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(TreeHugger)   Somehow in recent years Americans have managed to become both fitter and fatter   (treehugger.com ) divider line
    More: Strange, Americans, United States  
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2890 clicks; posted to Main » on 18 Jan 2014 at 8:35 AM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



45 Comments     (+0 »)
 
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2014-01-18 08:43:24 AM  
Of course. Nowadays being merely "obese" instead of morbidly obese is considered the height of fitness.
 
2014-01-18 08:50:22 AM  
Probably because we've sort of all adopted the myth that exercise is a way to lose weight, which isn't technically an outright lie but sort of overstates the case to the point that it might as well be.

Not that exercise isn't a good idea, mainly because heart disease is still the number 1 cause of death in the first world, but it doesn't even have a tiny fraction of the impact on weight (and weight-related diseases) that diet regulation does.

tl;dr version: The only real way to lose weight is eating less.
 
2014-01-18 08:51:50 AM  
When I was in the military I had a staff sergeant who needed to lose more than a few pounds. I was in my early '20s and he was almost 40, but he could run twice as far as me.
 
2014-01-18 09:09:30 AM  

leevis: When I was in the military I had a staff sergeant who needed to lose more than a few pounds. I was in my early '20s and he was almost 40, but he could run twice as far as me.


I've been out of the Air Force 20 years but that certainly applies there. Everybody logs lots of gym time while PT testing has been changed considerably (I know, it's AF, but for them it's different).

Yet there are more overweight people then ever. One difference just might be that during my time in the 1980s, they would kick your ass out for being fat. With two wars and "no problem recruiting" they somehow stopped doing that.
 
2014-01-18 09:10:33 AM  
It's always about diet. A Snickers Bar is 250 calories. That's about the same as a half hour jog or an hour medium paced bike ride. So you can actually be doing a large amount of exercise and gain weight if it causes you to eat even a moderate amount more.
 
2014-01-18 09:11:27 AM  
That's why the standard way of loosing weight is "diet AND exercise". 150 minutes of walking 75 minutes of vigorous activity isn't anywhere close to enough if you have that extra slice of cake.

The maths:
150 lb person, walking 2.5 mph on a slight grade for 150 minutes burns 583 calories
150 lb person, running 8 mph (being generous) on a slight grade for 75 minutes burns 1235 calories.

Together, "sufficient exercise" burns 1,818 calories, a week. That's right at half a pound of weight loss per week. This assumes absolutely no additional eating above your TDEE before the exercise. No extra eating because your hungry because of all the cardio, no protein shakes, nothing.

To lose weight, you can diet or exercise, but it's going to be a long, slow, and not terribly successful route. It's both, together.
 
2014-01-18 09:18:50 AM  
Two words, firm flab.
 
2014-01-18 09:20:57 AM  

Jim_Callahan: Probably because we've sort of all adopted the myth that exercise is a way to lose weight, which isn't technically an outright lie but sort of overstates the case to the point that it might as well be.

Not that exercise isn't a good idea, mainly because heart disease is still the number 1 cause of death in the first world, but it doesn't even have a tiny fraction of the impact on weight (and weight-related diseases) that diet regulation does.

tl;dr version: The only real way to lose weight is eating less.


Um not entirely correct... I wouldn't go and tell people to eat less per se, I would tell them to eat right.

Cut back on fat to 20%, 0 sugar and 0 salt if you can handle it. Eating less food on a diet totally of junk food isn't good and would probably still be way over the calories needed to lose weight and on that diet you could only eat like 1 meal a day.

The fact is you can't out exercise your diet.

/never understood the person ordering a fatty cheeseburger or pizza with everything and then proceed to order a diet soda
 
2014-01-18 09:22:16 AM  
Moderation is not a concept that is embraced on my home planet.
 
2014-01-18 09:36:46 AM  
1nsanilicious:

Cut back on fat to 20%, 0 sugar and 0 salt if you can handle it.

Bullshiat. Both salt and sugar are vital to the functioning of the human body, and salt doesn't negatively affect you unless you already have health issues. How the hell are you going to cut out sugar anyway? It's in EVERYTHING just about. Vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy, meats, all of those have sugars. Sugar is an important source of energy.

Also, fat is extremely important in signalling the brain you're full, and it's always a bad thing. Just eat the good types of fat as much as you can.

Dieting is a torture plan, extreme diets are never good or successful long term. The key is moderation, moderation, moderation! Follow the food pyramid.
 
2014-01-18 09:38:28 AM  
Err, dieting should not be a torture plan. I should proofread.
 
