Physical activity 'not key to fighting to obesity'

Being obese is all down to bad diet rather than a lack of exercise, according to a trio of doctors who have reopened the debate about whether food, sedentary lifestyles or both are responsible for the obesity epidemic.

In an article in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, three experts said it was time to “bust the myth” about exercise.  They said while activity was a key part of staving off diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and dementia, its impact on obesity was minimal.  Instead excess sugar and carbohydrates were key.

The truth, they say, is that while physical activity is useful in reducing the risk of developing heart disease, dementia and other conditions, it “does not promote weight loss”.

They challenge conventional wisdom further by arguing that those who want to avoid excess weight gain should adopt a diet that is high in fat but low on both sugar and carbohydrates.

In a broadside against food industry practices, they also urge celebrities to stop promoting sugary drinks, call on health clubs and gyms to stop selling them and denounce “manipulative marketing” for sabotaging government efforts to introduce taxes on those drinks and to ban the advertising of junk food.