Obesity Researcher Offers Advice for Losing Weight
reason some people get fat isn't because of genetics or how much they
eat, said a Cornell University obesity researcher. It's because,
compared with thinner people, they snack more often during the day and
move about a lot less.
The best way
to slash the country's skyrocketing medical costs associated with
obesity is not through dieting but by persuading people to exercise
more, said David Levitsky, professor of nutritional sciences at
Cornell. The government should take a more aggressive role in ensuring
employers offer workers more opportunities to stretch their legs and
exercise and provide more non-competitive sports for children as well
as after-school programs in inner-city neighborhoods where children
often can't play outside safely, he said.
"And forget dieting; it just doesn't work," according to Levitsky.
are not allowed snacks, they still eat about as much at mealtime as
when they do snack. And people who skip a meal or don't snack do not
compensate at the next meal by eating more. That means that the less
often you eat, the fewer calories you consume, he explains.
says, needs to slow the trend of adults and children becoming fatter,
and to achieve this goal, Levitsky offers the following messages:
popular high-protein, low-carbohydrate diets are just gimmicks," he
says. They work temporarily because they consist of fewer calories, but
the weight comes right back because the diets are nearly impossible to
stay on indefinitely. Such diets, on a long-term basis, could be linked
to higher risks of cancer, heart disease and kidney failure, he said.
ideal weight charts send the wrong message to consumers; it's not your
weight that counts but what goes into your weight." In other words,
what's much more important to health are indicators such as blood
pressure and cholesterol and healthful lifestyle habits, such as a
low-fat diet and plenty of exercise. "Recent studies show shorter
mortality is more related to inactivity than to body weight."
you weigh matters to your life, though. Studies show obese people
experience discrimination in jobs, housing, education, dating and
popular set-point theory — that your body regulates your appetite
and body weight — seems to be losing ground as new research fails
to support it.
Americans are getting fatter because they are consuming about 1,000
calories more each year than the previous year. That is less than 10
calories a day. To burn off that extra energy, the average person needs
only to walk or clean house about 17 hours more a year, power walk,
bike or dance about eight hours more or engage in vigorous exercise
(walk uphill, play basketball or jump rope) about three more hours a
benefits of exercise include not only more calorie expenditure, but
also low cholesterol levels, greater muscle mass (which uses more
calories for fuel than fat cells do), smaller fat (adipose) cells and
changes in brain chemistry that induce feelings of well-being and a
greater sense of control over one' life.
Levitsky's final advice on the best way to control weight it to "Move
your body whenever possible while reducing calories from fat. Eat only
when you have to, which means at meals and finally, accept your body
size. Be happy even if you think you're not thin. The major problem
with body size is on the outside — from society and the media
— not within you. Take back the control about food and body
For more information about Levitsky's views in high-protein diets, visit: