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Sport Is Unrelated To Obesity In Children

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the who-you-callin-fat dept.

Biotech 594

xiox writes "The UK government is planning to stop funding a study to understand obesity in children. The study fits children with accelerometers to measure how much energy each child uses in a day by moving. The results are surprising. Those children who do sports at school do not burn more calories than those who don't. Furthermore there is no correlation between body mass index and the number of calories used! The results are very interesting, suggesting that genetics and diet are the main reasons for childhood obesity, not sport. The UK government is trying to increase the amount of sport in schools."

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594 comments

Everyone knows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18341993)

Playing sports makes you smarter....

Frist Pr0st (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18341997)

Look look frist Prost!

This may all be true, but... (5, Interesting)

tuxlove (316502) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342011)

Even if sports don't help children keep slim, it is proven that it helps adults (in addition to genetics and diet, of course). People who start out as active young children are probably more likely to stay active into adulthood, at least moreso than less active kids. So in that sense, by teaching kids to exercise and be fit, you will potentially increase adult fitness. This alone justifies fitness programs in school.

Re:This may all be true, but... (3, Interesting)

cluckshot (658931) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342085)

I have no argument with the studies but I thought throwing a few more facts in the soup might be interesting.

Normally animals and for that matter people given unlimited diets will only have a few individuals get fat. As a general rule diet and for that matter exercise just have little or no effect. We do know several things that to cause weight gain. It is known for example that deliberate malnutrition will cause weight gain. (anybody heard of a feed lot? Thats what it does. ) Genetic engineering of late has been producing the same effect as the feed lot diet.

There are a lot of other factors like loss of sleep. Maybe our society and lifestyle really are a disease. We tend to get an arrogant disregard for sleep in our society and we also get a disregard of the quality of our food having food sellers pushing foods that are grown in conditions that don't exactly produce the best balanced nutrition.

Re:This may all be true, but... (2, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342467)

We do know several things that to cause weight gain. It is known for example that deliberate malnutrition will cause weight gain.
I've tried "deliberate malnutrition" aka "a diet" and managed to lose 30 pounds.
Maybe you meant nutritional deficiencies will cause weight gain?
Maybe you meant to say weight loss?

(anybody heard of a feed lot? Thats what it does. ) Genetic engineering of late has been producing the same effect as the feed lot diet.
What does fattening up animals on a high energy diet (the feedlot diet) have to do with malnutrition?

Re:This may all be true, but... (1)

dosius (230542) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342611)

It may be something Amish and Mennonites know, maybe we could take a tip from them and get back to basics, cut our dependencies on the grid and on the outside world at large.

I can hear the voices of a thousand nerds and geeks screaming "Give up my Internet? NUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!" We have limits as to what we can and can't give up; there are pressing reasons to stay on the grid, but hell, why can't one grow, say, a few veggies in a blanketbox or something? Modern and old-fashioned can go hand-in-hand.

-uso.

Er (2)

dsanfte (443781) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342095)

Even if sports don't help children keep slim, it is proven that it helps adults (in addition to genetics and diet, of course).


Well, you just covered all the possibilities in a single sentence, and effectively said nothing.

I'd like to see accellerometers fitted to adults in the same way as with children. Then we can make a real comparison.

Maybe sports in school takes fun out of exercise (5, Interesting)

Latent Heat (558884) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342231)

Perhaps some gym class/athletic programs/sports in school manage to promote sports elite and take the fun out of such activities for the majority of the other kids.

If the emphasis is on competition and winning, the vast majority of school children don't belong to the few that are advanced a few months in maturation and have the muscle strength to dominate in these competitions and thereby most warm the bench. At all levels from the gym class through the "revenue sports" of high school football (yes, they charge money to watch these kids play football), the emphasis is on winning rather than having a rotation to keep as many kids involved, or even providing any degree of remedial sports training to offer any degree of encouragement or extra support for the kids who don't dominate their sports teams.

There may be some cultural or social reasons for the less athletically gifted to try out for sports teams and be part of the team even if they play a minor supporting role, but the whole sports culture is a kind of primate dominance hierarchy thing rather than focused on keeping as many people physically fit.

Also, I don't know if the Latin teacher is a frustrated Classics scholar, the English teacher is a frustrated attorney, or if the Math teacher is a frustrated research engineer (although the Physics teacher, if you had that subject, was always a little beyond the fringe), but the Gym teacher is most likely a frustrated athlete given the very broad pyramid of people attempting to make a career out of sports with a chosen few at the very tippy top.

Re:Maybe sports in school takes fun out of exercis (5, Insightful)

GuyfromTrinidad (1074909) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342605)

Being someone who works with an organization that promotes mass participation physical activities for children I can say that you have touched on a key issue. Physical activity with the pairing of the benefits of a healthy diet should be promoted and not the concept of sport that pits child against child and team against team. Sport is good but encouraging everyone to engage in a general healthy lifestyle which should include moderate to vigorous physical activity is key. And on a final note before I took up my job at this organization I was a "physical education" teacher (we prefer that over gym teacher, we are teaching a subject not a room) and I wasn't a frustrated former athlete and though there is a percentage of former athletes who become PE teachers, its not as high as you think.

Re:Maybe sports in school takes fun out of exercis (1)

TheLostSamurai (1051736) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342621)

Like most slashdotters, I was never athletically gifted in school. However, I was always involved in sports regardless of how many times I got my ass kicked. The difference was that my parents, if I was truly interested in something, would not allow me to quit. They always made me strive to be the best that I possibly could, even if that wasn't that great.

