Santa will have to ride his bicycle to work

Santa energy balanceIt’s only August, but if it’s up to his employer, Santa better starts working on his fitness. According to this article in the New York Times, Coca-Cola funds research that claims increasing exercise leads to more weight loss than limiting calorie intake. What’s more: calories get an unfair portion of the blame for obesity. Fat in the Head or not, their hashtag movement (#EnergyBalance) should fool no one.

Turns out Coca-Cola backs an ngo called Global Energy Balance Network with an ‘unrestricted gift’. According to their website, its mission is ‘healthier living through the science of energy balance’.

We are not impressed

In everything I’ve heard and read about losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight, I have never come across anyone who disputes the concept of energy balance. This is nothing more or less than making sure the calories you consume and the calories you burn average each other out. (To be clear: I’m not disputing it either, I’m only saying that achieving this balance is easier said than done for a lot of us. Particularly if you’ve been overweight for years.) So in that regard, I think their mission and vision is as ground-breaking as it is impressive.

However, if it’s up to the Global Energy Balance Network, we look to find that balance squarely on the ‘exercise’ end of the equation and don’t fuss over what we put in our mouths.

We are not convinced

To get the hashtag movement #EnergyBalance going, the Global Energy Balance Network came up with a video that I’m not sure I should find hilarious or insulting to my intelligence. In it, one of the organisation’s associated professors (Santa is that you?) claims that there is ‘no compelling evidence that fast food and sugary drinks are the cause’. Perhaps due to poor editing, perhaps because he knows he is full of shit, he doesn’t finish his sentence to say ‘the cause of obesity’, but the implication is obvious.

(This is just a fragment, you can watch the whole thing here)

We are not compelled

Not compelled to not limit our intake of fast food and sugary drinks that is. He might be the Professor of Energy Balance, but around here I’m the Professor of Introspection. And I have very compelling evidence that I feel less energetic the more high-glycemic foods and drinks (high in sugars relative to fibers) I consume. And the less energy I have, the less I am compelled to get exercise. So as far as I’m concerned, limiting this kind of calorie intake cuts both ways in achieving my personal #EnergyBalance.