Filed By Sean Martin | June 09, 2010 6:00 PM | comments
Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: banner ads, cartoon strip, dieting, Doc and Raider, exercise, gay cartoon, secrets revealed, weight loss, weight loss campaigns
Banner ads.... Feh. Who says "Ya gotta love 'em"???
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If it were that simple, the statistics on long-term weight loss success would not be so incredibly dismal.
Millions of years of pre-Weight-Watchers-Point-System evolution have conspired to avoid the possibility of animals starving to death by putting in multiply redundant systems to maintain your particular weight status quo.
See Gina Kolata's excellent book Rethinking Thin for an overview of the research.
The stats on long-term weight loss are so dismal because no one sticks to the program. Yes, it *is* that simple. Everyone wants a magic bullet, a quick fix, an instant solution... when this is one of those things when KISS genuinely applies: if you eat less than your body requires, your body will burn off what it has stored. It's not that complicated, honest.
Yes, I'm familiar with Kolata's book. By and large, it's a crutch and an enabler. It's basically saying, "Oh, you have no power over this, you poor thing." Please. We have become a nation of fat people, and we dont want to deal with it honestly: it's *someone else's* fault, not our own. I can appreciate that there are different body structures out there but I can also see that almost everything we eat these days is processed to the point of exhaustion -- and when that's your diet, you can expect to pack it on. To just wish it all away as "sorry, out of my hands/it's in my genes/it's evolution"... well, sorry, but no. Travel outside the US for a while and see how other developed countries have somehow mysteriously managed to escape this (and, interestingly enough, the ones that have started to adopt US diets are seeing an upsurge in obesity they hadnt seen in two decades) -- then comes back and tell me why. Then I might take Ms. Kolata's work seriously. Until then, she might as well be a shill for the food manufacturing industry.
Yes, and no. Yes, if you eat less and exercise more, you will be healthier. You will not necessarily weigh less. More exercise will build more muscle, which any doctor or nutritionist will tell you weighs more than fat.
I have a genetic metabolic condition that pre-disposes me to store more fat than most people. I'm in my 30s, 6'1, and weigh close to 300 pounds. I don't look fat, but I do look "overweight", despite eating less and exercising more.
My fat % is actually quite low (under 7%), but even with that I have a 46" chest and a 42" waist. I also have size 14 feet, a 20" neck, and can palm a basketball without thinking about it. My body is large, I am large, I do not fit well in airplane seats. No amount of exercise will change this. If I could magically get to 0% body fat, I'd still weight over 250 and have a 40" waist.
All that said, when people see me, they assume I could lose about 20 pounds, despite the fact that I work out 4x a week and eat well to avoid slipping farther toward needing to take insulin. My doctor says I'm in great health, and that the normal rules don't apply to me, but that doesn't stop people from seeing me as overweight.
So while most of the overweight people in the US may just be fat from their addiction to ho-hos and the TV remote, not everyone is. Some peoples bodies are pre-disposed to being a certain size, no matter how hard they try to change it.
For someone that doesn't want to be judged based on whom they choose to love, it seems a bit hypocritical to me to judge others for what their body looks like.
Woody, dont misunderstand, I know what you're saying. The gym I work out at has a lot of guys like you -- and me, for that matter, because I'm 5-9 and weigh in at 200, with a 33" waist... which some people consider big. Try as I might, I'll never see 160 again, but I can deal with it.
But folks like you and me are not who I'm talking about. The folks I'm talking about are the ones who deal with depression with a half gallon of Ben and Jerry's followed by a family-size bag of potato chips and a run to McDonalds to finish it all off.... and who then claim their DNA forces them to do this. That's hogwash, sorry. That's just lack of willpower, pure and simple, and people like Kolata and the folks behind these somewhat cruel banner ads are making a fortune off their misery.
Diets do not work. One should simply change the way they eat.
In addition, the "established" desirable weight numbers really are not realistic.
Welcome back! Loved this one. :)
At least all your fans can stop e-mailing and asking where they're "two favorite gay guys" went now!
I understand the comments above, but people can be thinner. Obesity has risen in the US over the past few decades and it's not because Americans are changing genetically.
On the other hand, it's not because Americans are getting lazier in general (if anything, we're working longer hours at multiple part time jobs so we're less lazy than before). It's not because we're too stupid to figure out how to lose weight.
The reasons are complicated and this is one of those problems that no one really wants to solve. It would involve an end to cheap, processed food (I'm willing to ban, who's with me?), getting people back into the kitchen and out of the McDonald's, and less driving (which means houses closer to stuff you need but also less oil consumption). It would involve a realization that market forces don't always produce the best results, that the rich have been poisoning people in order to maintain their profit margins, and that our way of life is fundamentally unsustainable.