Common Myths About Weight Loss, And What Science Really Says

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Only in the United States, the estimated annual health care costs related to obesity are over $210 billion, nearly 21 percent of annual medical spending . 

Americans have known for 15 years that obesity is an epidemic; the surgeon general declared it so in 2001. Despite intense efforts to prevent and treat obesity, however, studies published June 7 in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that 35 percent of men, 40 percent of women, and 17 percent of children and adolescents are obese. Even more worrisome, the rates continue to rise among women and adolescents and experts predict that this generation of children may be the first in 200 years to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents, likely due to obesity.

So what is our society doing wrong? Clearly, what doctors and policy makers have been doing for the last 15 years to address this epidemic is not working.

Source: https://theconversation.com/sex-and-othe...

Weight Loss Myths Have Broad Appeal!

An article from 2013 in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) identified common myths surrounding obesity from popular media and scientific literature. The authors defined myths as ideas that are commonly held, but go against scientific data. Could these myths be keeping us from treating obesity effectively?  Not only can these myths discourage people, they also provide misinformation that can prevent people from reaching their weight loss goals.

Here is some of the most popular myths:

Myth 1: Small changes in your diet or exercise will lead to large, long-term weight changes.

Unfortunately, this is not true. In weight loss, two plus two may only equal three instead of four. Small changes simply do not add up since physiologically, your body tries to stay the same weight. This doesn’t mean that making small healthy choices don’t matter, because even small things you do to stay healthy matter. It just means you are not likely to meet your weight loss goals by just taking one less bite. It’s likely going to take bigger changes in your diet and exercise.

Myth 2: Setting realistic goals when you are trying to lose weight is important because otherwise you will feel frustrated and lose less weight.

Patients often come in with ambitious goals for weight loss, and we as family physicians nearly always say- go for it! (within safety and reason). There is no evidence that shooting for the stars leads to frustration. If anything, aiming for a larger goal may lead to better weight-loss outcomes.

Myth 3: Losing a lot of weight fast doesn’t keep weight off as well as losing a few pounds slowly.

Again, studies have shown that losing a larger amount of weight fast in the beginning (maybe while you are super motivated) has been associated with lower weight in the long-term. There just isn’t evidence to go “slow and steady” when it comes to weight loss.

Myth 4: Having sex one time burns about as many calories as walking a mile.

Sorry to disappoint, but for an average sexual encounter (lasting 6 minutes!), an average man in his 30s burns just 20 calories. And as the NEJM articles further explains, this is just 14 more calories than just sitting and watching TV. So if you believe that that sex may be your exercise for the day, you should think again.

Myths are more popular than you think!

Family physicians  Angie Wang and Tammy Chang were curious to know if the patients in their clinics might believe in these myths. To figure this out, they conducted a study of over 300 people in the waiting room of their diverse academic family medicine clinic. People who participated in the survey had an average age of 37, were mostly female (76 percent), had at least some college education (76 percent), and were a mix of non-Hispanic black (38 percent) and non-Hispanic white (47 percent).

The grand majority of people surveyed still believed these myths (Myth 1: 85 percent, Myth 2: 94 percent, Myth 3: 85 percent, Myth 4: 61 percent)!

Considering most people do not know the basics of weight loss, it's not surprising that many people have trouble losing weight.

In some cases, even physicians themselves may fall victim to these myths.

Of course, healthcare providers should only give evidence-based advice to patients about weight loss in order to optimize their chance of success. Studies have shown that when primary care doctors provide advice on weight loss, patients are more likely to attempt to change their behaviors related to weight. However, even giving better and more advice may not be enough.

If we don’t translate the research on obesity into practice, we cannot expect this problem to improve in our lifetime. We will only have a chance if we use what we know about weight loss and drop these myths.

'We will only have a chance if we use what we know about weight loss and drop these myths' says Assistant Professors Tammy Chang and Angie Wang, from the Department of Family Medicine,University of Michigan.

Source: http://onedio.com/haber/bilim-mitleri-yi...
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