Burning it off

The average American consumes about 50% more calories than that which is needed for optimal health. This would not be such a big problem if these calories were burnt off through daily exercise, but, at 600 calories per hour of running, the average American would have to run for 90 minutes a day to maintain a healthy weight. And let’s face it, very few Americans exercise for 90 minutes per week (let alone 90 minutes per day). That’s why 3 out of every 4 Americans will be overweight by 2020…

Fact: America (and the rest of the developed world) can blow as much money as they want on diet and weight-loss fads, but they will keep getting fatter until they correct their energy balance. It really is that simple.

8 thoughts on “Burning it off”

  1. Ugh! I so need this to put up on my refrigerator (or in my car for those post-work fast food cravings), for me it is even worse as I am only 120 pounds. So unfair, I can really pack away the food, but it has no where to go but around my waist, hips, thighs.. Oh being short sucks, for sure!

    1. Hehe… How about packing away some high volume, nutrient-dense foods? Those fill you up without giving you a calorie overdose (and while giving you a nice nutrient boost at the same time). And yes, they can also be truly delicious 🙂

  2. I don’t think the ‘energy balance’ idea is the whole story. There’s evidence that insulin is important too. And that’s even before considering the many illness and disabilities which affect body weight, directly or via medication.

    Having said that, I generally agree with what you say here. People in the rich world do overeat routinely and that is indeed why most obesity happens.

    I actually saw a lecture by Prof Steve O’Rahilly, who discovered most of the ‘fat genes’. He himself is fat but the lecture wasn’t about his personal story. He spoke of each ‘fat gene’ and told us (an audience of biologists) which chromosome it’s on. What struck me was that none of the ‘fat genes’ affected metabolic rate. They affect appetite and satiety. So if you have a genetic tendency to gain weight, that’s real, but what it means is that you feel more desire toe eat than other people do. So I have little sympathy. Nearly all of us can become obese, if we eat too much, and most of us can choose not to overeat.

    1. That’s a good summary, thanks. Yes, there are other factors too, but the primary reason why the entire world is getting fatter at a truly alarming rate is simply that the world as a whole is consuming more and more calories (while exercising less and less). I have the deepest sympathy for those who really have some genetic disorder, but the vast majority who are completely normal should stop looking for all sorts of excuses, take responsibility and start looking after their health.

  3. There is the question of insulin resistance (which I do not completely understand). Anybody here well informed about that?

    1. It depends what you mean by ‘well informed’. It’s not my specialist subject but I did work in an endocrinology lab for a while, so I’ve heard a lot about glucose tolerance, diabetes and so on. You might find the best sources of info by Googling, I think.

      1. I think what I need is somebody to explain it to me in really simple terms! I know, for example, that there is a connection between insulin resistance and diabetes. And that you can apparently eat yourself into insulin resistance and later into diabetes. But I do not understand how it really works. Maybe the understanding is not the important part, but the acceptance of the importance of eating healthy, especially when diabetes runs in your family, as in mine.

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