Obesity Is Not Killing Us ...

Discussion in 'Gator Country Health and Fitness' started by Dreamliner, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. fbgator27
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    fbgator27 Member

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    Actually, I am trying to say quite the opposite. I am saying you should not be so dogmatic about the weight issue. People set goals for different reasons. It is your job to listen to the client and work with them to figure out what the reasons for losing weight are. Don't just tell them wanting to lose weight is the root of all social evil. You should educate them and direct them on the best strategy for achieving their goal. This may or may not involve weight loss.

    The article is a meta analysis of all BMI to mortality studies performed around the world. So its pretty inclusive of what you are saying about obesity. Now, of course the evidence can be biased by the researchers, but I was simply referencing the article because you did. They said low level BMI obesity didn't lower or raise mortality but being OVERWEIGHT lowered mortality. Again these types of study basically summarize the results of every BMI-mortality study ever done. My point is not that we should encourage people to lose weight to live longer. I am saying we are arguing with the wrong tools. Our measure of obesity is not valid to determine mortality, but we shouldn't accept that as our final answer on the subject.
  2. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    I knew that's what you were saying, in effect, how dare I insinuate that people might have other than entirely sensible reasons to lose weight.

    But I disagree that "it is my job" to comply with any goals my clients might wish to pursue. If your clients wished to start smoking, would you be obliged to help them get started ?

    And you're misreading the studies. Overweight live longer than normal weight. Grade I obese and normal weight no difference (and the Canadian study shows Grade 1 and Grade II no difference). Only the underweight and the fattest of the fat die sooner.

    Now, if you want to quibble about BMI as a diagnostic, I think it's silly myself. But obesity researchers can't have it both ways. They can't use BMI to tell us that we're getting fatter, and then when they find that the fatter we get, the longer we live, then turn on their primary diagnostic.

    Truthfully, the fattest of the fat are getting heavier, but there is very little change in weight for the rest. But the relentless quest to lose weight continues unabated, even though it doesn't work. So, why am I duty-bound to help my clients do something they cannot do ?
  3. fbgator27
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    fbgator27 Member

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    Actually this is exactly what I said in my post just worded differently.


    I was pointing out that you said in your original argument that obesity was helping people to live longer. When in fact the studies say there was no difference in normal weight and "slightly obese".

    Yes, you can embellish my point on helping someone obtain their goals. Obviously, most of us on here who care enough to have a discussion about this are trying to help people in positive ways. You're not obligated to help any one you don't want to, and I have turned away people and told them I can't help. But any time someone tells me something is an absolute I will question it. It doesn't matter if you tell me the cure to all my ills is losing weight or that losing weight doesn't work in any situation. I see that as a huge problem in the fitness industry. People like to work in absolutes. You can take either side of the argument but it does no good for the individual in front of you to be close minded.
  4. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    All of which would be germaine if I were close-minded. But I am only close-minded if, by the term, you mean someone who is now unwilling to help someone go on a weight-loss diet.

    Other professionals are of course free to do that if they wish. But I'd like to see them get a signed waiver in the future. Prior to my sinus surgery I was required to sign a waiver acknowledging a slight risk of failure and a very slight risk of blindness.

    A weight-loss waiver might incorporate extremely high probability of recidivism, high probably that the client will eventually wind up heavier than ever, and possible risks of hypertension, diabetes, eating disorders and increased mortality, etc. Certainly we harp on risks related to exercise, why not weight-loss ?

    For professionals who are willing to put their clients on a diet, this could be used as an educational tool as well.
  5. fbgator27
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    fbgator27 Member

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    I am mostly talking about the industry in general with my last rant. People are so quick to subscribe to the latest and greatest until it is all of the sudden demonized. As a society move en masse towards these "studies" and don't take time to analyze what they are actually saying. Close minded in the fact that you can't read one article based on measures that we both agree don't mean anything and call it fact. It does no good for us to look at it so black and white and not continue to question.

    Sure people can relapse and it is a great idea to give informed consent to your clients on everything you do. Its only professional. Sure there are risks; thats why they come to a professional. To limit risk factors.
  6. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    I'm not entirely clear anymore on whether we have a basis for disagreement. We seem to agree that BMI-based studies should be viewed advisably. We seem to agree that 'obesity is killing us' is to be taken advisably. And we seem to agree that we, as helping professionals, are not, nonetheless, obliged to enable every goal.
  7. fbgator27
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    fbgator27 Member

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    I think we do agree philosophically. What compelled me to post was my view that we tend to sensationalize every piece of research that is reported on face value. Really we can summarize data to sound good for either side of the argument. True, research is more accessible than ever. With that we rely on others to interpret it for us which can be misleading.
  8. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    I understand what you're saying. Although I'm inclined to believe that these particular studies should serve as a shovel to the head of anyone who's contributing to what I've come to regard as a manufactured moral panic. I do believe the research goes well beyond "you can use them to say that obesity is okay or you can use them to say that obesity is bad."
  9. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    Continuing my stream of thought, it is my growing conviction that adiposity is largely heritable and therefore it is cruel to engender hopes in our clients that they can change their shape, to any significant degree, *long-term.*

    It's a going joke that the notion that people are obese, due to lack of willpower, is a theory held predominantly by lean people.

