Being overweight has nothing to do with a lack of exercise, but is almost entirely down to a diet of processed foods and sugary drinks, says a leading heart specialist who accuses the fast-food industry of duping the public.
The public are being given health guidance that has been corrupted by vested interests, and nutritionally-deficient foods and drinks have been legitimised through celebrity endorsements, says Assem Malhotra, a heart specialist at Frimley Park Hospital.
Attempts by governments to ban junk food advertising and taxing sugary drinks have been sabotaged by the food industry, which is falsely pointing the finger at lack of exercise and inactivity for the obesity epidemic. Its tactics are chillingly similar to those of the tobacco industry when it stalled government intervention for 50 years through a system of denial, doubt, confusion and even buying the loyalty of bent scientists at a cost of millions of lives, he said.
"It is time to wind back the harms caused by the junk food industry's public relations machinery. Let us bust the myth of physical inactivity and obesity. You cannot outrun a bad diet," Dr Malhotra concluded.
(Source: British Journal of Sports Medicine, 2015; doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2015-094911)