If schools reinstated physical education classes, a lot of fat children would lose weight. And they might never have gotten fat in the first place if their mothers had just breast fed them when they were babies. But be warned: obese people should definitely steer clear of crash diets. And they can lose more than 50 pounds in five years simply by walking a mile a day.
Those are among the myths and unproven assumptions about obesity and weight loss that have been repeated so often and with such conviction that even scientists like David B. Allison, who directs the Nutrition Obesity Research Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, have fallen for some of them.
Now, he is trying to set the record straight. In an article published online today in The New England Journal of Medicine, he and his colleagues lay out seven myths and six unsubstantiated presumptions about obesity. They also list nine facts that, unfortunately, promise little in the way of quick fixes for the weight-obsessed. Example: “Trying to go on a diet or recommending that someone go on a diet does not generally work well in the long term.”
Obesity experts applauded this plain-spoken effort to dispel widespread confusion about obesity. The field, they say, has become something of a quagmire.
“In my view,” said Dr. Jeffrey M. Friedman, a Rockefeller University obesity researcher, “there is more misinformation pretending to be fact in this field than in any other I can think of.”
Others agreed, saying it was about time someone tried to set the record straight. (read the rest at the link below)
Photo: Jennifer Whitney for The Texas Tribune (via Myths of Weight Loss Are Plentiful, Researcher Says by Gina Kolata - NYTimes.com)