Weight and death

January 5th, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reported:

Obese most likely to die early but those classed as overweight have better survival rate.

For older people, body weight could be a positive sign of being well-nourished. Photo / Getty Images

Overweight people have surprisingly beaten out your normal Joe Average on the mortality scale, a statistical survey of medical studies has shown – despite a well-established link between weight and sickness.

When talking of health, “death is a rather crude tool”, said Auckland District Health Board clinical director Robyn Toomath, who is sceptical of the paper.

Death may be a crude tool, but it is a pretty important one. It is one that public health advocates use all the time in campaigns about the dangers of smoking for example (which I agree with them on).

The best way to reduce public health costs for the country was still to help people eat healthy and stay slim, by restricting the marketing and value of junk foods or promoting nutritious foods, she said.

No, the best way for people to stay slim is for them to eat less and exercise more. policies to “restrict” the marketing of certain foods should be resisted at every stage.

 

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48 Responses to “Weight and death”

  1. Michael (880 comments) says:

    Dr Robyn Toomath has been spokesman for lobby group Fight the Obesity Epidemic for as long as I can remember, she has been calling for bans, fat taxes, and subsidies for healthy food. Rather than being sceptical, she should be embracing it – my reading of the articles is that it says that having a little bit of extra fat helps protect the body – particularly as you age – having too much does not. In terms of over eating and poor diet, the paper does not seem to encourage this (although the media are).

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  2. Manolo (12,640 comments) says:

    Michael beat to me it: Toomath has been an advocate for higher taxes on fatty foods, banning soft drinks and any campaign to limit freedom of choice.

    A misguided soul that deserves a place among the most stupid do-gooders.

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  3. Neil (528 comments) says:

    DPF is exactly correct. Losing weight is not easy-some people can control weight others not- a result of your family genetics.
    I’ve lost about 14kg over the last year. I have always done a lot of running but with my eating habits I was still putting on weight. Then I decided to watch what I put down my throat-no sugar, no in betweens and a reduction in the amount of fatty food.
    The weight came off slowly which is important. Fast reductions rarely work – you have relapses.
    As well no indigesation,acid reflux and a general improvement in well being
    Anti-obesity campaigns will not work simply because there must be the motivation from the person involved to lose weight.
    There must be a motivation to get people exercising, with the emphasis on feeling better. Nothing flashy !!
    My delight is being able to wear clothes I had 10 yewars ago .People saying how I was looking more youthful.

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  4. Linda Reid (385 comments) says:

    So, let me get this straight. The evidence shows being overweight will help you live longer, but the doctor wants us to all be slim.

    Hmmm…

    Blind spot maybe? That’s the kindest thought I can offer.

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  5. dog_eat_dog (681 comments) says:

    Sorry Neil but genetics accounts for far less than most people want to believe. Nothing on Earth can challenge the laws of thermodynamic, and fatties and their energy intake is no different.

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  6. krazykiwi (9,188 comments) says:

    Being overweight increases the risks and costs of many/most surgical procedures. Given the slow train-wreck that is evidenced in most of the western world’s socialised medical systems, any extent of obesity is important.

    Obesity is a personal choice. We should personalise the consequences.

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  7. emmess (1,334 comments) says:

    The reason is because the definitions according to BMI are nonsense. It takes no account of things such as gender, body shape or amount of muscle. Some of the fittest people I know would be considered overweight.

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  8. Longknives (4,048 comments) says:

    You can get too hung up about it -I always laugh at the look of sheer horror from our houseguests when they see ‘Silver-top’ milk in our fridge “What no ultra-lite?”
    (The irony being many of these guests are smokers- which is rather more unhealthy than full cream milk in your coffee)

    I enjoy my food. I also hit the gym five-six days a week to keep in shape. If I keel over of a heart attack as I am typing so be it…I’m just not going to drink fucking green top milk.

    “You might be a king or a little street sweeper, but sooner or later you dance with the reaper…”

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  9. kowtow (6,723 comments) says:

    When I’m out and about I’m appalled at the shape of what appears to be an increasing number of people.

