ATHLETIC CONSULTING TRAINING REPORT - www.cbathletics.com
"Obesity: North America's most infamous export?"
- "You are NOT what you eat. It's
more complicated than that."
- "Youth Obesity: Problems for the
"Exercise training for the prevention and reduction
- OBESITY: WORLDWIDE EPIDEMIC?
Americans (and many other modern countries) are suffering
from a "fat" epidemic.
55% of American adults are overweight or obese (Women
= 50.7% & men = 59.4%).
More specifically, 22% of US adults are obese (Women =
25% & Men = 19%).
The economic costs of obesity are staggering. Researchers
estimate that the financial drain from obesity and physical
inactivity is over $90 billion a year, representing 15%
of the American national health care expenditure.
Americans spend $33 billion per year on products and services
to help them lose weight (this includes gym memberships,
diet soda, low-cal foods, and dietary supplements).
Dietary supplements sales were $16.8 billion in 2000.
Ten years ago sales were only $3.3 billion. The fastest
growing segment is diet aids.
The United States spent $1.2 trillion on healthcare in
1999 and this will increase to $2.6 trillion by 2010,
likely because prescription drugs costs will grow by 12.6%
It's almost impossible to avoid everyday evidence
of the obesity epidemic. Walk down the street, look around
at work, or even take note at the gym and you will find
that the prevalence of obesity is remarkable. Just recently,
while seated in the top-level seats at a Utah Jazz basketball
game, it was painfully obvious that the future health
care system in the USA is going to be dramatically overburdened
by a generation of obese adults, if it isn't happening
already. Admittedly, to get to the top row of seats in
the arena it was a tough climb up 19 rows of steep steps,
however it is a sad commentary when one man, perhaps 45
years of age and visibly obese remarked that, "that's
enough exercise for the entire week".
it's not fair to single out North Americans, as even Hungarians,
Danish, and Dutch researchers are identifying obesity
as a huge problem. All around the world scientists are
attempting to find pharmaceutical and nutritional interventions
to combat the problem of obesity. Even the Chinese are
getting fat, likely due to the "McDonald's disease"
(the introduction of fast food restaurants and a sedentary
lifestyle into their culture). Type 2 diabetes, high blood
pressure, and abnormal blood lipid levels are now common
in Hong Kong Chinese and this is closely associated with
the increase in obesity.
importantly, is that these countries are also observing
increased obesity incidence in their youth, so it's not
just a reflection of the "American" culture,
but rather the sedentary lifestyle seen across a generation,
in combination with very poor nutritional choices. However,
remember that there have been a number of reasons proposed
as a cause of obesity (hormonal, genetic, societal, physiological,
psychological, neurotransmitter), and of course some of
these overlap. According to the World Health Organization,
the prevalence of obesity has increased so rapidly in
many populations that the changes cannot be attributed
to changes in genetic inheritance alone.
further recommended reading is the April 2001 issue of
Men's Health for a fat-burning workout, as well as future
issues of Men's Health magazine, where fitness editor
Lou Schuler will take the reader through dietary and training
recommendations to fight fat (Including a CB ATHLETIC
OBESITY & EATING PATTERNS
rich and poor North Americans have equal opportunity to
become overweight in these days of $5 fast food feasts.
Body fat is simply the storage of excess energy intake
from a positive energy balance. Energy balance can be
best expressed as the calories (energy) consumed in comparison
to the energy (calories) you burn off each day. Food energy
is measured as a calorie, and so is the work that you
do during exercise. Therefore, this basic energy equation
(calories in vs. calories out) determines whether you
gain, lose, or maintain your weight.
expend energy every minute of the day, although the final
amount is obviously determined by your activity level,
not to mention your muscle mass (more muscle results in
more energy being expended at rest). Diet-induced thermogenesis
(DIT) also contributes to energy expenditure and obese
adults often show lowered DIT compared to lean adults.
DIT is the amount of energy that your body expends during
the digestion, absorption, and utilization of food energy.
adults that have a low DIT have a more efficient utilization
of calories and greater ease of fat accumulation. In less
technical terms, this simply means that "naturally
thin" individuals (also referred to as individuals
with "fast metabolism") use up more energy during
these processes and as a result have less energy to store
as body fat.
overfeeding (regardless of whether it is carbohydrate
or fat) is associated with obesity, insulin resistance,
and elevated blood insulin levels. Insulin is an anabolic
hormone with both good and bad connotations. Fortunately,
it can prevent muscle breakdown after exercise and it
helps the muscle store glycogen (a fuel for high intensity
exercise), however it can also increase the storage of
blood free fatty acids in fat cells. It also limits fat
mobilization (the release of fat from fat cells to be
used for energy production). So even if you are consuming
a low-calorie diet but still consuming a diet that promotes
high insulin levels (i.e. lots of high-glycemic carbohydrates),
you may have difficulty losing body fat.
is evidence that "high-glycemic" carbohydrates
are best avoided by those seeking to lose weight. High-glycemic
carbohydrates are refined foods such as processed cereals,
cookies, pasta, white rice, cakes and other processed
goods high in sugar. The term high-glycemic refers to
the rapid increase in blood sugar that these foods cause
after ingestion because they are rapidly absorbed. In
a recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
(71: 901-907, 2000), researchers found that after only
6 days, subjects eating low-glycemic foods lost more body
fat than subjects eating high-glycemic foods. Also, the
group eating the low-glycemic foods had a higher metabolic
rate and a lower rate of snacking on sugary foods.
