Consider the reason that gets lots of focus: overeating. Does overeating cause obesity? Or does obesity cause overeating? Consumption is the root cause of being overweight. It doesn’t matter how much you exercise if your consumption is not kept in check.
Eating out is always an issue because portion sizes and caloric content aren’t easily managed. Eating out is deeply rooted in New Orleans’ culture; telling people to stay away from restaurants simply isn’t an option. A local dietician partnered with numerous well-known New Orleans restaurants and created Eat Fit NOLA. It’s open to any New Orleans restaurant and is free. EFN’s team of nutritionists work with chefs and owners to adjust certain menu items to meet EFN’s qualifications. These items have the EFN seal of approval next to their listing on the menu.
Activity level, or lack thereof, is a lot like the ‘chicken and the egg’ story. Inactivity causes weight gain, just as obesity causes inactivity. Inactivity can be blamed on advances in technology, which can easily be associated with childhood obesity. (Remember the days of playing “Kick The Can” until the streetlights went on?)
There are several studies which suggest that artificial sweeteners tend to push people toward sweeter foods, thus causing weight gain. Actually, non-caloric sweeteners are an option when trying to eliminate sugar from your diet.
Two lifestyle behaviors linked to obesity are physical inactivity and consumption of less healthy foods. When looking for an explanation for the epidemic of obesity we should consider a number of factors. Perhaps it is best said by Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), “Genetics loads the gun, and environment pulls the trigger”.