    A sign of a lazy ,indulged,decadent and declining society.

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  10. dime (8,778 comments) says:

    surely being fat is a disease? everything seems to be.

    im sure if she bans maccas from advertising then fatties will forget they love big macs….

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  11. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    Neil,
    Good for you ..well done.

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  12. JC (840 comments) says:

    The Americans have pinned down the decade when their obesity levels soared.. er, right about when the fibre diets came in.

    I’ve found the best weight control is not the gym but eating bacon and eggs for breakfast instead of toast or skipping brekkie altogether.

    And if I was serious about losing weight I should eat less pasta and up the steak and salad levels.

    JC

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  13. kowtow (6,723 comments) says:

    jc

    As a matter of interest,and potential debate,what decade was that?

    When I were a lad in school (70s) I recall a text saying Americans were dying of obesity diseases while third worlders were dying from a lack of food (naughty Yanks).

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  14. Dazzaman (1,114 comments) says:

    That’s the one JC. That white bread is bad stuff, except when there is Christmas ham around…yum!

    I cycle 16kms a day for 6 days a week delivering mail in the morning since the beginning of September…I’ve lost 12kgs in that time but have plateaued the last 3 weeks. Exercise can do it up to a point but proper diet will do the rest. Not that I will change my eating habits, like Longknives, I will have my full cream milk.

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  15. David in Chch (503 comments) says:

    The results reported from the article are actually consistent with things I remember seeing years ago. The way it apparently works is this – a _little_ extra weight is helpful when you reach late middle age and beyond because if and when you become ill, you have the extra reserves to come back from that illness. If you are thin – no reserves. If you are obese – your health is already compromised and the extra fat is not as usable or useful. So skinny minnies may be healthier in many ways, BUT if and when they do become ill, they have nothing left in the tank for recovery.

    And remember – everything in moderation including moderation. ;)

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  16. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    DPF is exactly correct. Losing weight is not easy-some people can control weight others not- a result of your family genetics.

    Wrong wrong wrong !

    Regardless of your genetics, body type, metabolic rate etc, the ONLY way to put on weight is through your mouth. This is self evident and supported by medical science. Studies have shown that diets work, based entirely on negative calories. It does not matter if you eat lettuce or lard, it is calories in calories out that count.

    Some people can put on weight more easily, for sure. But they simply need to eat less calories.

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  17. Lance (2,311 comments) says:

    @Kea
    That’s extremely simplistic. Some people can be overweight and metabolicly speaking, starving. Some people it doesn’t matter what they eat, their metabolism can cope with it (the lucky ones).
    As was said by some others here, for many people the really big problem is the modern combination of foods are incompatible with their digestive system.
    What your ancestors were eating 500 years ago, and in what proportions is probably what we should be eating now. That is way more meat, way less sugar, less grains, less starch and lots of vegetables. Carbs=sugar. Too much sugar causes insulin resistance, fat is piled on even though the muscles want it and many people feel hungry even though they are eating heaps.
    They really big tragedy is the low fat fad. Low fat diets in children will damage their brain development as the fat is critical for nerve insulation during their formative years, DO NOT give low fat milk to kids, you are damaging them. Keep the chips and sugar/carbs to a sensible level though.

    Regular but not extreme exercise as well is critical to this.

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  18. Psycho Milt (1,986 comments) says:

    a _little_ extra weight is helpful when you reach late middle age and beyond because if and when you become ill, you have the extra reserves to come back from that illness. If you are thin – no reserves.

    Exactly. This study finding is exactly what you’d expect. There’s a reason your body likes to park a bit of lard in a few places when it gets the chance, that reason being that you’re better placed to survive illness or privation if you’re carrying some rations with you. Toomath can’t get to grips with this concept because her role is as propagandist for “Fat is Bad.” The only real question here is why propagandists like this are ever in receipt of govt funding.

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  19. Psycho Milt (1,986 comments) says:

    it is calories in calories out that count.