1994-96 Americans consumed the equivalent of 82 grams
of high-glycemic carbohydrates per day from added sweeteners,
which was about 16% of total calories. Adolescents had
the highest intake, about 20% of calories, with soft drinks
accounting for a third (!) and table sugar, syrups and
sweets, sweetened grains, and milk products providing
the rest. That translates into almost 330 calories of
sugar per day! Eliminate this from your diet and you have
the potential to lose 1 pound of fat (generally considered
to be 3500 calories) in 10 days.
While the prevalence of obesity continues to rise
controversy remains as to the specific causes of this
trend. What about the phenomenon of winter fat? Roberts
et al. (2000) determined that the weight gain during the
6-week winter period from American Thanksgiving through
New Year averaged only 0.8 lbs. However, weight gain was
greater among individuals who were overweight or obese,
and 14% gained more than 5 lbs over this time period.
Among the entire population, weight gain during the 6-week
holiday season explained 51% of annual weight gain.
it appears that most weight gain does occur during the
holiday period and by early March their was a recorded
net weight gain of approximately 1-1.5 lbs (Robert et
al., 2000). If you do that every year you can see how
"the pounds creep up on you". In another study,
Yanovski et al. (2000) found a similar trend and therefore
American adults should expect to see a net weight gain
(winter fat!). In conclusion, it looks like holiday weight
gain really is the important contributor to the rising
prevalence of obesity that many people often make it out
to be, even though absolute values for weight gain in
this study were less than anticipated.
According to some statistics up to 25 percent
of American children are overweight. Where did things
go so drastically wrong that we should end up with so
many youths being classified as overweight? Is it really
just the PlayStations and the massive consumption of high-sugar
foods? Are these the only reasons for obesity? Should
we be satisfied with these answers, accept them, and move
on to the next problem?
this lifestyle really any different than the ones that
a large percentage of adults live out daily at their desk
jobs? Why isn't every adult obese? Oh wait, didn't you
just read that over 50% of adults are obese? Apparently
our original hypothesis is correct, that the PlayStations
and sugary snacks are likely to blame, and correspondingly,
the office computer and doughnuts are to blame for the
situation many adults find themselves in.
From the American Diabetes Association comes
this report: "Our children and teens are becoming
more overweight and at greater risk for disease".
A recent survey showed that increasing numbers of American
children and teens are overweight, continuing a trend
that began two decades ago. It is believed that overweight
children are at a higher risk for diabetes, cardiovascular
disease and other serious health problems. In a related
story, a growing number of children and teens were diagnosed
with Type 2 diabetes. Obesity (from a combination of a
sedentary lifestyle and poor eating habits) and genetics
are to blame, according to the American Diabetes Association.
important are the long-term health implications for adolescent
obesity. There is a clear association between obesity
and the development of non-insulin dependent (Type 2)
diabetes (Kannel et al., 1996). In 1998 10.5 million Americans
were diagnosed with diabetes (90% Type 2). It was suggested
that it costs $11000 per year in health care for each
individual with diabetes compared to $2500 per year for
non-diabetics (Harris, 1998).
is also a serious risk factor for type 2 diabetes, coronary
artery disease, hypertension, and others. Researchers
have also found that a strong relationship between fatness
and CHD risk factors in adolescents and they concluded
that the primary prevention of CHD during childhood should
therefore concentrate upon preventing or reversing undue
weight gain (Boreham et al., 2001).
So where is the answer to our problem of obesity?
Where can one start to change? Researchers at Boston Children's
Hospital have concluded that the chances of a child developing
obesity rises significantly when they increase their daily
servings of sugar-sweetened drinks. According to the study,
published in The Lancet (a medical journal), even a mild
increase in daily soft drink consumption (high glycemic
carbohydrates) gives a child a 60 percent greater chance
of becoming obese. However, an increase in diet soda consumption
made the children less likely to become obese.
participation of high school physical education classes
in the United States has decreased from 42 to 25%. Furthermore,
many coaches complain about the lack of overall athletic
ability displayed by kids today despite the incredible
performances by individual athletes. Adolescents need
to find some sort of regular physical activity because
it is essential for sedentary young adults to get moving.
