Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Didja see the latest headlines????

Excess Pounds, but Not Too Many, May Lead to Longer Life
Article posted originally on diettogo.com

Now how about that!

One might be shocked, unless you read about the huge U.S. government population study (NHANES) which found 86,094 fewer deaths in the overweight range, and 33,746 more deaths in the thin range, compared to "normal" BMI’s (18.5 to 24.9).

In fact, every population study I have read confirms this phenomenon.

This particular study analyzed data on 11,326 Canadian adults, ages 25 and older, for a 12-year period. Overweight people (BMI of 25-29.9) were 17 percent less likely to die than those of average weight, while underweight people (BMI less than 18.5) were 73 percent more likely to die than average weight folks.

Apparently, some excess weight is protective, especially for the elderly, who have the greatest risk of dying. Many health conditions associated with being overweight, like high blood pressure, may have developed because people are living so long. However, these conditions are now successfully treated with medication.

In fact, the death rate from cancer in the U.S. is astronomically higher than in India – because Indians generally weigh less, and don’t live long enough for cancer to develop! Therefore, the "overweight edge" often augments survival, though media often spins this data negatively. For instance, the cancer study headlines screamed about overweight people being more likely to die of cancer… but never mentioned that it was because they lived longer!

The day before the Canadian story broke, the following headline also hit the N.Y. Times: "Obesity May Have Offered Edge Over TB." This study offered specific evidence confirming that people with excess fat stores were more likely to survive famines, over the course of human evolution.

Fat may not only store energy, but also seems to rev up the body’s immune system, which offered a survival advantage in the 1800s, when people were plagued by tuberculosis.

One author from The Journal of the American Medical Association, was quoted saying that this little miracle has “outlived its usefulness,” and another doctor said that we are paying a high price for a highly activated defense system that’s now pretty obsolete.

Do they actually believe this? What if we were nuked, and our food supply was contaminated? Who might survive to propagate the species? People with a little meat on their bones, I dare say. Survival of the fattest?

Since being "overweight" can be protective, can we finally eliminate the word overweight, and just call it the "healthy weight?" Instead of describing fat as excess weight, can we simply call it a blessing? Or will discrimination and ingrained attitudes continue this charade of making overweight people feel bad about themselves?

If I had my druthers, I would eliminate all demarcations regarding weight, since there are certainly some thin people who outlive some fat people. There are no absolutes, only trends.

"Dr. Abby’s Diet Revolution" is ready and willing to lead the way towards becoming your personal best, regardless of size. My life’s work teaches people how to lead a relatively healthy lifestyle - without yo-yo dieting, which encourages enjoyment of food and movement. Discrimination towards yourself and others is no longer acceptable. Onward!

Dr. Abby Aronowitz is a psychologist, speaker and coach, who completed work at Columbia University. She holds two master’s degrees and a Ph.D. Previously a consultant to Weight Watchers International, Dr. Abby has been featured on WebMD.com and AOL Diet and Fitness. She is a member of the American Psychological Association and Mensa.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Why You Can't Bowl Over Those Last 10 lbs!

Article posted originally on diettogo.com

Have you ever been stuck at the point where you can’t lose those last 10 pounds? You know, the constant struggle, where no matter which diet you try, you always hit that damn plateau before you bowl over the last few pounds and get to goal weight?

Did you ever think about why you can’t lose those last 10 pounds? Your body may be trying to tell you something… and you don’t wanna listen!

So maybe it's time to change lanes and strike back at your plateau.

Finding your personal ideal weight and maintaining it forever is different from attaining an idealized cultural image, which we find attractive. You may think you’re striving for a realistic goal, but it appears that your body sees it differently.

Successful weight management has to be relatively comfortable. If you must create uncomfortable contortions to maintain a weight, which is so fragile that the smell or sight of food causes weight gain… there’s a problem.

Experts all think they have an answer for this.

Some say you’re still eating too much, and others say you’re eating too little so you’re body is conserving fat. Others say you’re not eating often enough to stimulate metabolism, or you’re not eating a good enough breakfast, or not exercising sufficiently.

All of these may actually be true… or not. But ask yourself if these changes are sustainable in the long run.

The ideal weight espoused through magazines, TV, movies and billboards makes us want to mirror those images. We all think we look better thinner than most of us can realistically maintain. Very few people are naturally thin, and I’ll bet that nobody reading this blog is!

We need to find a way to make peace with a reasonable, healthy weight, regardless of whether you like its appearance. Just decorate your body beautifully, and stop obsessing. Worrying about food, weight or body image is counterproductive to living a productive, enjoyable life. Your body is a vessel to carry you through interesting and passionate experiences. Don’t shoot the messenger! Just do enough to keep it working pretty well.

Dr. Abby Aronowitz