    This is a common misunderstanding. From a thermodynamics point of view it’s correct – the misunderstanding is in assuming that “calories in” equates to how many calories are in the food you eat. Nutrition involves chemical processes and a major factor in calories in vs calories out is the efficiency of the chemical pathways involved in turning different foods into blood glucose. 100 calories that hits your bloodstream in a couple of minutes effectively counts for a lot more than 100 calories that hits your bloodstream over the course of an hour.

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  20. annie (533 comments) says:

    One meta-analysis does not evidence make. Other studies contradict it.

    Meta-analyses are inherently flawed and structured in such a way as to inadvertently or otherwise conceal weaknesses in study designs and overall analysis methods. The are useful as pilot studies and as part of a weight of evidence, but are insufficient in themselves to enable firm conclusions to be drawn.

    That having been said, there is a research trend suggesting that all-cause mortality rates may be lowest in the low overweight range – and to make an unscientific observation, at around the BMI point at which people tend to look their healthiest.

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  21. SPC (4,675 comments) says:

    Depends what you mean by over weight. It could be simply that these people have more weight because of muscle, as they have been and still are physically active, even into their old age.

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  22. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    @Kea
    That’s extremely simplistic….

    it is calories in calories out that count.

    This is a common misunderstanding.

    Lance and Milt, Yes it is simple. No it is not a “misunderstanding”, it is a fact

    Lance I agree with most of what you said. However, every bit of fat on our bodies came through our mouths. It is that simple. If you know of anyone getting fatter when not eating anything, please let me know.

    Concerns about diet, and observations about how food is metabolised, are a separate topic. Personally I have never seen anyone who struggles with their weight, who ate a low calorie diet and/or avoided sugary/fatty foods. Most have a sweet tooth. I am not having a dig at chubby folk, but there is a lot of bs talked about diet.

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  23. JC (840 comments) says:

    “As a matter of interest,and potential debate,what decade was that?”

    Here’s a graph of the surge which starts early in the 1980s:

    http://wallstreetpit.com/92598-why-the-surge-in-obesity/

    That is simply too well defined to ignore:

    Here’s the 1974 Danish Food Pyramid:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:FDBs_madpyramide_2011.jpg

    And here’s the 1992 US pyramid:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:USDA_Food_Pyramid.gif

    Both see stuff like bread and spuds as healthy and meat and fats stuff to avoid.. its also the time when you were told meat size should fit into the palm of your hand. It was also the time when it was pointed out that athletes crammed in the carbs and the fibre gave you soft healthy foot long craps. During the Marathon running craze they had “carb stuffing” the night before the race.

    Its all good stuff if you need all that energy but the reality is most of us don’t as we drive to work and muck around in an office and Helicopter mums drive the one kid to school and there’s no jungle gyms once there.

    I think the evidence is right in front of us that highly processed carbs like many pasta and bread plus sugar in many forms is simply too much for our more sedentary lifestyles.

    Here’s the Taine Randal Diet.. he’s a better dietician than he was an All Black:

    http://paleozonenutrition.com/2010/07/07/taine-randell-maori-eating-like-their-ancestors-losing-weight-improving-health-60-minutes/

    The money quote:

    “Yesterday TV3 had a 60 minutes piece on Maori living in Flaxmere, who have taken part in a 10 week trial eating the way their ancestors did 150 years ago (pre-European) Meat, seafood, fat and vegetables. The result, diabetes reversing, blood sugar dropping and an 8 kg average weight loss in 10 weeks.”

    I’m not about to say that this diet or that is best but I’m reasonably sure that the “Food Pyramid” is bunkum for many people. Better by far to follow Julia Child’s quotes such as: If you drop the lamb on the floor whilst cooking just pick it up and carry on.. who’s to know?” or “If you don’t like butter.. use cream”, “Every cook should have a blowtorch” and paraphrasing.. “Eat anything you damn well like and enjoy.. just don’t eat too much of it”.

    JC

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  24. kowtow (6,723 comments) says:

    My school book would have been 1977 and presumably studies published prior to that to make into the curriculum,so the noted problem of American obesity and associated mortality predates the above.

