The Role of Diet vs. Exercise in the Obesity Epidemic

NutritionFacts .org
NutritionFacts .org
06 Jul 2020

When it comes to obesity, which is more important: diet vs. exercise? Can weight be lost without exercise? The common explanations for the cause of the obesity epidemic put forward by the food industry and policymakers, such as inactivity or a lack of willpower, are not only wrong, but actively harmful fallacies.

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When I sat down to write How Not to Diet ( I knew this “what triggered the obesity epidemic” was going to be a big question I had to face. Was it inactivity—just kids sitting around playing video games? Was it genetic? Was it epigenetic—something turning our fat genes on? Or was it just the food? Were we eating more fat all of the sudden, more carbs? More processed foods? Or were we just eating more period, because of bigger serving sizes or just snacking more? Inquiring minds wanted to know.

This is the first in an 11-video series to answer this question, which I originally released in a 2-hour webinar earlier this year. If you can’t wait and want to get all of the videos at once, check out the webinar digital download here (

Or, just stay tuned for the rest of the series (note that each link will be live when that video is published over the next few weeks):
• The Role of Genes in the Obesity Epidemic (
• The Thrifty Gene Theory: Survival of the Fattest (
• Cut the Calorie-Rich-And-Processed Foods (
• The Role of Processed Foods in the Obesity Epidemic (
• The Role of Taxpayer Subsidies in the Obesity Epidemic (
• The Role of Marketing in the Obesity Epidemic (
• The Role of Food Advertisements in the Obesity Epidemic (
• The Role of Personal Responsibility in the Obesity Epidemic (
• The Role of Corporate Influence in the Obesity Epidemic (
• The Role of the Toxic Food Environment in the Obesity Epidemic (

Have a question about this video? Leave it in the comment section at and someone on the team will try to answer it.

Want to get a list of links to all the scientific sources used in this video? Click on Sources Cited at You’ll also find a transcript and acknowledgements for the video, my blog and speaking tour schedule, and an easy way to search (by translated language even) through our videos spanning more than 2,000 health topics.

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Thanks for watching. I hope you’ll join in the evidence-based nutrition revolution!
-Michael Greger, MD FACLM

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