Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Response to Controversial Time Magazine Titled "Why Exercise Won't Make You Thin"

On Monday August 10th, 2009 the American College of Sports Medicine sent a message to ASCM certified fitness professionals, addressing the false claims made in the recent August 17, 2009 Time magazine cover article titled, “Why Exercise Won’t Make You Thin.” http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1914857,00.html

In the face of an obesity epidemic in the United States and around the world, such a message is not only false but potentially dangerous. Among the many myths suggested in the article, the author would have readers believe that:

  • Losing weight matters more than being aerobically fit in preventing heart disease
  • One can’t lose weight from exercise because exercise makes you hungrier – and willpower can’t conquer the hunger enough to make good food choices
  • Exercising 60 to 90 minutes most days of the week in order to lose weight (a recommendation from an ACSM Position Stand) is unrealistic
  • Leisure-time physical activity – just moving around more during the day – is more effective for weight loss than dedicated exercise
  • Vigorous exercise depletes energy resources so much that it leads to overeating – i.e., weight gain

“These points directly contradict with the overwhelming science that supports the role of exercise in the achievement and maintenance of long term weight loss,” states Marissa Lysaght, owner of Fitness Re-defined in Jupiter, Fla. “The “science” used to support the author’s position was hardly conclusive and primarily based on empirical and anecdotal evidence. Indeed, the author’s representation of his hypothesis as fact is irresponsible journalism to say the least; particularly in light of the ever-declining physical activity levels among American adults and our children.”

Marissa Lysaght, owner of Fitness Re-defined in Jupiter, Fla., is an American College of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer and holds a Master’s degree in Public Health. She has extensive graduate-level and career experience in the field of obesity treatment and prevention and would like to address the claims set forth in the article, set straight the myths, and expose the facts behind the article’s argument that may have misled the author’s position on exercise. For more information visit www.fitnessredefined.com or contact Marissa at 561-353-8343.

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