    I still go with lifestyle. Eat too much,and not enough exercise.Decadence.

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  25. cha (3,539 comments) says:

    The Onion nails it, again.

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/presidential-fitness-test-now-awarded-to-any-kid-w,26857/

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  26. Steve (North Shore) (4,327 comments) says:

    Anyone will gain weight when the input hole is bigger than the output hole

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  27. Psycho Milt (1,986 comments) says:

    Lance and Milt, Yes it is simple. No it is not a “misunderstanding”, it is a fact

    More accurately, you’d like it to be simple. It isn’t.

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  28. Dirty Rat (377 comments) says:

    Like tobacco and alcohol, fatties are a burden to our health system, so why cant the Govt just put duties on the shit food, that the fatties, eat ?. They do it with fags and alcohol.

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  29. scrubone (2,971 comments) says:

    Like tobacco and alcohol, fatties are a burden to our health system, so why cant the Govt just put duties on the shit food, that the fatties, eat ?. They do it with fags and alcohol.

    Or we could change the health system, which seems so often to be the excuse for compromising individual freedoms.

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  30. gump (1,231 comments) says:

    @Steve (North Shore)

    That explains why gay men always look so fabulous.

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  31. gump (1,231 comments) says:

    On the slim chance that anybody here actually wants to lose weight, what follows is the most motivational passage that I have ever seen on the topic (it comes from a free ebook called Brain over Brawn).

    “The conclusion is that a fit person is irresistibly considered to be a better person. Strangers, acquaintances, business associates, friends, and even family respond more positively, warmly, and affectionately to the fit and healthy. They cannot help it. People simply want to be closer to things they perceive positively. The converse is also true; no matter how incredible a person is on the inside, if she or he is weak or fat or scrawny, his or her qualitative image suffers. Observers are unable to help themselves. This applies to self-image as well: weak people often believe they are capable of less; strong and hearty people unreasonably believe themselves capable of greater things. Unsurprisingly, they are both often right.”

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  32. Left Right and Centre (2,397 comments) says:

    This topic I’d say is right up my alley…

    I can talk the talk because I’ve now walked the walk.

    98-100kg down to 80kg in 3 months.

    I agree with DPF. I would add the word calories. Eat fewer calories, exercise more.

    You don’t necessarily have to eat a lower *volume of food*. I enjoy eating a 1-1.3kg bowl of boiled peas/ cabbage/cauliflower/ brocolli. Standing in the kitchen chopping up a lot of tomato and cucumber slices for ages and downing 1.5 litres of Coke Zero after a run.

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  33. Left Right and Centre (2,397 comments) says:

    I agree with Kea 100%

    It’s calories in, calories out. A very very simple and easy numbers game.

    A very small % of people are affected by Cushing’s syndrome or have an underactive pituitary gland. For everyone else… game on.

    Metabolism as I understand it is simply the rate at which the body burns calories across time. It can’t be doubled or halved and so for most people ‘fast’ or ‘slow’ metabolism plays no significant part in the calorie equation.

    Neil: Same here… I’ve run on and off across seven years…. no big weight loss. Changed the diet radically Oct. Game over.
    I’ll disagree for now about ‘fast reductions’. I lost around 1.5kg per week for two months. Again… it’s a simple numbers game that you control. You choose to ‘relapse’ or not. Wow… we’ve got very similar stroeis Neil… cool. I was overjoyed to again fit pricey clubbing tops I’d kept from *1999*… hehe. And I the good feeling from exercise is a nice bonus. Snap!!

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  34. Left Right and Centre (2,397 comments) says:

    Linda Reid: You’ve oversimplified the subject matter beyond all measure.

    dog_eat_dog: intelligence is a beautiful thing my friend… phew.

    emmess: I used to be right in the ‘BMI is total horseshit’ camp. Changed my mind. You’re right, it is controversial. It doesn’t take into account body composition…. fat or muscle %s. But it’s a useful tool… a guide… a rough idea. If you yourself individually have enough education to understand its origins and limitations then you can cautiously embrace the BMI weight range predictions. Read it as: ‘The BMI predicts that if you weigh 60-80kg at 183cms tall then you are likely to be a ‘healthy’ weight for your height. It’s not an order… they’re stroking they’re chin and taking a crack. All Blacks are ‘obese’ for their height according to the BMI. It’s really to describe general populations for health study statistical purposes, not individuals. As you know I’m sure.