    But lean people might be more sympathetic, to the lot of obese people, were they to reflect on the fact that it is probably at least as hard for them to maintain appreciable weight-gain as it is for the obese person to maintain appreciable weight-loss.

    Take me, for example. I'm currently about 6-0 145. My bodyweight has not varied more than 3-5 pounds, absent intervention, for years. Owing to pressures to get bigger and more muscular, I have experimented, over the years, with force-feeding.

    I've found that I can increase bodyweight by 5-10 pounds, fairly easily, through force-feeding. Never mind, for the moment, that it all seems to go around my waist. Beyond those relatively few pounds, my appetite begins to shut down and I literally become sick of food.

    On the other end, I can also lose 3-5 pounds, in relatively short order, by eating less and moving more. Much beyond that and, yep, I become ravenously hungry and literally think about food all the time.

    Ironically, at that point, my body is behaving precisely like that of an obese person. The obese person exhibits the attributes of a starving person!
  10. patience75
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    patience75 Premium Member

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    Vitals: I am 37 just under 6'3" and I weigh 330lbs. 6 months ago at my annual check up my cholesterol (sp?) was 164. BP was 114/72. My Dr said I have the bloodwork of a 20 year old. With that being said I hate being overweight. My wife is 5'4" about 125 and runs half marathons. Needless to say she hates me being overweight and hates it even more when I tell her I am a medical marvel. I have lost 60lbs+ twice over the last 2 years and both times put it back on. Even though my bloodwork looks good I am concerned about my health. I am currently on the diet plan again and mainly because I want to be active with my kids and I don't want my legs, back, and feet hurt everytime I want to do something. Even at this weight I can run 2 miles, rather slow though. I don't like being winded anytime I walk stairs or do anything with the kids.

    Being a former Marine I get a lot of jabs from people for once being a physical specimen to now being a disgusting fat body.
  11. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    Kudos for aiming to be more active. Regardless the effect on bodyweight, almost everyone can and probably should move more than they do. And since you're not crazy about being winded (not many are), do you also incorporate some walking ?

    Bear in mind that walking burns almost as many calories as jogging, and most people can handle a lot more walking than jogging. For one thing, it is almost certainly easier on the joints. And of course you could swim as well. I can swim fine myself. But skinny as I am I have virtually no buoyancy. I sink like a rock. This should be no problem for you.

    Also, since you say your bloodwork is good, but that you're concerned about your health, are both parents still living ? And if so, how is there health ? In other words, since your weight doesn't appear to have dragged down your health markers, is there anything you've observed in your parents that would cause you to be concerned about your own health ?
  12. patience75
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    patience75 Premium Member

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    Both parents are 58 and no health issues. One grandmother is 79 and one is 82. One I perfectly fine the other is on heart meds but fine... My grandfather had a stroke and died at 82... I do a walk/jog combo... Just trying to at less more regularly...
  13. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you've got pretty good prospects ahead of you irrespective of your weight. And the fact you've lost a bunch of weight, and gained it back both times, simply serves to underscore what I'm talking about. I doubt that it's because you "lost weight in the wrong way."

    Some would call this giving up. I call it wising up.

    Eat mindfully, but don't deprive yourself. Stay active. You might lose a smaller amount of weight and hold, but you might not. In any case, don't beat yourself up. If you beat yourself up about your weight, THAT might effect your health.
  14. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    I'm in LA right now, and although people out here are markedly more fashion conscious than in, say, Orlando, people out here are not markedly different in terms of shapes and sizes.

    Just thought it was interesting.

    BTW, LA is STILL gaga over Pilates. Seems like there's a Pilates studio on every block.
  15. MeyerIsBack
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    This may have been mentioned but I think we are living longer despite of being fatter. Also, quality of life is a related and important discussion.
  16. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    Indeed, we may be living longer BECAUSE WE ARE FATTER. Among non-smokers, aged 29-59, mortality rates for overweight and obese are 66% and 77% of that for normal weight!

    Quality of life ? If by that you mean the ability to move around and perform daily functions, active life expectancy is growing faster than life expectancy. So, in a sense, not only are we living longer, but we are healthier than ever.
  17. ATL_Gator
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    ATL_Gator Well-Known Member

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    Do not discount advancing medical technology.
  18. Dreamliner
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    Dreamliner Well-Known Member

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    This is very true. But the impression persists that we're only living longer because they've got us hooked up to life support machines.

    Also, it is those same technologies that are enabling people in our peer countries to live longer.

    Also, bear in mind that we're living long enough to contract more and more of the diseases that are associated with aging.
  19. ATL_Gator
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    That last line is KEY...

    And it's not just the hooking up to machines that is getting better and getting us to live longer. Technology advances the long term treatments when they are needed. Not only do the treatments get better, they are also getting easier. More complicated plans are more likely to have patients stop/deviate from the treatment. Easier plans means following the plan better for longer periods of time, which lead to presumably longer life with the condition.

    Detection technology is getting better, so we can find problems and address them earlier. With anything.. Early detection is KEY to effective treatment.
  20. MeyerIsBack
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    MeyerIsBack Premium Member

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    Clearly not my point. I would argue medicine is advancing and keeping people alive longer. Correlation does not prove causation.

    So you are saying that with all other things being equal you believe a person that is 20, 50, or 100 pounds overweight has an equal quality of life to a person that is a healthy weight?

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