Much of what we eat today - grains, legumes, starches, processed foods - our body hasn't genetically adapted to yet. We've had these foods for no more than the past 10,000 years when agriculture was invented, yet Homo Sapiens have existed for the past 200,000 years, and our various Homo X and primate ancestors for several million years before that. Obese people have a worse reaction to these foods, but no one is completely unaffected by them.
Obesity 'cures' like in the OP are just the insanity that results from trying to hack solutions to a problem without fully understanding it.
10,000 years is about 400-500 generations, which sounds like quite many to my genetically untrained eyes. Since the human population boom has occurred during those 10k years and more or less wholly thanks to agriculture, pretty much everyone alive now is a descendant of people who did much better on that diet than they had been doing on previous foods.
Maybe someone who knows genetics could share an opinion on this: aren't 400-500 generations enough to filter out genes incompatible with agricultural food from the gene pool?
I'll easily buy the idea that we eat way too many refined carbohydrates and that has an ill effect on our health. Why harp on the "we're not evolved to eat grains!", if this were definitively proven to be false would paleo dieters jump back to eating bagels? I doubt it. This seems more to be the case of people taking up an extreme position and then cliaming "science!"
Eat more fruits and veggies, and less refined grains? sounds great. "Science" tells us to stop eating all wheat products! Sounds more like fanaticism.
You're right that it's probably unneccessary to even mention that aspect, the salient point is to avoid foods that spike your glucose, and as a result your insulin. It just so happens that anthropologists realized that once you eliminate those foods from your diet, what you're left with is the exact diet of paleolithic era man.
>Science" tells us to stop eating all wheat products! Sounds more like fanaticism.
Read the Intro and first chapter of Arthur De Vany's book, The New Evolution Diet. It explains the science.
That being said, a "paleo" diet is a great way to lose weight and maintain a strong and healthy body. It is just not a very good explanation for modern obesity.
And it won't, because natural selection isn't working anymore. I'm not saying that it's good or bad, though, just pointing it out.
The impermanence of the condition seems to make boost its potential effects. Simply go in for a few treatments until you're down to your target weight, and if you happen to gain it back in a few months or years, just go in again...
This also gives credence to idea that obesity is a psychological malady, like depression or schizophrenia. It is certainly as difficult to treat.
I remember reading an article about a doctor irradiating children's thyroids. I think the goal was to shrink the thyroid, believing that it hindered speech acquisition. Turns out, all it did was raise the rates of thyroid cancer to something near 100% in the treated children.
linked the practice to doctors' misunderstanding of the cause of SIDS (crib death). It's interesting to learn where they came up with that misunderstanding.
Edit: In this case, they were actually irradiating the thymus gland.
I've often thought that extreme obesity (let's say over 180 kg or about 400 lbs) could be an eating disorder. But when I've asked eating disorder experts they say that the research doesn't support that. Certainly there are psychiatric / psychological aspects (depression / low self esteem / etc) to extreme obesity.
And I guess people would say that if there's a brain defect to cause it then it's a neurological disease, not psychological.
The more we learn about the brain, the blurrier that line becomes.
It bothers me that they don't state whether or not the calories were the same. While I suspect the high fat diet was higher in calories, it bothers me that people vilify fat like this.
It fits well into the big picture - stress or stressful environment cause "bad" gene expressions in hypothalamus -> hormone imbalance -> metabolism lowered -> fat storage.
Perhaps the effect of our environment and wellbeing on our bodyweight is greater than one would have thought.
I understand the thyroid issues for some people, but most would rather take the easy "magic pill" way out. You gain nothing from weight loss plans like that. Losing weight and keeping it off is a lifestyle change. Most people aren't willing to commit to it.
It would be a silver bullet if people could do it. The fact that most people cannot do it shows it's not a silver bullet.
People know a bunch of stuff is bad for them. They may only know the abstract ('this is bad') and not the concrete ('this will raise my risk of $DISEASE by X% which means I have a 1 in Y chance of dying from $DISEASE before the age of 75') - but more information doesn't seem to make any difference.
A method to help people change their behaviour would be a significant advance.
 smoking; drinking to excess; drinking and driving; certain drug use; etc etc.