    Longknives: hahahaha…. heeeeeey…. that’s the one brother!! Good old macho no green milk shit kiwi male in the hooooouse!!
    Too funny dude. Myself I went from dark blue lifer to light blue, green, light blue and then green again after Oct going super spastic to kill those fucking calories dead. If you’re calories are balanced you can drink whatever the fuck you want.. heh.

    kowtow: When out about now I take a good look at body shapes and types. You’d love to know the stats for kilos of fat per person. It’s disgusting. I’m glad I’ve left that demographic. I was really depressed about my body.

    JC: I didn’t use a gym either. I did run and lift weights at home. Diet is the big weapon for weight control. Would be interesting to see your all your diet and physical activity habits.

    Dazzaman: Well done. It’s diet and exercise.. run a calorie deficit with your diet and if you’ve got more excess fat to lose… it’s gone.

    David in Chch: You’re not wrong… I’d just state it as balance your calorie equation to maintain, run a deficit to lose excess fat.

    Kea says: *Some people can put on weight more easily, for sure.* That’s bulldust. Calories in and out… which you say yourself strangely.

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  35. Left Right and Centre (2,397 comments) says:

    Lance: Balanced calories to maintain weight, deficit to lose excess fat. Right % combination of carbohydrates/ protein/ fat. Not enough fat in the diet or too much…. as bad as each other.

    I’d say the ‘low fat fad’ is a bit of media and advertising hype. Sugar is a real problem too. When you walk into supermarket it’s effectively a sugar and fat disneyland where all your dreams come true. You are walking past endless grocery aisles bombarding you with pretty colourful packaging that is all intended to get you to take it off the shelf. Red alert!!

    There’s nothing wrong with the food available today. I don’t buy junk food… and if no-one else did… it wouldn’t be manufactured. It’s a sick joke that in human history… in a rich country… there’s never been such high food availability at dirt cheap prices. When the high calorie junk food is so dirt cheap. I was sorely tempted to breakdown and buy some chicken thighs at $5/ kilo for 3kg. That’s not really junk food as such… bloody tempting though. I used to eat BIG dinners. 20kg BIG overweight problem.

    PM: That kind of geeky babble is all well and good but it wouldn’t have fuckin helped me one jot. Calories in, calories out is all you need to understand and it’s beautiful because even the most retarded fucklick can grasp that concept.

    SPC: Look around you buddy. That decribes hardly any of them. Also: Myth that muscle weighs a lot more than fat. It doesn’t. Look it up if you don’t believe me. If you carry muscle from muscle hyper-trophy.. sure.. you carry weight from bigger muscles.

    Steve NS tribe: the class clown.. hahahaha gump: HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

    Dirty rat: That probably really will be next mate

    gump: That’s about right, isn’t it? The psychology of appearance. I’m sure that I feel better so I’m simply in a better mood.. higher self-esteem and I’m better to be around. You might look better but being in a better mood and showing genuinely heartfelt positive body language helps.

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  36. Psycho Milt (1,986 comments) says:

    PM: That kind of geeky babble is all well and good but it wouldn’t have fuckin helped me one jot.

    Science is always “geeky babble” to some people. A fact isn’t dependent on whether it’s personally helpful to you or not, and the “calories in vs calories out” over-simplification sees a lot of people inflicting misery on themselves via calorie-restricted diets while remaining fat or regaining fat the moment they stop the diet. If it worked for you, fine – but as a general prescription it’s a known failure for known reasons.

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  37. mikenmild (8,894 comments) says:

    PM
    Your scientific approach won’t be popular with LR&C – he’s been on a diet for a whole three months now and so knows everything.

