Tim Spector, a Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at Kings College, London, the author of a book called “The Diet Myth” suggests that human bodies have many types of microbes and when the balance of these microbes is disrupted it can result in obesity.
In the latest book, Professor Spector has attempted to make a link between health, food and microbes to address the growing problem of obesity in the entire world.
Professor Spector suggests that the good bacteria in the gut, which helps a person to remain thin, are killed when a person consumes junk food. The author also reveals the adverse effects such of weight gain due to the consumption of sweeteners found in diet fizzy drinks.
He stresses that a 5:2 diet can help keep a balance of microbes in the body, which in turn can assist people in remaining thin. A 5:2 diet involves consuming food for five days and restricted the amount of food consumed for two days in a week.
The book also suggests that genes are also responsible for keeping a person thin. Around 33 percent of people have genetics that prevents them from becoming fat. Some genes also determine an individual’s preference for broccoli, garlic or salads.
Professor Spector also tweeted recently that consuming a burger diet reduces the diversity of microbes in the gut.
Professor Spector believes that the amount and quality of food we eat definitely has an impact on a person’s weight as well as health. However, different people respond differently to the same food.
Humans have evolved a close inter-dependence with microbes; however, this relation has changed over the last few decades.
“Compared to our recent ancestors who lived outside cities, with rich and varied diets and without antibiotics, we have only a fraction of the diversity of species of microbes living in our guts. Scientists are only now starting to understand the long-lasting impact this has on all of us,” per [pdf] the publishers of The Diet Myth.
A report by London’s Overseas Development Institute (ODI) suggests that one of the reasons for the changing diet of people is the cost of food. Since 1980, the cost of vegetable and fruits that are deemed healthy has increased by about 30 percent in the U.K. However, the costs of meat and dairy products have dropped by 25 percent during the same period. Ice creams, which are full with calories, have seen the biggest drop in price in the last few decades.
A balanced diet with less junk food helps people maintain a healthy balance of good gut bacteria and remain thin.