2014-01-18 09:49:58 AM  
Is this another one of those paradoxical trend splits that could be resolved by letting the South secede?
 
2014-01-18 09:56:06 AM  
dauntlessmedia.net
'Well then, I'm happy and sad for you.'
 
2014-01-18 09:57:26 AM  
Because muscle mass, girlie-man.
 
2014-01-18 10:03:14 AM  

malfist: To lose weight, you can diet or exercise, but it's going to be a long, slow, and not terribly successful route. It's both, together.


Problem is, diet can be started immediately by anyone.  But for the lazy, exercise is going to take time to build up muscle and stamina to be effective unless you go full biggest loser quit your normal life rehab style, and for the injured and chronically in pain it can be incredibly difficult to do at all.
 
2014-01-18 10:04:52 AM  
In the US, I wonder what the correlation between people who are well-off financially and people who are "fit" is?? Easier to take care of yourself when you have the means and the time to do so. Of course, there will be people who can do both, but I would imagine these people are not in the majority.

Basically, this is evolution at work, right before our eyes.
 
2014-01-18 10:07:17 AM  
There's a trick to that
Tell yourself: "It's okay to be hungry,"
Hey, I can fit into airline seats again!
 
2014-01-18 10:12:28 AM  

Kellner21: In the US, I wonder what the correlation between people who are well-off financially and people who are "fit" is?? Easier to take care of yourself when you have the means and the time to do so. Of course, there will be people who can do both, but I would imagine these people are not in the majority.

Basically, this is evolution at work, right before our eyes.


I'm sure there is.  Stress and standing around doing nothing (ie burger flipper) can both sap a person's energy without providing much calorie burn above sitting on your ass.
 
2014-01-18 10:13:17 AM  
Maybe fitness and weight loss are less related than so called "experts" think.

Perhaps lack of fitness is not why Americans are so fat?
 
2014-01-18 10:15:19 AM  
We've all seen them: people that go to the gym and "work out for an hour a day every day". They put the Stairmaster on the lowest setting, *barely* move their legs (and certainly don't work up a sweat or increase their heart rate), and then "reward" themselves by buying a large "healthy" smoothie loaded with fruit juice and other sugars.

Yeah... really strange why they don't lose weight with all that "exercise".
 
2014-01-18 10:22:43 AM  
The simplest answer is that the fitter people and the fatter people aren't the same people.
 
2014-01-18 10:25:54 AM  
If people are exercising more, as they claim to be

I think I've found the explanation for this paradox. Of course, if it's an actual phenomenon then #WalMartFights should be epic.
 
2014-01-18 10:28:28 AM  
I think the answer to this study is easy.  Part of the population is getting healthier, dieting and exercising, and part of the country is eating more and getting fatter.  Therefore the average doesn't change all that much.

Five years ago, I was at 238 pounds, I cut out fast food/delivery pizza and lost 10 pounds without any effort whatsoever then leveled off at 228 for a bit.  I then swapped out my standard carbs to whole grains, and watched the overall portion control, and lost another 10 pounds without exercising, I stuck at 218 pounds for a bit.  Last year, I began hiking, and biking every other day, and dropped to 200 pounds.  I could stand to lose another 20 pounds, but I'm not going to worry about it, as long as I feel active and healthy.  Two weeks ago, I started with weights because it's too dangerous to bike in the winter, we'll see how that goes.

TLDR version.  Just do something, diet and/or exercise, you'll see some results and feel better.  Once you're feeling better, add in something else.
 
2014-01-18 10:29:30 AM  

Kellner21: In the US, I wonder what the correlation between people who are well-off financially and people who are "fit" is?? Easier to take care of yourself when you have the means and the time to do so. Of course, there will be people who can do both, but I would imagine these people are not in the majority.

Basically, this is evolution at work, right before our eyes.


As a person with serious back problems, the Medical establishment will not allow anybody to get well. The cost is prohibitive. That's why mandatory enrollment isn't gonna solve their problems. Like most insurances, The moment every body is making payments, the price of service and medications will sky-rocket as they can then charge whatever they like...you'll have to pay, by law.

/Fix the problem...don't pad the account
 
2014-01-18 10:31:20 AM  

1nsanilicious: Jim_Callahan: Probably because we've sort of all adopted the myth that exercise is a way to lose weight, which isn't technically an outright lie but sort of overstates the case to the point that it might as well be.

