Dec 012011

fat fitDr. Oz and Dr. Glenn Gaesser debate whether you can be fat and fit.

They disagree on three fundamental points:
1. Obesity is an epidemic. 2/3 of Americans are overweight or obese. Dr. Gaesser argues that lifestyle is the problem. There’s an epidemic of physical inactivity that leads to weight gain.

2. Obesity causes deadly diseases. Dr. Gaesser argues that just because you’re obese does not mean that you are at health risk. What is more important to know is what their cardiovascular fitness level is. Diet and exercise, which lead to obesity, are the problem.

3. Exercise is key to sustaining weight loss. Dr. Gaesser argues that exercise won’t help you loose weight but will help you maintain your weight.

Watch Dr. Oz’s show Are Carbs the New Cocaine?

Watch Dr. Oz’s show Can You be Fat and Fit?

Dr. Glenn Gaesser responds to Dr. Oz

Grain Foods Foundation advisory board chairman, Dr. Glenn Gaesser, responds to The Dr. Oz Show segment, “Are Carbs the new Cocaine?,” arguing about the health benefits of grain foods and against the notion that carbs could be as addictive as illicit drugs.

Dr. Gaesser: carbs are not addictive and don’t contribute to obesity. Italians consume three times as much pasta per capita than do Americans yet only have 1/3 the obesity problem. Fats, salt and sugar are the problem, not carbohydrates. Dr. Gaesser reviewed the available literature on the relationship between carbohydrate consumption and body weight. All the major population studies show that as carbohydrate consumption goes up body weights tend to be lower. He cites a recent study that shows that the best combination of grain intact was approximately 2 servings a day of refined grain and three servings of whole grains to bring about the lowest risk of having harmful belly fat.

Click here to read an excerpt from Dr. Gaesser’s book, Big Fat Lies.

My two cents:

Much of the debate seems to be semantics. I think in the end they would both agree — eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly. Other points they seem to agree on: yo-yo dieting is bad for your health; and the best carbs are fiber rich.

I find it hard to believe that you can be obese and avoid diseases like diabetes and heart disease. I agree that the main concern is being fit. Being thin or normal weight and unfit isn’t any good either. So, it’s not just about weight. But it seems like an overweight person’s fitness would be reduced, so their risk of disease increased.

But what does it mean to be “fit”?

Elsewhere, Dr. Gaesser states that “The amount of exercise necessary to achieve a fitness level that greatly reduces disease and mortality risk is the equivalent of brisk walking for 30 minutes a day, five days a week, or running 20 to 30 minutes a day, three days a week.”

Who do you agree with?

Can You be Fat and Fit?

Leave a Reply