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Research Confirms Sugar and Carbs Are Responsible for Obesity Surge, Not Physical Inactivity

More than one-third of Americans are obese, putting 78.6 million adults at risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but according to new research findings published in the Journal of Sports Medicine, sugar and carbohydrates are behind the obesity surge, not physical inactivity.

Regular exercise is important for disease prevention but what researchers discovered were calories from sugar and carbs generate more health problems than physical inactivity, alcohol and smoking combined. In fact, researchers have now found that cutting down on dietary carbohydrates is the single most effective approach for reducing all of the characteristics of metabolic syndrome and should be the primary strategy for treating diabetes.

Researchers also noted that cutting out carbs had other health benefits beyond weight loss and more research is showing that even athletes should avoid the common practice of carbohydrate loading prior to intense exercise, especially for those athletes who are already insulin resistant.


Never before in the course of history have Americans eaten as many refined carbohydrates as they eat today. Research shows consuming excess grain and sugar carbohydrates is a primary reason why so many people suffer from:

  • Excess Weight
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Brain fogginess
  • Bloating

The body needs carbohydrates but prefers the form of carbs found in vegetables rather than grains because their composition slows its conversion to simple sugars like glucose and decreases your insulin level.

If you notice an increase in your appetite, it may not be because your body is really hungry but could be a sign of a physical or mental health issue. If you are feeling like a bottomless pit then something is definitely up. Hunger is driven by the physiological need for calories, water, and salt but may be driven by a variety of factors including what you are eating, hormones, sleep and stress. Below are five of the top reasons why you’re always hungry and how to slow it down:

YOU’RE CARB LOADING: This is your brain on drugs. This is your brain on starchy carbs. It may as well be the best analogy for how loading up on carbs can mess with your mind. Simple carbs such as those found in sugary, white flour foods like pastries, crackers and cookies will spike your blood sugar levels quickly then leave them plunging soon after. This causes intense hunger for more sugary carbs, and the cycle continues. The carb rollercoaster ride is behind the surge in obesity more so than physical inactivity according to new research findings in the Journal of Sports Medicine. Go for complex carbs to get your carb fix like almonds, apples, chia seeds and pistachios, or use carb blocking supplements like the clinically studied white kidney bean extract, Phase 2, to reduce the sugar spikes.

YOU’RE DEHYDRATED: The confusion starts in your hypothalamus, the part of the brain that regulates both appetite and thirst. Wires can get crossed leading you to grab a bag of chips when you really need a bottle of water. When you feel the hunger urge, reach for water first and then wait 15 to 20 minutes and see if your hunger pains subside.

YOU’RE BOMBARDED BY FOOD PORN: Social media is not helping the urge to splurge with food photo bombs coming at you from Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. The connection between what we see and our desire for it has been documented by science. A 2012 study in the journal Obesity found that just looking at food cranked up the hunger hormone, ghrelin. Limit your exposure by skipping TV commercials and maybe block or un-follow those food-obsessed friends.

YOU’RE TOSSING AND TURNING: If you are getting too little sleep, your ghrelin hormone will surge and stimulate your appetite, while simultaneously decreasing the levels of the hormone leptin, responsible for making you feel full. After a night of poor sleep you are also likely to have serious fatigue and brain fog causing your system to be desperate for a shot of energy, which can trigger cravings for sugar carbs, even if you’re not hungry. A new study in the journal Sleep shows obesity can cause routine drowsiness during the day (so it can be an endless cycle of sleep deprivation). A full eight hours of sleep will get your energy levels and hunger hormones back on track.

YOU’RE TAKING CERTAIN MEDS: Antidepressants and corticosteroids that you may take on a regular basis could be the reason for recent refrigerator raids. If it becomes a problem, talk with your doctor about switching to another drug.

James B. LaValle, RPh, CCN, MS

James LaValle, is a nationally recognized clinical pharmacist, author, board certified clinical nutritionist, founder of Metabolic Code Enterprises, Inc., a web platform and practice solution enterprise, launching AIR Support and the Metabolic Code Assessment. In addition, he founded an Practices at Progressive Medical Center in Orange County, CA. In 2001 he founded and operated LaValle Metabolic Institute, an interdisciplinary medicine facility in Cincinnati for the past 15 years (sold in 2014) where he served thousands of patients using his metabolic model for health.

LaValle served as an adjunct associate professor at Cincinnati College of Pharmacy for over 14 years and currently serves as Adjunct Professor in Metabolic Medicine at the University of South Florida Medical School. He is also affiliated with George Washington University as the course director in systems biology and clinical lecturer. He currently is an instructor for the Fellowship for Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine Fellowship, which trains physicians and other health care professionals on the application of natural therapies into their contemporary practices.

He is author of 16 e books and 20 books including the most recently released, Your Blood Never Lies, as well as his best seller, Cracking the Metabolic Code, along with Smart Medicine for Healthier Living, Nutritional Cost of Drugs and The Cox 2 Connection. He was named one of the “50 Most Influential Pharmacists” by American Druggist magazine.