ZEN+ : Helping you Stay Young and Age Well

An alternative theory for why you get fat

By Marcus Santer

So we’ve been looking at an alternative theory to obesity.

Instead of it being the result of over nutrition brought about by people moving less and eating more we’ve been looking at it being a form of malnutrition.

That it’s actually a result of something wrong with the food supply.

And that eating more and moving less isn’t the cause of obesity, but the result of our fat tissue accumulating excess fat.

And we considered what it was that drives fat accumulation and discovered it was insulin. Summed up as:

More insulin = More fat accumulated in fat cells
Less insulin = More released from fat cells

And yesterday I left you with this question:

“If it’s insulin that’s driving fat, what’s driving insulin?”

Here’s what diabetes expert George F. Cahill Jr had to say:

“Carbohydrate is driving insulin is driving fat.”

But it’s not all carbs that drive insulin out of whack.

Green leafy veggies are still cool.

It’s the breads, pastas, rice, cereals, chocolate and sweets that cause your insulin levels to spike and your body to store more fat in your fat cells.

At least that’s my best current understanding of obesity based on the research I’ve done.

But before I finish this trilogy of Z+D posts, I’d like to take you back to the Island of Nauru, located in the Micronesia just south of the equator.

Remember how they scored 71.1% for the number of adults aged 20 and over that are obese?

Well how did that happen?

I did some digging and I believe it’s this:

After independence in 1968, Nauru became the smallest and richest republic (per capita) in the world by exploiting its large deposits of phosphates.

But by the 70’s and 80’s diabetes, heart disease, obesity and hypertension in Nauru reached epidemic proportions.


I think it was caused by a radical change in lifestyle.

That the sudden increase in wealth Nauru experienced caused a shift in diet from natural foods to processed shop bought food.

It’s a cautionary tale on many levels.

Because by 2000 the phosphate industry was collapsing causing Nauru’s economy to nosedive and about 80% of the island’s 21 kilometre square mass is unusable as a result of strip mining.

I admit further research needs to be done to link negative lifestyle change to Nauru’s health epidemic, but two things make me think there is a connection.

1) The power of making right lifestyle choices – Just look at the research done in the following studies:

These studies give compelling evidence for the health benefits associated with healthy lifestyle choices. You can read all about them and their recommendations on pages 152, 153 and 163 of my ZEN+ book.

2) What happened in Okinawa – See page 11 of ZEN+ The Art and Science of Living Healthier for Longer to see what happened when the young people of Okinawa chose a modern western diet over the traditional approach followed by their parents.

It’s a chilling tale worthy of being told on Halloween.



All of the above has led me to my best current understanding of obesity.

That it’s not how much you eat (calories) it’s what you eat (refined carbs, starches and sugar) that is driving ill health and the world obesity problem.

I think it looks like this:

Refined carbs, starches and sugar –> Increased insulin secretion –> Excess fat accumulation –> Obesity

I will continue to keep an eye on the research.

Bye for now


P.S. If you’d like help making smart lifestyle choices especially in these four areas:

  1. Energizing
  2. Exercise
  3. Eating right
  4. Mindset

You’ll find my book: ZEN+ The Art and Science of Living Healthier for Longer of great value.

Nauru References used:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/307951?dopt=Abstract&holding=f1000,f1000m,isrctn (Here’s a snippet from the abstract: “The results confirm the possible detrimental effects of westernization on native populations” – Ouch!)
http://www3.uah.es/salud-y-enfermedad/pdf/The%20double%20puzzle%20of%20diabetes.pdf – This is a really good read, especially page 2.

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