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Re: Diets dont Work, End of Story

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By TMFMillerTime
March 3, 2006

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What do you think? is he still prone to eventually going back?

Odds are basically 95% that he'll revisit his weight. Twin studies (identical twins separated at birth) show unbelievable correlation of weight even with all the environmental differences in rearing.

Those of us lucky enough to have "ideal weight" parents will pretty much be ideal weight adults. Overweight parents= a poor chance modeling for Calvin Klein.

Having said that, here's what the real research shows...

To my everlasting despair, there has been one item that shows a clear correlation to long life. Of all things, it's a long term balanced slightly reduced calorie diet... now there's a heart breaker (not to make a pun, pun coming.) I am obviously excepting the things we do to REDUCE our allotted time on earth (smoking, excess drinking, not wearing seatbelts, etc.)

How about exercise... it's clearly been shown to NOT prolong life... period. However, good news for the runners... here's how I explain it to my patients... exercise seems to allow you to die all at once! Here's what I mean. Consistent exercise allows us to maintain our functional status far into old age. The nursing homes are largely populated with couch potato woman who suffer a long slow decline from full independence to death. People who stay very active are the grandpas and grandmas who tilled up their garden on their 95th birthday, then tripped and broke a hip, then inexplicably died two weeks later. Had they not been vigorous in exercise... they'd have been at the nursing home for 9 years, but still died at approximately the same time.

The amount of "required" exercise is remarkably small... walking two miles a day will do it, just 30-40 minutes out of a day... but ya gotta do it for at least 7500 days in a row (like 20 + years.) Running a marathon when you were 30 doesn't help. It looks like it really ought to be 5 out of 7 days/week minimum.... 6 is better. Of course, the more active we are the lower in the genetically programmed weight range we'll be. The greatest exercise program I've ever had was exercise blended into my daily routine. When I was at the Mayo Clinic, my office was on the 18th floor. My senior consulting physician was a 70 year old guy who NEVER took the elevator. Walked a mile to work, up 18 in the AM, down for consulting rounds, up after lunch, down again and walk home. He was fit and trim, and could walk the residents into the dirt... and he never put on a pair of sneakers or a jogging suit. For years, I just rode a bike to work (8 miles) and back... I still can't figure out why I quit... and while I always battled weight, it wasn't a problem as long as I just make the exercise part of my day. So many of us complain about "not enough time" but when I rode a bike to work it took me 40 minutes one way. BUT riding a car through school traffic takes 15-20 minutes... so for a total of an extra 30 minutes out of my day, I got an hour+ of exercise... oh well.

Here's some food for thought... (pun alert)

The take-home message is pay way less attention to the weight, and way more to a little exercise.

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