Stephen Hawking: It’s not rocket science why you’re fat


Science superstar Stephen Hawking is taking a break from solving the mysteries of the universe to address the obesity crisis plaguing some parts of the world.

“Fortunately the solution is simple: More physical activity and change in diet,” Hawking said, adding, “It’s not rocket science.”

…coming from the POV of an atheist.


LOL, well he’s certainly right in my Case!!!


Why is his atheism relevant to this topic?


One wouldn’t have expected a renowned scientist to get it so wrong.

While he’s probably right in the main, obesity (or lack thereof) is not always a matter of diet and/or exercise. It can be due to metabolism, glandular differences, the number of fat layers one was born with, or insulin resistance.


Yes, there’s a long history of brilliant scientists in one field falling flat on their faces when they venture into other fields. Linus Pauling comes to mind.

That said, as far as I know, he’s basically right, except that there are plenty of exceptions, and people have trouble with their weight because of reasons other than lack of exercise.

Still, I understand why someone in Hawking’s situation is looking around him and seeing people being sedentary and thinking “why aren’t they running around and being active? I’d give *anything *to be able to be physically active.”


Calories in vs calories out. It’s math 101.


Stephen Hawking would be a brilliant poster child for why Euthanasia is wrong for people with disabilities. Although he’s an atheist, and in sure he has “down” periods, he’s doing the best he can because although he can’t walk or speak normally still he’s using the gifts and talents God gave him instead if considering suicide. I hope by the end of his life he finds that He has been there by his side all along.


Unfortunately, too many people use that as an excuse for not getting off their tushes more.


Doesn’t sound like we need a renowned scientist to tell us this. The problem for most people is that simplistic calorie reduction typically ends in failure because the dieter feels hungry most of the time. Exercise is great in many ways, but it is not definite cure for obesity on its own. I knew a guy who worked out like mad and could not lose weight. I asked about his diet. Forget about what he ate. He drank 6 liters of soft drinks per day. 6 liters!
The various low carb diets are the only ones where folks can lose weight without hunger, and without without exercise, though results are more dramatic with. They are the only ones that people seem to stay on long term.


I’m thinking of a friend with a mother who was mentally disabled and abused in an orphanage who sat her and her sister down surrounded by food so they could "graze " as she said all day long ;weighing in at 100 pounds at age 5.

I’m thinking of a friend with thyroid issues who eats like a bird and still can’t lose weight.

I’m also thinking of a friend who was sexually molested while young by a relative and after counseling found our her weight issue which was great, 100 pounds over weight was due to trying to look unattractive to the opposite sex thus avoiding and hint of sexual advances towards her; that revelation led to her ability to after a year lose this weight.

I agree many don’t get off their tushes enough but there are legit medical and psychological reasons people can’t lose weight



I can see where you are coming from: it can be intensely hard to lose weight. But Hawking’s statement still applies to those people: if they eat less calories than they burn, they will loose weight.


Sure, there are exceptions cases where people in extreme circumstances can’t lose weight. By his point stands. If you burn more calories than you take in, you cannot possibly gain weight.


The existence of exceptions does not disprove the rule.


I guess that is the main theory most go by for weight loss, eat less or change to a different diet along with exercise more, and see if the changes lead to loosing weight and improved health. I believe the theory does help some with weight loss in the short term. Improved health is subjective.

Improvements are needed with the main theory though. Long term I’ve read some believe up to 90% of dieters put the weight back on over time, to varying degrees. It’s a frustration for a great many working to loose weight.

When it comes to health, one problem people have is with the way our medical system markets its self. It simply is difficult to be healthy. I thought this a nice article on that issue.

You absolutely cannot be healthy any more – it’s official


I have been waiting for some time now before it became officially impossible to be healthy. In recent years the boundaries of health have been inexorably squeezed tighter and tighter. Recently, they snapped shut. The land of the healthy now no longer exists. Tis but a memory.

I wondered if it would be cholesterol that would obliterate health first, but it turned out to be blood pressure. This was pretty much second favourite in my book.

As with many areas of ‘health’ the definition of a healthy blood pressure has fallen and fallen. A few years ago we had go to the stage of a condition known as pre-hypertension. A state of having a high blood pressure that wasn’t really high, but represented an ill-defined danger of some sort. This pressure was set at 115/75mmHg. Far lower than the average blood pressure in the Western World.

However, with the latest CV prevention guidelines (yes, them again) we have managed to get the optimal systolic blood pressure down to 90mmHg. Underneath, you will see a little graph that I created using the CV risk tool. The tool can be downloaded here:

So you can check out for yourself that what I am saying is true…


The cynical side of me thinks that the criteria of health has grown much stricter to facilitate the sale of prescription drugs.


Yes, my mother was one of those people. She gained weight when she was in the hospital having her gall bladder removed (salt made her gain weight, saline has salt). Her siblings couldn’t gain weight unless they really applied themselves. My aunt weighed 99 pounds, are sweets constantly and was 5’ 6". She did go up to 114 when she was pregnant with twins).

That being said, I do have sympathy for people with medical problems. But most of us, myself included, are overweight because we eat more than we need, eat the wrong kinds of food, and/or don’t exercise enough.


It is not as simple as that. Type of calories is important. Obviously 100 calories of lettuce will affect your body differently than 100 calories of chocolate. Genetics also plays a huge role. Different people have different metabolisms. Some people are insulin resistant
Hormones play a role, such as cortisol. Chronic inflammation and food allergies often make people gain weight. Body composition such as fat to muscle ratio is important l, too.


Sometimes it is “glandular” but more often poor diet. People eat too much corporate food full of sugar and carbs and bad fats. It’s killing them. Shame on McDonalds and all those other junk food mega-poisoners!

But I must admit Stephen Hawking is a poor scientist. He’s more of a showman, a Scientismist, a Huckster!


Certainly true in my case.

Since I moved from NY, I’m not doing nearly as much walking (I’m driving everywhere). And I’m now back in the land of pieroghi… I can’t help myself! :slight_smile:


I wish I could find the article I read recently. It talked about a study that showed that not only are people heavier today than in the past, it also showed that in order to lose weight a person would need to consume less calories than a person did in the past to achieve the same weight loss.

I think Stephen should stick to physics. It’s not as simple as he would like it to be.

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