Would Being Forced to Use This ‘Obese’ Avatar Affect Your Physical Fitness?

A new study in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication takes a look at how the physical activity of a player changes depending on whether or not the game they’re playing uses a normal or obese avatar. There’s one problem. Neither of the avatars look obese. We spoke to one the scientists involved to see what was up.

Source: Would Being Forced to Use This ‘Obese’ Avatar Affect Your Physical Fitness?

The article doesn’t mention how long the Proteus Effect was tracked.  I mention this because there’s already been studies to demonstrate that fat shaming does not work, quite the opposite in fact.

Advertisements

Even More Evidence BMI Isn’t a Good Measure of Health

We already knew BMI isn’t a great measure of whether a person is fat or not, but now a study confirms that it’s not a good measure of health either.

Source: Even More Evidence BMI Isn’t a Good Measure of Health

It’s weird that BMI has stuck around so prominently. It’s a crude, blunt instrument that people think is precise. The only inputs in the equation are height and weight so it’s essentially meaningless.

Research Says Your Body Shape Could Be Worse for You Than a High BMI

Your body mass index (BMI) is a helpful tool to measure how under- or overweight you are—but may be of little use when it comes to determining potentially serious health risks. Researchers have found that individuals with a normal weight BMI, but a higher waist-to-hip ratio, face a higher risk of death—especially death from a cardiovascular disease.

Source: Research says your body shape could be worse for you than a high BMI

I’ve never been a fan of BMI because it generalized too much to have any real value.  The waist/hip ratio is better, but I’m still concerned about false positives.  Body fat percentage is notoriously subjective, the experience for determining the percentage can be harrowing for those who are in the double digits… But I still can’t help but think it’s a personal and better assessment of health with respect to what the study provides for implications of body fat.

It’s a fine line to cross before it becomes fat shaming (which doesn’t work).  But it is about preventative measures to minimize load on the health care system.  Everybody wins when it works.

Four Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Healthier Person

If you’re completely satisfied with your health, don’t read this article. This is not for you. Give yourself a pat on the back, and save yourself the scrolling. For the rest of you, approach what I’m about to say with an open mind, and maybe you can come out of this a fitter person.

Source: Four Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Healthier Person

This article really is about getting the conversation with yourself started.  It doesn’t talk about long term, re-evaluating periodically.  A plateau is a more obvious sign about re-evaluating – not too late, but can be.

I’ve made some changes in diet in the last six months or so.  Weight loss is part of the training agenda, while noticing that I should probably eat more protein.  But the changes also appeared in my INR tests – my levels having consistently been in the 3.5 range.  A bit of a concern – higher chance of bruising/internal bleeding.  My doctor started taking notice, test in two weeks rather than monthly.  So made another change, which I’m hoping suits all goals – natural food source, a bit more vitamin K intake to level off the INR, and cheaper than what my second breakfast was (besides healthier).

You Can Measure Your Body Fat, but No Method Is Truly Accurate

If you say you want to lose weight, you’ll probably measure progress by stepping on a scale. But in truth, what you’re trying to lose is fat, and the number on the scale may not reflect that. There are many ways to measure your body fat percentage, but they all come with different levels of (in)accuracy.

Source: You Can Measure Your Body Fat, but No Method Is Truly Accurate

Stay away from impedance measurement – the reliability is simply too low to be valuable at any level (but specifically for the more inexpensive models found in gyms). There’s a reason we still teach skinfold measurement in university classes: while it’s not perfect, it’s accurate enough for non-elite athletes and the average person.

Unsexy, Realistic Expectations for Healthy Weight Loss

Claims of products and programs that will allow you to lose a pound a day are rampant, often accompanied by the smug visage of Dr. Oz and seen in the magazine rack at your grocery store checkout, but in the above case it was actually feasible, because the man in question started at a weight of over 600 pounds, and he spent those 200 days in a tightly controlled “camp” environment where all his exercise and eating was carefully monitored, motivated, and measured.

But what about you?

Source: How Fast Should You Lose Weight?

I have a supporting article about how to approach weighing yourself.  And what to do when your weight loss stalls

Study: Eating Habits Impact Gut Bacteria for Carb Metabolism

Obesity is associated with the intestinal microbiota in man but the underlying mechanisms are yet to be fully understood. Our previous phylogenetic study showed that the faecal microbiota profiles of non-obese versus obese and morbidly obese individuals differed. Here, we have extended this analysis with a characterisation of the faecal metaproteome, in order to detect differences at a functional level.

Source: Colonic metaproteomic signatures of active bacteria and the host in obesity

The researchers describe this as “the chicken-or-the-egg question”: Is the microbiota causing a difference in metabolism that leads to an energetic misbalance, or are differences in metabolism and/or eating habits causing a change in microbiota?

It is like a very fast form of evolution going on in there. As you eat a certain type of food, the bacteria that is best suited to thrive off of that food will reproduce like crazy. So the more you eat of something, the better you get at processing it.  This means two things: eat like crap, and your body gets better at absorbing all of that shit (that’s bad). But if you eat healthy, even though your body may fight it initially, eventually it will refine itself to process the healthy food (that’s good).

This research unfortunately doesn’t lead immediately to any kind of clinical recommendation. What it does suggest is that what the bacteria in one’s gut are doing, and what genes they express, is more diagnostically relevant than who they are–so hopefully by focusing on this distinction, future research could more quickly come up with an answer to how to manage weight.

Welcome to Hell: Airline to Begin Weighing Passengers

In order to figure out calculate the gross weight of an aircraft before it takes off, Uzbekistan Airlines has announced it will be weighing both passengers’ luggage and their bodies before they board flights. Yes, weighing people. On scales. In the airport.

Source: Welcome to Hell: Airline to Begin Weighing Passengers

It’s a legitimate concern for smaller planes, like those the size of a minivan.

Scientists: There Should Be No Dietary Limit on Fat Intake

Dietary limits on fat intake have been around for years, but now two scientists are urging the federal government to drop restrictions on total fat consumption entirely.

In a paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, co-authors Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, and David Ludwig, MD, director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children’s Hospital, argue that all fats aren’t created equal.

Source: Scientists: There Should Be No Dietary Limit on Fat Intake

I’m surprised the article didn’t mention the avocado – high in fat, but what’s currently regarded as “good fat and cholesterol”.  It also doesn’t mention that we know that fat-soluble vitamin uptake increases dramatically when consumed with fat.  The low-fat craze was never good for us, aside from as the article points out – those on a restricted fat diet.

8 Things That Happen When You Finally Stop Drinking Diet Soda

You’ve decided to give up diet soda—good idea! Maybe you weren’t hitting your weight-loss goals or couldn’t stomach that long list of ingredients anymore. Or perhaps you heard one too many times that it’s just not good for you.

Whatever the reason, eliminating diet soda from your diet will improve your health from head to toe. Research on diet soda is still in its infancy, but there’s enough out there to identify what you can look forward to when you put down the can and cool down with an unsweetened iced tea instead.

Source: 8 Things That Happen When You Finally Stop Drinking Diet Soda

Sorry, but soda/pop is one place I will not consider the diet alternative.  Simply due to taste – most just prompted me to drink water instead (for the best anyway, but not for Big Soda/Pop).

The aspect of weight loss because of coming off diet soda/pop isn’t that surprising.  It’s often suggested that we consume more because we’re under the impression the food/beverage is healthier so we can consume more. As the joke goes: I’ll have the extra large burger, extra large fries, and …a diet soft drink.