new appetite-suppressing drug would not be the answer, because the problem is systemic.
Tackling obesity, like tackling climate change, requires a range of changes in society, from increasing everyday activity through the design of the built environment and transport systems to shifting the drivers of the food chain and consumer purchasing patterns to favor healthier options.
Right, right, this is just like "climate change". We must change society to keep people from getting fat! Who cares about personal responsibility? It isn't important to shut your piehole and get on a treadmill for a while. What's important is that changes in society are made so that we can all continue to be lazy and shove whatever we want into our mouths. Heaven forbid that we put any effort into it.
I'm extremely glad that I live in the United States when I see things like this. If I lived in Britain, I'd be furious that my taxpayer dollars funded this crock of shit.