Exercise AND Obesity on the Rise

A new public health report  found that exercise rates in the US are up – yeah!!! They also found that obesity rates are continuing to rise. You can read about it all over popular media (here and here are good ones).  What does this mean?

  • The data are from 2001-2011, so this before the effectiveness of more recent efforts can really be measured
  • We need to move more AND eat better
  • People eat more when they move more
    • Their body’s naturally are hungrier to no fault of their own
      or
    • They allow themselves to splurge more and eat more because they exercised (think of that runner who carbo-loads for a 5K or 10K….not necessary)
  • The people are healthier even if their weight doesn’t show

I am a big fan of the last point and am disappointed I haven’t heard that argument. Too often we think of someone’s weight or appearance as the #1 indicator for health, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. It is just an easier proxy that other indicators of health. I don’t want to get on a soapbox, so I’ll save my comments for another post. If this sparked your interest, you should watch this amazing TED talk by a surgeon who had a similar revelation early in his career.

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