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Stop Blaming Seed Oils: The Real Culprit Behind the Obesity Epidemic

Scrolling through social media, a tweet about obesity rates caught my eye. It featured a chart showing obesity rates skyrocketing over the last 20 years, even though total caloric consumption hasn't changed (see below). The tweet implied something is "poisoning our metabolism and causing us to gain weight," and given the account's history, it's clear the finger was being pointed at seed oils. But hold on a second, are we really blaming our salad dressing for our expanding waistlines? Let's cut through the noise and get to the heart of the matter.

charting of skyrocketing obesity rates since 1999
Source: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Seed Oils: Guilty or Just a Scapegoat?

Okay, we've all heard the rumors. Seed oils like soybean and canola oil have been demonized as the villains of our health. While overdoing it on any type of oil isn't ideal, pinning the obesity crisis on seed oils specifically is a major oversimplification.

The research on this topic is far from conclusive. Some studies suggest potential links between seed oils and inflammation or metabolic issues, while others find no connection whatsoever.

Plus, our overall calorie intake hasn't changed drastically over the past two decades. Blaming a single ingredient for weight gain just doesn't add up.

The Real Culprit: Our Lazy Lifestyle

So, what's the real story? Our increasingly inactive lifestyles are the far more likely culprit. A huge global study revealed that a whopping 27.5% of adults worldwide weren't active enough in 2016.

And that lack of movement comes with serious consequences. We're talking increased risks of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, and even mental health issues like anxiety and depression.

The Pandemic Effect

The pandemic only made things worse. Lockdowns and restrictions kept us glued to our couches, causing our activity levels to plummet even further. This, unfortunately but understandably, has become the new normal for a lot of people.

But this challenging time also highlighted just how important movement is for our physical and mental health. We can't ignore the negative effects of staying still for too long.

Get Up and Get Moving!

Scrabble pieces spelling out MOVE MORE

The obesity epidemic is a complex issue, but one thing's for sure: physical inactivity plays a massive role. Instead of obsessing over seed oils, we need to shift our focus to getting our bodies moving.

This is a call to action for everyone:

  • You: Make movement a non-negotiable part of your day. Find activities you love and make them a habit. Swap the elevator for the stairs, take walking meetings, or try a lunchtime yoga class.

  • Governments: Invest in infrastructure that encourages walking, biking, and outdoor activities. Create more parks, bike lanes, and accessible fitness facilities.

  • Health Organizations: Advocate for policies that promote physical activity and create environments where movement is the norm. Encourage workplaces to offer active breaks and schools to prioritize physical education.

The Way Forward

It's time to ditch the seed oil drama and get real about our inactive lifestyles. By making movement a priority, we can combat the obesity epidemic and boost our overall health and well-being.

Remember, even small changes count. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, sneak in a walk during your lunch break, or try a new sport. Every bit of movement makes a difference.

Let's get up, get moving, and take back our health! Join me and download your free copy of the SPARK Method.

Amira Lamb, CEO of Holistic Hottie Inc and founder of Holistic Hottie®, is performing a split on the Williamsburg Bridge in Brooklyn, New York


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