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  38. SPC (4,675 comments) says:

    LR@C

    Bollocks. People lose clothes size without losing weight simply by reducing their level of fat and improving their muscle mass/strength. Your point is that diet is one part that allows the fat level to come off (few exercise enough to do it from exercise alone).

    And my point was that there are people categorised as over-weight who live longer because they have been active in the past and remain active – they have the retained sufficient muscle mass weight to be categorised as over-weight by the BMI system.

    This, as well the reserve to carry them over a serious illness in old age, explains the findings.

    Whether that applies to the sedentary today who are over-weight is another story – but its not the obese who are the topic but those over-weight by BMI, but not obese.

    ree
    Look around you buddy. That decribes hardly any of them. Also: Myth that muscle weighs a lot more than fat. It doesn’t. Look it up if you don’t believe me. If you carry muscle from muscle hyper-trophy.. sure.. you carry weight from bigger muscles.

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  39. SPC (4,675 comments) says:

    LR@C

    Bollocks. People lose clothes size without losing weight simply by reducing their level of fat and improving their muscle mass/strength. Your point is that diet is one part that allows the fat level to come off (few exercise enough to do it from exercise alone).

    And my point was that there are people categorised as over-weight who live longer because they have been active in the past and remain active – they have the retained sufficient muscle mass weight to be categorised as over-weight by the BMI system.

    This, as well the reserve to carry them over a serious illness in old age, explains the findings.

    Whether that applies to the sedentary today who are over-weight is another story – but its not the obese who are the topic but those over-weight by BMI, but not obese.

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  40. Left Right and Centre (2,397 comments) says:

    SPC you say: Bollocks. People lose clothes size without losing weight simply by reducing their level of fat and improving their muscle mass/strength. Your point is that diet is one part that allows the fat level to come off (few exercise enough to do it from exercise alone).

    Oh dear… ok.. so you’re saying… weight stays the same, body size gets at least one clothing size smaller. That’s with fat reduction and muscle size increase. I’m not sure that strength is relevant to any of that.

    First off… you’d need to plug in some numbers to prove that theory holds true.

    So you swap fat for muscle… weigh the same… and body itself gets smaller?

    http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview/id/576481.html

    There’s one source for ya… the nerds are saying that one litre of muscle would weigh about 1.06kg vs 0.9kg for a litre of fat.

    So your theory is reduce fat, gain muscle, no weight change… body gets smaller. Mate, the volume that muscle and fat takes up is close enough in value to each other… 18% difference… for every kilo of fat you burned off… you’d have to also gain a kilo in muscle to maintain the same weight. The difference in volume that the kilo of muscle would take up vs the kilo of fat would be fairly small.

    The thing is… you’re not wrong as such…. but it wouldn’t make the huge visual difference in the body that you assert. Muscle cells and fat cells expanding and shrinking can change the figure of a person that’s for sure. Whether that leads to smaller clothing size… I wouldn’t go that far. 20kg of fat takes up 22.2 litres of volume. 20kg of muscle it’s 18.88 litres. That’s 3.42 litres of volume.

    That’s if you have 20kg to lose *AND* gain 20kg of muscle. Which is a shitton of muscle. And it’s faster and easier to lose weight than gain muscle generally speaking. You can lose 1.5-2kg a week… I’ve done it. Try gaining that in muscle in a week.. I don’t think so.

    It’s an 18% difference in density… for the amount that you swap. It’s not going to make a dramatic shape-shifting difference that you need a new wardrobe after that but hey…. we’ll just have to agree to disagree. Hard to argue with the science though… 1 kilo of muscle= 1.06 litre, one kilo of fat= 900mls. Not a big enough difference for dramatic overall body size changes leading to needing a new wardrobe. That’s my take on it.

    How many fucking people do you know that fit your exact list of variable factors to try this out with, hmmm? No-one!!

    The story I thought was about how a study has decided that being overweight increases your lifespan, but the study is skewed by people who lose weight as a result of illness preceding death. I’m not sure it’s got anything to with the latter part of your comment but anyway…

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  41. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    Kea says: *Some people can put on weight more easily, for sure.* That’s bulldust. Calories in and out… which you say yourself strangely.

