David Just and Brian Wansink, professors at Cornell University, published a recent study in the journal of Obesity Science and Practice. They analyzed national data to determine patterns between food habits and BMI. It must be stated that correlational/observational studies with BMI as a benchmark are relatively weak. Correlation does not qualitatively describe a pattern and BMI reveals nothing about body composition, what actually matters. Still as yet, this information is extremely valuable and worth knowing.

“Simply put, just because those things can lead you to get fat doesn’t mean that’s what is making us fat,” says Just. “By targeting just these vilified foods, we are creating policies that are not just highly ineffective, but may be self-defeating as it distracts from the real underlying causes of obesity.”

Here is the significance of these findings. According to the author of this article, “indulging” in foods we intuitively know are unhealthy, has a wide perception of many people that this practice is going to lead to obesity. Interestingly, the researchers found that indulgence patterns of poor food choices are nearly identical between those categorized as obese and healthy in terms of bodyweight. The overarching message is that physical activity levels and consumption of healthy foods, among other factors, should be the target.  Focusing on avoiding junk food is ineffective and creates greater problems for people trying to make life changes. This is an extremely well written article that is worth reading.

Cornell study says soda, junk food not why we're fat