Not that exercise isn't a good idea, mainly because heart disease is still the number 1 cause of death in the first world, but it doesn't even have a tiny fraction of the impact on weight (and weight-related diseases) that diet regulation does.

tl;dr version: The only real way to lose weight is eating less.

Um not entirely correct... I wouldn't go and tell people to eat less per se, I would tell them to eat right.

Cut back on fat to 20%, 0 sugar and 0 salt if you can handle it. Eating less food on a diet totally of junk food isn't good and would probably still be way over the calories needed to lose weight and on that diet you could only eat like 1 meal a day.

The fact is you can't out exercise your diet.

/never understood the person ordering a fatty cheeseburger or pizza with everything and then proceed to order a diet soda


Because I prefer diet soda. Why is this so tough to understand?
 
2014-01-18 10:42:29 AM  

grimnir: The simplest answer is that the fitter people and the fatter people aren't the same people.


This seems like a succinct (and correct) explanation.
 
2014-01-18 11:07:48 AM  
More exercise does not necessarily equate to "fitter."  Like someone else said if you keep eating tons of crap then all the exercise in the world won't make you fit.  The equation is two sided: calories in and calories out are involved.  Exercising helps on the calories out side but does nothing for the intake side of things.
 
2014-01-18 11:11:54 AM  

bbcard1: Moderation is not a concept that is embraced on my home planet.


I think Americans have cornered the market in doing everything in excess. Half of us are obese--but the other half takes an entire GNC Store's worth of supplements every day, then goes to the gym. And now we're exporting the idea all over the world. Yay us.
 
2014-01-18 11:13:01 AM  

Mikeyworld: Kellner21: In the US, I wonder what the correlation between people who are well-off financially and people who are "fit" is?? Easier to take care of yourself when you have the means and the time to do so. Of course, there will be people who can do both, but I would imagine these people are not in the majority.

Basically, this is evolution at work, right before our eyes.

As a person with serious back problems, the Medical establishment will not allow anybody to get well. The cost is prohibitive. That's why mandatory enrollment isn't gonna solve their problems. Like most insurances, The moment every body is making payments, the price of service and medications will sky-rocket as they can then charge whatever they like...you'll have to pay, by law.

/Fix the problem...don't pad the account


Current society will never allow this to happen. The procurement of wealth is the most important thing. Government is nothing but the rich helping the rich at the expense of others, and we keep allowing these people to run things for us. Unfortunately, things will most likely never change, at least in the foreseeable future. There really needs to be some kind of revolution or uprising. Sadly, most people are too enamored with which celebrity has gained 5 pounds to help fix things.

How people cannot be outraged by things like this is beyond me.
 
2014-01-18 11:21:14 AM  
When I was in the best shape of my life, I'd have donuts for breakfast and KFC for lunch. Every weekday. For reference, my resting heartrate was in the 20s.
 
2014-01-18 11:24:19 AM  

Dear Jerk: When I was in the best shape of my life, I'd have donuts for breakfast and KFC for lunch. Every weekday. For reference, my resting heartrate was in the 20s.


Something tells me you either worked out a lot or had/still have a physically demanding job enabling you to burn excess calories, and did not accomplish that with an X-box achievement.
 
2014-01-18 11:32:05 AM  
Yep. Hard workouts. When I stopped I gained 50 pounds.
 
2014-01-18 11:35:26 AM  

Dear Jerk: Yep. Hard workouts. When I stopped I gained 50 pounds.


Ah.  And why'd ya stop?

This is cool talking to you because it's like..personalized...somehow, it's the dangest thing.
 
2014-01-18 11:48:31 AM  

Jim_Callahan: Probably because we've sort of all adopted the myth that exercise is a way to lose weight, which isn't technically an outright lie but sort of overstates the case to the point that it might as well be.

Not that exercise isn't a good idea, mainly because heart disease is still the number 1 cause of death in the first world, but it doesn't even have a tiny fraction of the impact on weight (and weight-related diseases) that diet regulation does.

tl;dr version: The only real way to lose weight is eating less.


Came here to say this.  Exercise is important but the real culprit in the obesity epidemic is food.  First and foremost, we eat too much.  Secondly, we eat crap.  No amount of exercise is going to overcome those three donuts for breakfast, the Big Mac extra value meal for lunch, the two helpings of meat lasagne for dinner and that half a bag of chips you eat in front of the TV every night.
 
2014-01-18 12:17:59 PM  

walktoanarcade: Dear Jerk: Yep. Hard workouts. When I stopped I gained 50 pounds.

Ah.  And why'd ya stop?


