Most of What You Think About Weight Is Wrong…
I wanted to share some findings from current research – these were shared in Prevention Magazine…
The article discusses a long understood but poorly disseminated truth that weight isn’t a good indicator of health. I invite you to read the article (Click Here) – some key points with my comments:
- Jeffrey Hunger, Ph.D.: “The dominant message people get from government, health organizations, and the media is that weight and health are connected. But really, there is NO STRONG EVIDENCE to suggest that higher weight automatically leads to poorer health,” an assistant professor of psychology at Miami University of Ohio and a longtime weight-stigma researcher.
- Weight is not an accurate MEASURE of health: Typical health measurements are of: “cardiometabolical health,” a term that encompasses blood pressure; levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood glucose; and other measures of heart and arterial fitness. Researchers at UCLA and the University of Minnesota evaluated nearly two dozen studies (a meta analysis) and determined: “no clear relationship between weight loss and health outcomes“ Other studies repeat this conclusion and no recent studies show a relationship.
- Healthy BEHAVIORS are much more important: This includes both physical (activity and eating healthy foods) and mental health behaviors (pandemic levels of depression are at record levels). This doesn’t mean eat ice cream and potato chips because it makes you feel better, but having an overall healthy lifestyle is the goal rather than an “ideal” weight.
- You can be FAT and also FIT: Researchers (international) followed 43,000 participants across the weight spectrum and measures health measurements and fitness levels. Weight was not a significant measurement of fitness (based on treadmill fitness measurements) and those who were metabolically sound and also fit had the same mortality rates during the next decade regardless of their weight.
- Losing weight doesn’t always lead to health gains: The famous Diabetes Prevention Program showed that losing weight (with other therapies) helped prevent diabetes but other studies suggested exercise was more significant to these gains AND most studies show exercise is a much more significant component for health gains.
- Weight is WAY more complex than calories in, calories out: This is a long time saying that’s simply not true. For this I am going to quote directly from the article in Prevention:
“So many things go into the weight you are,” Himmelstein says. Genes, ethnicity, medicines you take, where you live, what your income is, and how much you sleep all play a role, even if most doctors focus only on calories. Weight is so complex that even longtime researchers don’t yet understand all the variables involved. People might be heavier because these days food is so easily available. Or maybe it’s the crazily larger portions restaurants serve compared with 35 years ago. Barbara Corkey, Ph.D., professor emeritus of medicine and biochemistry at Boston University School of Medicine and director of the Obesity Research Center, is intrigued by the notion that chemicals used in farming, additives in processed foods, and/or other toxins that make their way onto our plates may cause our bodies to erroneously release too much insulin, a hormone that makes us want to eat more. Corkey suggests that it may be not that obesity brings on problems like insulin resistance, as many doctors believe, but that unnaturally high insulin levels lead to obesity and insulin resistance.
- You can in fact be TOO THIN: Having a BMI below 23 (less than about 130 lbs for a 5′ 3″ woman) is linked to greater mortality than being a few pounds heavier (factoring out people who are sick).
- Health Care Providers are DANGEROUSLY BIASED: This is a BIG one. Lots of research shows that doctors do not care equally for patients who are overweight. In fact, many are suggesting that studies that show obesity as a factor in disease may actually be because doctors are not providing care to overweight people as readily or are expecting worse outcomes for these patients. This can also be a form of “Rosenthal effect” (“Pygmalion effect”) where if a doctor expects an overweight person to be lazy and/or in poor health they will cause that effect.
- A HEALTHY Diet works better than a “diet”: Most people who diet don’t keep the weight off. A European analysis of large-bodied women calculated the chances of their reaching a “normal” BMI as less than 1 in 100! 97 percent of dieters regain everything they lost and then some within three years. Good foods and good portions will make you feel better and again that’s the target.
I post this article because as a professional in training and physical activity, we work with students as young as 3 and as old as 93 and in all shapes and sizes. I believe that KarateBuilt Martial Arts is the best fitness on the planet because it meets all the requirements above (I guess other than eating more produce – you’ll have to do that on your own) AND you stick with it (unlike the gym) !
But, either way, I also want to combat the misperceptions – dangerous ones – that are still pervasive in society on weight. A large amount of stress, depression and – as you can see above – poor health is coming from these ideas. I hope you can get a healthier perspective from this info!
Ch. Master Greg Moody, Ph.D.
P.S. A lot of the studies in the article (you can look up the specific research in the articles) were done on women only but should apply more generally to men because the measurements of health are the same.
Founded in 1995 by Dr. Greg Moody, an 8th degree Black Belt and Chief Master Instructor, KarateBuilt Martial Arts and Karate lessons for pre-school children ages 3-6 and elementary age kids ages 7 and up are designed to develop the critical building blocks kids need – specialized for their age group – for school excellence and later success in life.
KarateBuilt Martial Arts Adult Karate training is a complete adult fitness and conditioning program for adults who want to lose weight, get (and stay in shape), or learn self-defense in a supportive environment.
Instructors can answer questions or be contacted 24 hours of the day, 7 days a week at 866-311-1032 for one of our nationwide locations. You can also visit our website at KarateBuilt.com.
About Dr. Greg Moody: Greg is an eighth-degree black belt and chief master instructor. He has a Ph.D. in Special Education from Arizona State University (along with a Master’s Degree in Counseling and a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering – he actually is a rocket scientist). He has been teaching martial arts for over 25 years and has owned eight martial arts schools in Arizona and California. Chief Master Moody is a motivational speaker and educator and teaches seminars in bullying, business, and martial arts training, around the world. See more at DrGregMoody.com.
The KarateBuilt Martial Arts Headquarters is in Cave Creek, Arizona at 29850 N. Tatum Blvd., Suite 105, Cave Creek AZ 85331. You can locate the Chief Instructor, Master Laura Sanborn there directly at (480) 575-8171. KarateBuilt Martial Arts serves Cave Creek, Carefree, Scottsdale, and Paradise Valley Arizona as well and Grand Rapids, MI.