It has been well-established by science that obesity and obesity-related diseases are complex challenges driven by many factors. A recent study from a Harvard nutrition professor shows that due to this complexity, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to obesity.
According to a New York Times article, Harvard professor Dr. Frank Sacks prescribed several different diets to 811 overweight and obese adults in an effort to determine if any one diet was more effective as a weight loss tool. The result: no diet stood out above the rest. In fact, although there were outliers who saw a large drop in weight, most people lost very little weight at all.
Why is this? Researchers, reported the Times, have found that obesity and overweight “are not one disease but instead, like cancer, they are many.” For this reason, “It makes as much sense to insist there is one way to prevent all types of obesity — get rid of sugary sodas, clear the stores of junk foods, shun carbohydrates, eat breakfast, get more sleep — as it does to say you can avoid lung cancer by staying out of the sun, a strategy specific to skin cancer,” says the article.
Dr. Lee Kaplan, director of the obesity, metabolism and nutrition institute at Massachusetts General Hospital, added that due to the variety of contributing factors to obesity “there can be many paths to the same outcome.”
Some may tout that there is a silver bullet to obesity, but science shows us there is not. Instead of focusing on one part of the diet, obesity and obesity-related diseases must be addressed with a holistic approach to the diet that focuses on each individual’s unique challenges.
America’s beverage companies know we must play a role in improving public health and we are doing our part to help people manage their calorie and sugar intake from beverages by offering a variety of choices and portion sizes so that they can choose the beverage that best fits their lifestyle. We are also providing the information and encouragement to help people cut calories and sugar from beverages. Comprehensive efforts like these are the better way to meaningfully address complex health challenges like obesity.