I am writing in response to the online article, "Exercise and Weight Loss: Abandon All Hope." I was intrigued by the snippet given on the main page stating that people should give up their gym memberships indefinitely. However, when I read the article I was highly disappointed. Not only did the article fail to sufficiently recognize the importance to a healthy diet in concordance with exercise, but it also used sources in a deceiving manner.
The article focused on the evidence from a study done with middle-aged women. It reported that to maintain their weight the women must participate in seven hours of moderate to vigorous activity per week. It concluded that there was no reason for women to continue doing therecommended federal guidelines for physical fitness of thirty minutes, five times a week of moderate exercise, because it is inevitable that weight gain with accrue. However it also mentioned that the women ate what they regularly ate, and did not adjust their caloric intake to help foster this weight regulation. In a study done to look at the main contributing factors as to why the boys stayed obese in comparison to their non-obese siblings and peers at school, it was found that the increased caloric intake, rather than the lack of energy expenditure was what kept the boys obese (Waxman and Stunkard, 1980). In fact, the obese boys were equally active, if not more, than the control group of peers and siblings. Although the demographics of the articles are different, the idea is the same, caloric intake is a vital determinant in weight regulation regardless of age and sex. So for the writer to simply disregard the assessment of caloric intake in each of the participants of the study is very interesting.
In addition, the article states that once a woman gains weight, it is unlikely for the woman to lose it. This is true, but only to the extent to which the woman is avidly trying to lose or maintain weight. According to Wilmore and colleagues (2008), it is proposed that body weight is regulated within a range, or given set point. Even if an individual over-eats, it is likely that if the individual returns to their normal eating habits and maintains the same energy expenditure it is highly likely that the individual will return back to the original level. This is also true of an individual that loses weight but returns to their old habits, the pounds will resurface. All this proves is that lifestyle choices are a determinant in how the body upholds its shape.
Another thing that struck me while reading the article was when the writer discussed the recommended federal guidelines as being insufficient and simply a scapegoat to not diminish the hope of adults that can't find the time or motivation work out seven hours a week. The guidelines state that the average adult should spend thirty minutes five times a week involved in moderate to vigorous physical activity. However, what the article failed to portray, was that this time recommendation was the suggested minimum, and that the time was given as a frame to help keep an individual healthy, not specifically for weight regulation. Healthy People 2010 was geared towards the improvement of overall living for individuals in today's society. It focuses on decreasing such things as the obesity rate, but more so on decreasing the likelihood for developing cardiovascular problems and other such illnesses (Healthy People 2010).
For individuals who do not have the proper information about nutrition and physical activity may read this article and get the wrong idea. I think that to be sufficient for the readers a few amendments are warranted in order to help readers make an appropriate decision on how to maintain their weight and live a healthy lifestyle. I hope you take into consideration a few of the problems I have detailed. Thank you for your time.
Begley, S. (March 23, 2010). Exercise and Weight Loss: Abandon All Hope. Newsweek. Retrieved from
Waxman, M., & Stunkard, A. Caloric intake and expenditure of obese boys. The Journal of Pediatrics,
Volume 96, Issue 2, Pages 187-193.
Wilmore, J.H., Costill, D.L., & Kenney, W.L. (2008). Physiology of Sport and Exercise (4th ed.). Human
Kinetics. Pages 498-499.
Healthy People 2010. Retrieved from www.healthypeople.gov/.
(i copied and pasted this from word, so my references and their alignments are off....please disregard how they are formatted. It wouldn't let me adjust them in here).