Governments and international bodies should ditch their obsession with calories and energy expenditure to curb soaring obesity rates, and instead focus on restoring the correct balance of omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids in the food supply chain and diet, urge experts in an editorial in the online journal Open Heart. Nutrition policies based purely on the mismatch between ‘calories in and energy out’ in the belief that all calories are equal, have “failed miserably over the past 30 years,” argues Dr. Artemis Simopoulos. So much so, that 1.5 billion people around the globe are now overweight while 500 million are obese.
Major changes in food supply over the past century, as a result of technological advances and modern farming methods, have distorted the omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acid ratio in the typical Western diet, which developing countries are now also increasingly adopting. “The time has come to return the omega 3 fatty acids in the food supply and decrease the omega 6 fatty acids by changing the cooking oils and eating less meat and more fish,” they write. “The composition of the food supply must also change to be consistent with the evolutionary aspects of diet and the genetics of the population,” they add.