    LRC, The ones who put on weight, more easily, are burning less. There is no contradiction there.

    Science is always “geeky babble” to some people. A fact isn’t dependent on whether it’s personally helpful to you or not, and the “calories in vs calories out” over-simplification sees a lot of people inflicting misery on themselves via calorie-restricted diets while remaining fat or regaining fat the moment they stop the diet. If it worked for you, fine – but as a general prescription it’s a known failure for known reasons.

    PM, What causes misery are people promoting myths, to either make money from it, or to make people feel better about themselves by displacing responsibility, for their weight, onto others. In order to believe your claim that “calorie-restricted” diets do not work, we would have to believe that no food at all would result in infinite weight gain, or at the very least, no loss of weight.

    People get very emotive about this subject, because some folk are sensitive about their weight. Those who say calorie restriction does not work, should prove it. They will get a Nobel prize in Physics and turn the scientific world upside down. There would be no greater break through in history. Imagine a world where we did not have to eat or produce food to live. Imagine the implications for science generally. Not just “free energy” but no energy at all, to perform work. Amazing stuff. Prove it…..

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  42. Psycho Milt (1,986 comments) says:

    In order to believe your claim that “calorie-restricted” diets do not work, we would have to believe that no food at all would result in infinite weight gain, or at the very least, no loss of weight.

    We would if the relationship were as simple as you falsely imagine it to be, yes. But it isn’t, so we don’t. Nutrition is an extremely complicated process, which is fortunate because the complexity includes stuff like compensation mechanisms to keep you approximately the same weight even though you eat different amounts of calories and take different amounts of exercise every day.

    Those who say calorie restriction does not work, should prove it.

    They have proved it, in countless studies. In one sense, yes, calorie restriction does “work” – eg, if calories are forcibly restricted by things like famine, or imprisonment in a forced labour camp, weight will be lost (along with muscle, health and a good deal else). Calorie-restricted diets engaged in voluntarily are a different matter, and have been convincingly demonstrated not to work.

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  43. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    Psycho Milt, I know what you are talking about and I agree with much of it. If you restrict calories, your body tries to preserve them and maintain body mass. I am not suggesting your wrong about that.

    You are wrong to suggest calorie restriction diets do not work. If you continue to burn more than you consume, you do lose weight. There is no other way to lose weight, other than cutting/sucking if off your body.

    Of course you can maintain your calorie intake and simply burn more, either way works. (Though some claim exercise does not work for weight reduction !)

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  44. SPC (4,675 comments) says:

    Two diffferent things in play here

    1. Calorie reducing diets can fail to work because some/many people cannot keep to them.

    And as they age there is a tendency to put on weigh anyway (as the metabolism slows), so things can seem worse than ever.

    But changing a diet to a more healthy one can support a sense of well-being and contribute to more activity/calorie burn.

    2. People who exercise are more likely to maintain/increase metabolism levels despite eating less/no more, whereas those who simply eat less might find their metabolism slows down to compensate.

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  45. Psycho Milt (1,986 comments) says:

    I don’t just mean the processes that keep your weight in equilibrium – the chemical processes by which your body extracts calories from food mean it isn’t just a one-to-one calories-in/calories-out exchange. Some foods are processed more efficiently than others and fat deposit is largely a matter of insulin response, so how much fat you accumulate depends a lot more on those things than on raw calorie count. For example, if you spent a week consuming nothing but cream, and clocked up 4000 calories of cream per day while occupying your time with nothing more strenuous than watching TV, you certainly wouldn’t enjoy it and you’d feel pretty sick, but one thing you wouldn’t do is gain weight, because cream generates a very poor insulin response – your body would maintain equilibrium through the use of other bodily processes, most likely including some fairly unpleasant toilet experiences. Eat 1200 calories a day of nothing but food that breaks down easily to glucose on the other hand, and you’ll accumulate fat whether you get off the couch or not.

