A recent paper by Dr. Jean-Philippe Chaput, “Obesity: The allostatic load of weight loss dieting,” was posted to the HALO website last week and is now being discussed in a National Post (NP) article. The title of the NP article is, “Trapped in a fat cell: How pollutants may be exacerbating the obesity crisis.” Here are some snippets:

For decades, the weight-loss industry has largely been centred on the calories-in, calories-out model — as the well-worn theory goes, the calories you take in from food and the calories you put out through activity are the cornerstones of weight gain and weight loss. Over time, however, researchers have begun to question whether this simple model might be overlooking something, especially when you consider our collectively poor track record when it comes to keeping weight off once we’ve lost it. We now know that sleep, stress and maternal diet are just some of the non-diet-and-exercise factors that seem to influence our weight, but increasingly, a group of compounds that exist in our environment, collectively known as “obesogens,” are being touted as possible explanations for why calories-in, calories-out doesn’t always add up.

According to a review on the influence of dieting for weight loss to be published in the April edition of the journal Physiology and Behaviour, fat loss triggers the release of these obesogens back into bloodstream, at which point they exert influence in a number of ways: not only can they slightly suppress thyroid function, a key factor in our body’s energy-burning capacity, but our ability to burn fat in the muscle, also known as oxidative capacity, also seems to decline. Ultimately, our resting metabolic rate, meaning the number of calories that our bodies burn without any movement or exercise, drops. In other words, the release of these obesogens, triggered by well-intentioned weight loss, causes our bodies to burn fewer calories — and you can guess what happens next.

To read the full article, visit the National Post website.