"I think one of the biggest misconceptions when we talk about obesity in general is that obese people are obese largely because of their lifestyles and because of the way that they live," Dr. Arya Sharma of the University of Alberta, told CBC News. [Sharma is the chair of obesity research and management at the University of Alberta and medical director of the Weight Wise program at Edmonton's Royal Alexandra Hospital.]Sharma notes there are all sorts of benefits for the body to exercising and eating healthfully (if one is able), but that weight loss simply isn't one of them for many people.
Sharma points to studies where people's eating and activity are carefully monitored. They show that some people can eat an additional 1,000 calories per day and not gain a gram, while others would gain five to six kilograms over a six-week period.
"There's a huge variability in how people can cope with extra calories," he said in an interview with CBC News.
He says people who tend to pack on the pounds simply have bodies that burn calories very efficiently and store the excess as fat. "They just take their extra calories, they don't even burn them because they're very fuel efficient, they'll just store those calories and they'll put them away."
..."Some people are just naturally lean. They can have crappy lifestyles and it doesn't seem to affect them."
..."We keep hammering home the stereotype of the fat, lazy slobs who are eating fast food all the time who are not moving, not exercising or not taking care of themselves, making poor choices, when there's very little science that actually backs this up."
Gee, that sounds suspiciously like what lots of fat people have been saying about their own bodies and lives and realities for years!
[H/T to Shakers Sarah and Wondering. Reminder: That many people don't choose to be fat does not render choosing to be fat an invalid choice. It is a valid choice.]