We have the public health crowd telling us all that it's "bad" food which is making us all obese lardbuckets. This is, of course, when they're not telling us that it's sugary drinks that are. As we've pointed out a number of times there is a problem with this. We're not eating more than our forefathers did, quite the contrary. So it cannot be the calories in which are causing the problem.
But, perhaps, there's a little sneak room for the argument that it's the types of calorie in which are causing the problem, not the volume? It would appear not:
Methods: Using 2007–2008 Centers for Disease Control's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the consumption incidence of targeted foods on two non-continuous days was examined across discrete ranges of BMI. Data were analysed in 2011. Results: After excluding the clinically underweight and morbidly obese, consumption incidence of fast food, soft drinks or candy was not positively correlated with measures of BMI. This was true for sweet snacks (r = 0.005, p l.t.e. 0.001) and salty snacks (r = 0.001, p = 0.040). No significant variation was found between BMI subcategories in weekly consumption frequency of fast food meals.
Conclusions: For 95% of this study's sample, the association between the intake frequency of fast food, soft drinks and candy and BMI was negative. This result suggests that a strategy that focuses solely on these problem foods may be ineffective in reducing weight. Reducing the total calories of food eaten at home and the frequency of snacking may be more successful dieting advice for the majority of individuals.
The full paper is here.
We would rather disagree with that last line though. If we're ingesting fewer calories, and it's also not the type of calories we're ingesting which is the problem, then the problem is not in our ingestion of calories. It's in our expenditure of calories.
Which brings us back to our long running default position here. We're mammals, the major calorie expenditure for mammals is in the regulation of body temperature. The obesity explosion closely tracks the introduction of affordable and reliable central heating across societies. At least until someone manages to disprove that thesis that will remain our explanation of what's been happening.