Saturday, June 4, 2011

Calories Density Causes Obesity? Part II

Calories Density Causes Obesity? though question. Probably part of the problem. Not the whole explanation. In a previous article I wrote:
“Somewhere along your lifetime your body lost the control of the body weight set point and shifted towards a higher value, and that is why you gained weight. Your own homeotic regulator system was bypassed”
What I was trying to say is that the body has built-up systems to regulate how many calories are eaten and used. I also wrote about the fact that we have been eaten more calories dense products so perhaps this is what is causing us to increase our weight.
However, you may ask, if the body has its own regulatory system wouldn´t the body try to compensate for excessive caloric intake? Perhaps, we, humans, have not the ability to regulate our energy intake.  Some studies suggest that for some reason the body does not compensate for excess caloric intake.
For example, in this study, toddlers were given increasing amounts of sugar, fat, and salt in their diets. It turns out that when they increased sugar and fat consumption (separately), toddlers still ate the same amount of food. This shows that toddlers have no way to compensate for the added calorie density of their food. If they still eat the same amount of food (because they do not down regulate the amount of food eaten) then they will unknowingly be eating more calories with the same amount of food.
In another interesting study titled: Effect of Peanut Oil Consumption on Energy Balance the authors found that adding 500 calories extras increased energy intake and bodyweight with no compensation for the extra calories ingested. Another proof that the body has not the mechanisms to compensate for added calorie density.
The increase in the calorie density of food consumed by modern human may be one of the main reasons for the epidemics in obesity we are experiencing. There may be many other factors, but this may an important one.

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