The Greedy Lazy Car

There was once a man who owned a car that developed a hesitation that caused it to accelerate sluggishly and lose power. The car became slower and slower and so the man took the car to a mechanic who inspected the car and its engine. The man explained to the mechanic that the car felt like it was running out of fuel. After a cursory look, the mechanic told the man that the fault must lie with the man’s own driving. To prove this he showed the man that there was adequate petrol in the tank and therefore the problem was not lack of fuel. The mechanic suggested that the man was to blame for not pressing the accelerator hard enough. To support his conclusion the mechanic explained that his own car went faster when he pressed the accelerator and slowed only when he lifted off the throttle. The man went away and followed this advice, but no matter how hard he depressed the accelerator, he could not overcome the problem.

In fact the more he tried to go faster the worse the problem became. The mechanic had convinced the man that the problem was his own doing and so he continued with the advice despite no improvement. However, after a number of weeks, the man noticed that when he went to buy petrol, his usual weekly purchase was now causing the tank to overfill and spill onto the paintwork, whereas before it would only half fill the tank. Confused the man took the car back to the mechanic and explained his situation. The mechanic removed the engine from the car and tested in on a dynamometer. The engine worked perfectly normally and so the mechanic again blamed the driver. The man assured the mechanic he had added only the same amount of fuel as normal, and that he had pressed the accelerator as requested, but the mechanic dismissed his suggestions with a condescending tone and sent the man on his way.

The man tried driving faster and adding less fuel, but the tank was full and the engine remained low on power. Convinced that the problem was his own fault the man continued with the mechanic’s advice until one day the car stopped at the side of the road. When the roadside assistance arrived, the man explained the problem to the recovery driver who said he understood the problem. He explained to the man that the fuel line had become blocked because he had been using a low quality fuel. This had caused the engine to become starved of fuel and the tank to become overfilled. His advice was to switch to a higher quality fuel that contained additives capable of cleaning the fuel lines, and over time the problem would correct itself. The man followed the advice and the blockage cleared restoring power to the engine and allowing correct flow of fuel from the tank, which never overflowed again.

The parable of the greedy lazy car was written to highlight the absurdity of the current mainstream opinion on the cause and treatment for obesity. Like the man with the car, obese individuals have no problem with their ‘engine’ or fuel reserves. In fact their metabolic rate is often higher when compared to lean individuals and they have excessive adipose tissue. However, they have a metabolic abnormality caused by high intakes of fructose (bad fuel) that causes insulin resistance (fuel blockage) which prevents stored energy (fuel) being used for energy during exercise. Physical activity (driving faster) and forcing the obese individual to eat less (adding less fuel) do nothing to overcome the ‘fuel blockage’. To correct the problem, the obese individual must eat a high quality diet that avoids bad fuel (fructose) and which contains all the ‘additives’ (fibre and micronutrients) required to allow correct flux through metabolic pathways (fuel lines).