I don’t think Richard’s article excludes what you’ve mentioned. In fact, in one of Richard’s articles he mentioned a study where iron deposits found in the appetite center of brain may be causing people to be hungrier. This supports Calories In/Calories Out (CICO).
And, in fact, Don McClain’s research group from Wake Forrest found that to be true when rats were fed a high-iron diet. When rats were fed a high iron diet, their appetites increased .
While CICO is obviously very important, I’m not sure that means people need to go to the gym every day. Workout gyms only became popular in the US once people became overweight. Nobody needed them before that. Before gyms existed, people stayed thin by just walking ~10,000 steps per day and moving around a bit. Incidentally, sweating is one of the few ways to excrete excess iron from the body, which may explain why gyms are now popular in the US.
Gyms are not popular in France. Yet the French are very thin. They get their “exercise” by walking to and from work and by enjoying active social gatherings (dancing, football, etc.).
You may be surprised to hear this, but according to the FAO, on average we only eat about 220 calories more than the French do.
Food consumption refers to the amount of food available for human consumption as estimated by the FAO Food Balance…en.wikipedia.org
If the French don’t go to gyms, and they rarely break a sweat, but we only consume 6% more calories than they do, does it make sense that France should be one of the thinnest countries in the world while the US is one of the most obese?
No, it does not make sense, and no one can explain it. No one even tries to muster a good explanation.
That is, unless of course, you look closely at the ingredients and notice that we consume fortified foods while they do not.