OBESITY & EXERCISE
much easier to maintain a healthy level of low body fat
than it is to lose 10-15% body fat and 30 lbs or more.
But it can be done. Pick up any fitness publication these
days and you will find amazing transformation pictorials.
Check the timeline. It may have taken these people 3 months,
6 months, or even a year, but these people have made incredible
they less busy than other overweight individuals? Are
people too busy with appointments? If that is a problem,
individuals should schedule an appointment 2-4 times per
week with the gym just like it was any other business
meeting. Spend a half-day on the weekend shopping for
an accomplished personal trainer that can give you a program
that requires only 2-4 hours per week. C'mon, 2-4 hours
per week, who can't spare that?
What type of exercise should you do? As mentioned,
the more muscle mass you have, the more energy that will
be spent at rest due to an increase resting metabolic
rate. Next, you have to do lots and lots of running or
biking right? Well, no, not necessarily. Aerobic exercise
certainly is beneficial to a healthy cardiovascular system
and is important for the performance of some sports and
it is likely one of the best methods for obese individuals
to lose weight. If nothing else, it should improve some
endurance exercise has traditionally been used in the
treatment of type 2 diabetes but its effects on long-term
glycemic control is small. Researchers found that resistance
training helped increase muscle mass and improve long-term
glycemic control in an elderly type 2 diabetic population
(Eriksson et al., 1997). Chronic exercise training in
diabetic rats was associated with reductions in basal
glycemia, and such reductions did not occur in sedentary
diabetic groups (Farrell et al., 1999). Therefore, exercise
programs should focus on increasing muscle mass because
muscle in the prime user of blood glucose.
et al. (1994) showed that vigorous exercise (high-intensity
interval training) favors negative energy and lipid balance
to a greater extent than exercise of low to moderate intensity
(traditional aerobic exercise). Moreover, the metabolic
adaptations taking place in the skeletal muscle in response
to the interval program appear to favor the process of
lipid oxidation. This study compared traditional endurance
training against high-intensity interval training. Even
though the interval training expended less energy per
training session, the subjects lost more body fat than
those performing regular endurance training.
you are super busy, simply split your training time in
half or thirds. A 15-minute walk two times a day plus
as little as 15 minutes of resistance training can pay
off. Aim to burn more and more calories every exercise
session. Up the intensity! Yearn to lift 5 lbs more weight
this week, or get another 2-3 reps per set. Improvement
will equal results. Don't get put off by the people that
do have 2 hours to train. Realize there is a point of
diminishing returns...think about it, unless you are a
competitive athlete, are you really getting much more
from spending 45 minutes running as opposed to 30 minutes?
Very soon you will realize that there is nothing to slipping
in some fitness to your workday.
set goals for retirement savings, for business performance,
for golf scores, why not some fitness goals? You get professional
plumbing help, you have a professional cleaner clean your
clothes, so what's wrong with asking a fitness professional
to fine-tune your body? What one of these people can teach
you in 1-2 hours is something that will last a lifetime!
Not sure who to go to? Surprisingly the CB ATHLETIC CONSULTING
network is growing to the point that there is someone
in almost every area that can be recommended to take you
to a better workout. Please check the exclusive links
section because these people are the best or email for
a professional in your area.
be optimistic, it is simply a problem of education and
exercise, moderation and muscle mass, teaching and training.
For the amount of commercial time an adult sits through
during an hour of prime time TV (about 15 minutes), one
could easily read an article from a fitness magazine detailing
and outlining a fitness regimen for success against weight
gain. Surely, in this society that allows one to operate
fitness equipment while watching television, there is
an opportunity to fight against fat. There are 168 hours
in a week. If you train, that only takes 2-4 hours, plus
1-2 hours for travel and showers, etc. That leaves you
approximately 160 hours for work, friends, family, sleep,
C., et al. Fitness, fatness, and coronary heart disease
risk in adolescents: the Northern
Ireland Young Hearts Project. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc.
33: 270-274, 2001.
J., et al. Resistance training in the treatment of non-insulin-dependent
Int. J. Sports Med. 18: 242-246, 1997.
P., et al. Hypertrophy of skeletal muscle in diabetic
rats in response to chronic resistance
exercise. J. Appl. Physiol. 87: 1075-1082, 1999.
M. Diabetes in America: Epidemiology and Scope of the
Problem. Diabetes Care 21: c11-c14, 1998.
W., et al. Effect of weight on cardiovascular disease.
Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 63: 419S-422S,
S., et al. Holiday weight gain: fact or fiction? Nutr.
Rev. 58: 378-379, 2000.
A., et al. Metabolism 43: 814-818, 1994.Yanovski,
J., et al. A prospective
study of holiday weight gain. N. Engl. J. Med. 342: 861-867,