Just other pressing matters in my life caused me to drop competition, and then motivation for maintaining that shape goes away.
 
2014-01-18 12:34:37 PM  

Dear Jerk: When I was in the best shape of my life, I'd have donuts for breakfast and KFC for lunch. Every weekday. For reference, my resting heartrate was in the 20s.


So you were hibernating when you weren't exercising?
 
2014-01-18 01:01:28 PM  
We need the fat ones to balance out all the skinny ones.
 
2014-01-18 01:28:07 PM  
Back before I became a fatass myself after an orthopedic injury the only thing that disgusted me more than a disgusting fatbody was a skinny-fat weakling that was healthy weight only because they didnt eat but in worse shape than most fatties. If you are not like morbidly obese overweight but lack the upperbody strength to do one farking chin up you deserve to be made fun of just as much as fatties.
 
2014-01-18 01:59:33 PM  

Ima4nic8or: More exercise does not necessarily equate to "fitter."  Like someone else said if you keep eating tons of crap then all the exercise in the world won't make you fit.  The equation is two sided: calories in and calories out real calories instead of overprocessed shiat your body isn't designed to digest are involved.  Exercising helps on the calories out side but does nothing for the intake side of things.


FTFY.

/I can eat like a horse and drop weight, and eat nearly nothing and gain. It depends on the type of calorie, not the amount.
 
2014-01-18 02:26:26 PM  
I eat as much crap as I can; as an IT tech I spent a lot of time sitting on my duff driving between sites; I don't do any structured exercising, though I do have two little boys to play with. The results can be seen PIP.
 
2014-01-18 02:28:15 PM  
I can believe it, some athletes tend to be large but can still whoop people up, the first person that comes to mind is potential Hall-of-Famer Jerome Bettis:
steelersnstuff.com
Had a bit of a gut but could still run people over when he had the ball.
 
2014-01-18 02:35:39 PM  

grimnir: The simplest answer is that the fitter people and the fatter people aren't the same people.


Came here to post this, but I do enjoy the horrible advice in threads like these.

Yes, go sweat a lot and cut your salt intake to zero. Heh heh heh.
 
2014-01-18 02:39:20 PM  

grimnir: The simplest answer is that the fitter people and the fatter people aren't the same people.


The simple answer is that by exercising more, people gained muscle mass and the test for obesity uses weight rather than fat. Something I would expect from such a source as treehugger.
 
2014-01-18 07:44:00 PM  

malfist: 1nsanilicious:

Cut back on fat to 20%, 0 sugar and 0 salt if you can handle it.

Bullshiat. Both salt and sugar are vital to the functioning of the human body, and salt doesn't negatively affect you unless you already have health issues. How the hell are you going to cut out sugar anyway? It's in EVERYTHING just about. Vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy, meats, all of those have sugars. Sugar is an important source of energy.

Also, fat is extremely important in signalling the brain you're full, and it's always a bad thing. Just eat the good types of fat as much as you can.

Dieting is a torture plan, extreme diets are never good or successful long term. The key is moderation, moderation, moderation! Follow the food pyramid.


He probably meant 'extra sugar'. Or refined sugar. Like, if 'sugar' (or corn syrup or whatever) is listed as an ingredient, don't eat it. And everyone trots out the 'people need salt! D:' whenever anyone suggests to cut down on it--but yeah. You need trace amounts of salt. You don't need 3g of sodium a day.
 
2014-01-19 02:08:07 AM  

surrybee: 1nsanilicious: Jim_Callahan: Probably because we've sort of all adopted the myth that exercise is a way to lose weight, which isn't technically an outright lie but sort of overstates the case to the point that it might as well be.

Not that exercise isn't a good idea, mainly because heart disease is still the number 1 cause of death in the first world, but it doesn't even have a tiny fraction of the impact on weight (and weight-related diseases) that diet regulation does.

tl;dr version: The only real way to lose weight is eating less.

Um not entirely correct... I wouldn't go and tell people to eat less per se, I would tell them to eat right.

Cut back on fat to 20%, 0 sugar and 0 salt if you can handle it. Eating less food on a diet totally of junk food isn't good and would probably still be way over the calories needed to lose weight and on that diet you could only eat like 1 meal a day.

The fact is you can't out exercise your diet.

/never understood the person ordering a fatty cheeseburger or pizza with everything and then proceed to order a diet soda

Because I prefer diet soda. Why is this so tough to understand?


This. I like the taste of Coke Zero. I also like the taste of a bacon double cheeseburger. Apparently this is mind-boggling.
 
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