I am reactivating this blog

Hi all

This blog is now reactivated. I will post on obesity and other health related issues that I find interesting.

Erik

New blog

Dear reader

This site is no longer active but I have started a new blog at:

http://www.erikhemmingsson.com

The new blog is in Swedish, although this may be expanded to English once I see what kind of response I get. I will not delete Holistic Obesity for a long while since I think there is still good content here.

All best,

Erik

Weight loss wonderland

It’s January and that is a very intense time for everyone interested in diets and weight loss. This leads us to the topic of fad diets, which, at least here in Sweden, seems to grip the collective consciousness in a very short space of time through both mainstream media and social media.

Sweden is probably quite interesting from the dieting perspective because it’s a small and fairly homogenous country, which means that fad diets, or indeed any kind of trend, spreads very quickly. There is also a rather anxious mind-set, especially in urban areas, which means that people are more inclined to listen to outside “experts” as opposed to trusting their own knowledge and experience.

2013 and 2014 was really dominated by the 5:2 diet, although there was a definite drop during 2014. Before that we had LCHF, GI, Atkins, and lord knows what else. I have written quite a bit about the limitations of dieting, so I will not go into more detail about that, but diets have come and gone for many decades now.

There are many people around the world right now who are seriously trying their best to launch the next diet wonderland, and then make hay while the sun shines. There are many ways of doing this, but sound research has not been one of them, although having a physician as the “inventor” definitely helps. Another good thing to have on-board is a well known celebrity who can go public with some miraculous results.

Ideally, there should also be a kind of magic molecule involved, something new and glitzy, which more or less solves the weight loss mystery. Every now and then, it can also be effective to re-launch a previous diet with a more shiny exterior this time around, such as fasting (5:2), high protein, or something else which has worked in the past.

Since the 5:2 diet slowly faded away last year, I am wondering what the next big diet wonderland is going to be. Personally, I am hoping we get a more balanced way of eating (and exercising) in the future that will make dieting redundant, but this is not very realistic for quite some time yet. If you have a good idea what the next miracle diet is going to be then let me know. Whatever the next big thing is going to be, it is unlikely to be determined by science, and instead by clever and determined marketing and media campaigns.

Enjoy the holidays!

Dear readers

It’s been a busy end to the autumn and it’s time for some relaxation. I will be posting again after Christmas, a very challenging period for many people but also a happy time to enjoy with family and friends. Make sure you get out to enjoy whatever sunlight you can get during these very short days (at least here at 60 degrees north).

I have a sneaky feeling 2015 will be a very interesting year indeed for obesity research. Make sure you check back before New Years Eve for a special 2015 prediction list of what I think will happen next year.

Happy Christmas!

Erik

Interesting developments in research on body weight regulation

I have had many interesting meetings this year, including trips to Melbourne to meet with professor Helen Skouteris and her team at Deakin university, New York for the American Psychiatric Association meeting, Boston for the massive Obesity Week meeting, and finally Copenhagen last week to meet with professors Thorkild Sorensen and Berit Heitmann.

Having met so many leading obesity experts this year, it feels safe to say that we are making massive strides in obesity research, even though this will not be very apparent to lay people, who are still very much bombarded by advice on the latest fad diet.

For me, the biggest progress is happening in the field of body weight regulation, i.e. understanding more about why excess fat is stored in some people but not in others, even though they are eating and exercising the same amounts. This is also so much more complex than mere calories or genetics, it goes into a range of factors that can trigger weight gain. Much more information about this is coming in future posts.

Once we understand body weight regulation a bit better, and we identify the causes of weight gain, we could be getting quite close to making some real progress in both treatment and prevention of obesity. We have to understand that there are always reasons the body stores extra body fat, it is certainly not a random process.

Christmas is coming up and my plan is to post a bit more frequently during this festive but also rather challenging period for many people.

Erik