Your Facebook timeline probably has at least one person who posts incessantly about their weight loss journey. Every day has a new, overly detailed post from the gym (or five). But according to science, exercise doesn't actually help people lose weight.
A team of British cardiologists published a study to "bust the myth" that you can't outrun a bad diet. They say people are "drowned by an unhelpful message" that obesity is caused entirely by a lack of exercise. The blame is put on the food industry, which the study compares to the tobacco industry when lung cancer was first linked to smoking.
"The tobacco industry successfully stalled government intervention for 50 years," the study says. "This sabotage was achieved using a ‘corporate playbook’ of denial, doubt, confusing the public and even buying the loyalty of bent scientists, at the cost of millions of lives."
The authors of the study say what matters most is the source of calories. Sugar calories promote fat storage and make people more hungry, while calories from fat will make a person feel more full, they argue. They also cite another study that says cutting carbs is the most effective way to combat obesity.
Don't think exercise is worthless, though. The study says exercise still reduces the risk of heart disease, dementia, forms of cancer, and type 2 diabetes.