CDC Reports: Obesity up as Calories Fall!
March 7 | Wed Mar 6, 2013 8:47pm EST
(Reuters) – U.S. adults have been eating steadily fewer calories for almost a decade, despite the continued increase in obesity rates, according to survey data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Researchers, whose findings appeared in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, analyzed trends since the 1970s and found that among adults, average daily energy intake rose by a total of 314 calories from 1971 to 2003, then fell by 74 calories between 2003 and 2010.
“It’s hard to reconcile what these data show, and what is happening with the prevalence of obesity,” said co-author William Dietz, former CDC director of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, to Reuters Health.
“Seventy-four calorie sis a lot, and as I said before, we would expect to see a measurable impact on obesity.”
Nevertheless, about 35 percent of U.S. adult women are obese, and that percentage has held steady since 1999, according to the CDC. For men, obesity has risen from 27 percent to 35 percent over the same time period.
Dietz said he would have expected obesity rates to have leveled off for both sexes and to be decreasing at this point, if people are consuming fewer calories.
Experts said it’s possible more time is needed to see obesity rates respond to changes in calorie intake. It’s also possible that Americans have changed their eating habits but are still not getting enough exercise to burn the calories they do consume. Or, the surveys may simply be wrong.
“If you cut back on calories by 100 calories, you’ll plateau 10 pounds (4.5 kg) lower,” but you’d only see about half of that progress over the first year, said Claire Wang, who studies energy intake and expenditure at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.
There wouldn’t be an immediate reduction in obesity at the population level, added Wang, who was not involved in the study.
She believes the change in calorie consumption could be due to more awareness of sugary drinks and added sugar, and that awareness campaigns such as efforts by the White House to promote healthier eating are working.
But by now, “people should be losing weight,” Dietz said. The fact that they are not could be bad news, because it could mean people are burning fewer calories with exercise.
It’s also possible that increased awareness of unhealthy foods has caused people to be embarrassed about eating junk foods or drinking sodas, so they may still be eating those foods but are less likely to admit to it on a survey, Dietz added. SOURCE: bit.ly/XUJ7Dg (Reporting from New York by Kathryn Doyle at Reuters Health; editing by Elaine Lies)
From TD10 (Today’s Dietitian 10 Incredible RD’s Who are making a difference)
Diane Kress, RD, CDE
Award-Winning Author and Owner of The Nutrition Center of Morristown, New Jersey
It’s not unusual for Diane Kress to receive letters—even gifts—from avid fans who have read her book The Metabolism Miracle and say it’s the only program that’s ever helped them lose weight and keep it off. Kress says she discovered the nontraditional approach when she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol despite eating a healthful diet.
“I have to admit I was trained traditionally, and for the first portion of my career, I taught the weight-reduction program of calories in/calories out and eat less/exercise more,” she says. “As a dietitian, you’re taught that if patients aren’t succeeding, chances are they aren’t being honest. But on the so-called ‘perfect diet,’ I ended up with problems of my own, and I knew I wasn’t cheating.”
Kress began to do some research within her own patient base, taking a close look at who was succeeding and who wasn’t. What she found was that patients who weren’t losing weight despite a strict diet had started with a “different” metabolism. “I knew then I was on to something,” she says.
Kress discovered that people who had genes for what she calls Metabolism B would never be able to lose weight, keep it off, or get healthy on a traditional diet because of their “alternate metabolism.” The entire research process took years, but Kress ended up with a unique lifestyle program that’s “written to match alternate metabolism.”
Traditional weight-loss programs have been built on the assumption that everyone’s metabolism works the same. But Kress’ research suggests that people with Metabolism B (also known as insulin resistance) are overprocessing carbohydrate foods and turning them into excess fat despite diet and exercise. The Metabolism Miracle helps reprogram the body to handle carbohydrates. The first step does include eliminating most carbs, though they’re later reintroduced in a healthful way. In the book, Kress walks patients through the steps of the diet with a number of easy-to-follow rules, such as avoiding certain foods, drinking at least two liters of caffeine-free fluids per day, and avoiding gaps of more than five hours without a meal or snack.
Still, Kress says it hasn’t always been an easy road. With her program deviating from the norm, she says she felt she had to go “up against the traditional associations.” And even today, she says the book remains controversial.
“But I had to take a stand and say ‘I’m doing this,’” she says. “If I was still doing traditional teaching today, I would have had a frustrating career because only half of my patients would be succeeding. I’m at a place in my career where I love what I do because I know it works.”