Digital News Report – On today’s ‘Dr. Oz Show,’ there was a controversial show discussing if being overweight is not harmful to the heart or health, instead it is the lack of fitness and poor diet. Author, researcher, and professor, Dr. Glenn Gaesser discussed what factors should be considered to help improve the health of a person.
No epidemic of obesity? Dr. Glenn Gaesser is saying that being overweight and obese is not a health problem and it is a “fat out lie.” He is a professor at an Arizona University and is the author of three books that supports this idea. If dieting worked, he argues, we would not have to keep on doing it over again. He said it is a myth that being overweight does not mean you are not fit.
The major problem he said is that we view weight as a measurement of health. Instead, measures of cardiovascular fitness levels, physical activity levels, and diet should be the focus. Fitness is much more important than just being thin and he first proposed these ideas in a book in the 1990’s.
Dr. Oz does not agree with Dr. Gaesser. Dr. Oz said obesity is an epidemic. Dr. Gaesser said that looking at the data on the body weight of the average American has increased up until 2000, however, since the last 10 years it has leveled off. Because it leveled off, he does not see it as an epidemic any more. He suggests that everyone should address the source of the problem that is making the person overweight. Dr. Oz disagreed and said that it is still increasing into the obesity group, while the overweight group is not really increasing. Gaesser said that the data Dr. Oz reported comes from the CDC and is self-reported information. Dr. Gaesser said that every single weight related disease could be improved by exercise and diet, even if they do not lose any weight at all.
Yo-yo dieting is a bigger problem than just being overweight explained Dr. Gaesser. High Blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol levels, blood vessel dilation vascular problems, and increased inflammatory markers are seen more often with yo-yo dieters. Studies have shown that these yo-yo dieters are at a higher risk of dying from heart disease he said.
Dr. Oz is willing to agree that yo-yo dieting is part of the problem. However, Dr. Oz thinks that eating too many carbohydrates are contributing to the weight gain. Dr. Gaesser said that the research studies showed that as carbohydrate intake goes up, body weight goes down. Dr. Oz asked him if eating simple carbohydrates are good or bad. Dr. Gaesser said that they are not bad; however, the best carbohydrates are those that are fiber rich. As people consume more sugar, their body weights go down said Dr. Gaesser.
Dr. Oz said that obesity causes diseases. Dr. Gaesser said that a person’s fitness level is a more important prevention tool for diseases. The problems with plaque building up in the arteries are due to diet and lack of exercise, not because they are obese said Dr. Gaesser.
Dr. Gaesser said that in two weeks time, people with Type 2 Diabetes that ate a heart healthy diet and exercised could be off their medications, based on research that suggested these results. In a few weeks time, the diabetics are still overweight and there is improvements in there health, even if they lose just a few pounds.
Dr. Oz said that exercising is key to weight loss. Dr. Gaesser says that exercises can cause weight gain. Dr. Gaesser said that this is a dirty little secret in the fitness world – exercise will not help a person to lose weight. However, he said that exercise could help keep the weight from coming back. He said that if you are women starting an exercise program by itself (without dieting) be prepared for some weight gain. Researchers do not know what is going on that causes the weight gain explained Dr. Gaesser; however, he added that it is far easier to get a fat person fit than it is to get them thin.
The next segment discussed TOFI body compositions, while the person is slim, they could be considered overweight or obese because their body composition consists of more fat than muscle. Thin on the outside and fat on the inside may not be healthy. Dr. Gaesser said that they can be within the BMI rating for normal weight, but have more fat than they should, usually because they are not fit. Immediate family member that has died of heart disease is a warning for this problem. Exercise less than three times per week is another warning for TOFI. Eating junk and fast food more than once a week might also contribute suggested Dr. Oz. Dr. Gaesser said that if there is an excess of calories that is a problem, and he is more concerned about lifestyle. The BMI number is not the only predictor of health, but the amount of body fat is another factor suggested Dr. Oz. Just because you look slim, does not mean that you are at optimal health.
Before starting a diet, exercise program, or changes in lifestyle, consult with a medical professional first.
By: Robert Williams