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  46. Left Right and Centre (2,397 comments) says:

    Yeah Kea… well… I’ve got no real problem with what you’re putting down it’s just wanking over semantics. Think about it. Some people put on weight more easily. One person can put on weight and it’s *easier* than another person. Just the way that’s stated…. yeah…. you see to me there’s no such thing as easier or harder for anyone to gain or lose weight unless they have Cushing’s Syndrome or underactive thyroid gland. Easier psychologically? If they’re burning less… calories I take it… yeah anyway.

    It’s calories in less calories out = gain or loss or neither. It really is that simple straightforward and easy.

    One way that people are more or less the same is your calorie equation.

    Your metabolism goes into ‘survival mode’. Does it? Cool. I’ll tell you what then… run along the street at 10-12km/h for 30-60 mins and ask your fucking metabolism if it can survive that fat burning shit. I don’t think so… hahahaha

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  47. Left Right and Centre (2,397 comments) says:

    SPC…

    People have a tendency to put on weight as they age because they’re consuming more calories than they burn across time. They just magically gain weight as part of the aging process. I actually thought that about myself…. aaah… it’s just what happens to you as you get older. Wrong…. totally wrong and now I weigh the same as I did at age fucking 20.

    Just forget you know the word metabolism and you’ll instantly become 100% more useful if the topic is weight issues.

    Increase exercise and increase metabolism? Aaahh… sure. You’ll certainly increase the calories you burn each day. 80% of the calories a person burns each day *at rest* fuel the brain/ heart/ liver/ kidneys. So… do some exercise and they all continue to chew through more calories when you stop? Yeah I don’t know about that. A body exerting itself physically is certainly costly in calories to run. Pretty cheap when it’s not doing much.

    Yeah… people can’t stick to their diets… I know myself… really tough to give up goodies. That’s why there’s so many fatarse mofos everywhere. They bloody love sugar and fat and lots of it… yeah!!

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  48. Left Right and Centre (2,397 comments) says:

    PM:

    First of all… one thing that makes no sense to anyone is….*if you eat 1 200 calories a day*. Ummmm…. if you ate 1 200 calories per day…. you’d be fucking starving hungry at bedtime because that average adult diet is more like 2 000- 2 100 calories per day. Are you fasting? Right then… average 1 200 per day for a week and see how you get smart guy. Fast grave is more like it.

    Second… if you’re so sure about the cream doesn’t turn to fat theory… why don’t you try it? No risk… you won’t get fat, yeah? We’ll give you the bare minimum dietary requirements of carbohydrate/ protein/ vitamins/ minerals… and you can take in 4 000 calories from cream for the fat portion of your diet. 4 000 calories of cream is still only 1 122mls. Shit I’d down that no problem and not get sick… what are ya? Hey… if it’s not going to make you fat… why not down two litres of cream per day? I’m sure those calories won’t convert to stored fat… even though the body really doesn’t have too many options for excess calories no matter where they come from.

    Do you know what I reckon? With the 4 000 calories of cream and another 1 500- 1 600 calories you’d need for nutrition… no exercise… depending on your starting weight… let’s just start with something easy. You’d gain fat therefore weight. You’d gain a kilo per week. Maybe 1.5kg per week.

    Calorie-restricted diets. That’s easy… the dorks don’t want ot lose weight badly enough. They can’t change their diet lifestyle. That’s it. My barrier was ignorance of calories and how much was in what I was eating. When I worked out how to count calories…. game over. My diet is ‘restricted’… I’ve lost 18kg or so.. and it will stay off as long as I choose to keep it off. I’m in control. For most people… weight is something that they can control and there’s just no excuse in the world. That’s it. I thought about the poor holocaust victims starving and I thought… it must be possible to lose weight in a hurry… and it is. You’ve got to want it!! When I became convinced that I’m in charge of what the scales read… easy. Move more, eat fewer calories to burn fat… balance your calories to maintain a healthy weight.

    Eat only 1 200 calories a day of anything and get fat… BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!! I don’t think so.

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