"Eat less, exercise more". Harumph. That doesn't work. I know it doesn't work because we've been carpet bombed by that advice for decades and we're still seeing obesity stats climb. There must be elusive factors that cause weight gain. I thought I addressed this in my previous post, but a study from Harvard published in the New England Journal of Medicine (1) shows that I'm wrong.
The study involving over 120,000 U.S. men and woman followed over 20 years has made statistical correlations with weight gain/ weigh loss and specific foods and activities.
Every four years data on the study subjects was collected. On average subjects gained 3.35 lbs over each four year study period.
Here are some of the findings
An hour of TV watching = .31 pound weight gain. Next time I watch TV I'm going to sit on a scale. Won't it be cool to watch my .31 pound weight gain live? I'll do this while watching The Biggest Loser.
The strongest weight gain was associated with eating potato chips; a 1.69 lb weight gain. OMG! Say it ain't so.
If you ate veggies you would lose 0.22 lbs. Exercise caused a 1.76 lb decrease in weight. Wow, that is totally new. Life changer.
The media response to the study (google it); "Eat less, exercise more" is overly simplistic advice, because this study shows very discrete correlations with specific foods associated with weight loss or gain.
Yesterday was Bike to Work Day here in Winnipeg. I like it when groups claim days to promote their cause. Seems to be a reasonably effective way to garner attention for your cause.
Appropriately this study was released on international moron day, which appears to have been extended due to popularity. The worlds most foremost morons get their day in the sun to demonstrate their proclivity for obtuse self contradiction.
Eating less and exercising more doesn't work, but avoiding eating bags of potato chips, sitting on your butt watching TV for hours, while also including regular exercise and consumption of veggies will cause weight loss, according to this study.
Stepping on the gas pedal with your foot does not make your car go, but depressing the gas pedal with your foot will. See how impressively sophisticated that differentiation is? It's like I just heard a crowd of people sigh in unison, "Huuuuu???.. AAAAhhhh!" Or maybe it was a, "waaa?.. D'oh!"
Only alumni from Alpha Moron Kappa have the capacity to educate the rest of us unwashed heathens.
I'm a little worked up over this. Maybe I should tone it down a little. After all how does being facetious help? Sometimes I feel like my head is going to implode when I hear this kind of drivel regarding healthy living. The targeted axiom here, "eat less, exercise more" is just that, an axiom. It's a broad generalization meant to capture the gist of how weight loss works. "Calories in, calories out" is another.
Nobody intended these one-liners to embody the entire complexity of how to exercise and what specific foods are more or less healthy, so attacking these helpful reminders for their lack of specificity makes no sense. Further, trying to establish that eating less and exercising more are not significant parts of successful weight loss is, well, moronic.
The term "don't drink and drive" isn't meant to teach someone how to steer and brake to avoid collisions, or any specifics of how to drive or how not to get drunk, it's a one-liner that conveys a succinct message that's easy to drive home. That's why we make axioms. Easy to get a simple and logical message across. It's not an owners manual.
Let's heed the Harvard researchers advice: "Eat less and exercise more" doesn't work, but "eating less and exercising more" does work.
(1) Changes in Diet and Lifestyle and Long-Term Weight Gain in Women and Men — NEJM