The idea that we should allow our kids to avoid athletics because they are focused on competition and winning is absurd. Guess what, that's the real world. I owe a lot about myself to the fact that I was picked last in dodgeball, repeatedly bashed in the head and continued to get back up to try harder.

I do agree that gym teachers suck, that's why parents should encourage their kids to catch that dogeball and give the biggest kid on the floor a Spalding tatoo.

Re:This may all be true, but... (1)

gringer (252588) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342599)

by teaching kids to exercise and be fit, you will potentially increase adult fitness.

Except the article mentioned that increasing the frequency of opportunity at school for activity had no significant effect on the total activity level of the child. What you'd probably need to do is look at the ones who were more active in school, and encourage their family to get more active outside the classroom — which is much harder to do at a social engineering level.

Re:This may all be true, but... (2, Insightful)

JanneM (7445) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342629)

Even if sports don't help children keep slim, it is proven that it helps adults (in addition to genetics and diet, of course). People who start out as active young children are probably more likely to stay active into adulthood, at least moreso than less active kids. So in that sense, by teaching kids to exercise and be fit, you will potentially increase adult fitness. This alone justifies fitness programs in school.

For a dumpy, awkward kid like myself, a school fitness program is an excellent way to guarantee a lifelong loathing of any kind of organized athletics. I guess if you're already fit, well-coordinated and into sports that it may be fun and motivating. For people like me gym class meant an hour of pain humiliation, ridicule and bullying - and that's just from the (no doubt) well-meaning teachers.

Kids that like athletics and take to it mostly would do sports by themselves anyhow. For kids that don't, school sports is a good way to ensure they never will.

Re:This may all be true, but... (1)

JasonBee (622390) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342635)

Indeed!

I grew up during the ParticipAction years (in Canada) and my whole school was very active. Very few of those kids were anywhere near obese.

Flash forward to my competitive years (I was an amateur athlete for 10 years and a pro for four). As I waned into my career years (post athletics) my caloric consumption went from 3000-4000 per day at the highest to about 2000-3000 and of course I gained 50% more weight. I'm still roughly 190-200 lbs at just under 6 feet but hey - I can dream of the olden days ;)

Consumption really does make the difference. However the empty sugar-laden calories that are starting to make up most people's diets are largely efforts by agribusiness to find a place to dump the excess sugar and fat products produced on the open market. Agricultural subsidies may have much to do with that. Success in marketing calorie-rich but nutrition poor foods make up another component of the problem. they all point to general weight gain despite overall intake.

I would not wait for the other shoe to drop in the cessation of this study. The obvious conclusion is that the food is much to blame - what else would it be if the science is solid? However many, many people in busines, government and the public service will have to fall on their swords in order for that conclusion to be decisively and openly written.

JB

Incomplete Story (4, Interesting)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342021)

Recent studies also show that overweight people who excercise are less likely to suffer heart disease, diabetes, and other ailments than people of 'normal' weight who do not excercise.

This is a bit misleading and I hope it doesn't discourage the efforts to get kids to excercise more.

Re:Incomplete Story (4, Insightful)

ToastyKen (10169) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342129)

And in reverse, lack of obesity doesn't mean you're healthy. You can be skinny all your life but still have high cholesterol and whatnot.

Re:Incomplete Story (1)

spineboy (22918) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342173)

Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 13, @10:01PM
People can still be fat and "in shape", or thin - it just matters if your heart is used to exercising.

The New England Journal of Medicine looked at obese and thin people about 7 years ago and compared their eating/exercise habits. The overweight people typically underestimated the amount of food they ate by 1/2 and overestimated the amount of exercise they did by two times.

Weight is basically a function of how many calories you consume. Two people can eat the same amount of food and maintain their bodyweight, whether it is 300 or 120 pounds. As long as you are not eating more calories than your basal metabolic rate, you should stay the same weight. Thus the overweight person eating salad complaining they never lose weight.
A pound of fat is equivalent to 3500 calories. The average caloric intake on a 150 pound person is about 2500 calories, the amount of calories a 150 pound person would use by walking/running a marathon is about 3700 calories. Thus exercise is not the main contributing factor to weight lose/gain - it's food intake, or lack thereof.

hah (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18342031)

man I'm glad I'm not a limey....

After TFA, read this too (3, Interesting)

cmburns69 (169686) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342039)

This is an article [nytimes.com] I found from digg that was very enlightening.
 
... And a quote from a nutritionist I know: "The childhood obesity epidemic is an epidemic of news stories, not a problem itself."

Re:After TFA, read this too (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18342375)

The childhood obesity epidemic is an epidemic of news stories, not a problem itself.

Horseshit. When I was in school 20 or so years ago, you could count the number of fat kids (in a school of 2300 students) on your fingers, and a child who would be considered obese by today's standards was virtually unheard of. At my kids' schools, it's easier to count the kids who aren't fat than the ones who are, and there's at least one obese kid in any group larger than about ten.

I know it's all the rage to pretend that whatever problems our society causes itself don't actually exist, but this one is pretty easy to nail down. Anybody who says we don't have a serious problem with kids and their poor eating habits and lack of activity is either an idiot or a liar.

Re:After TFA, read this too (1)

whiplashx (837931) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342557)

One hypothesis that could support this study is that our calorie-burning estimates are wildly wrong. Given that people generate so much heat, its not surprising to me that some people can easily consume more calories while staying less active. If that is the case, then those people who burn more or less calories naturally would have little control over. There are, for instance, studies that show "fidgeters" are generally skinnier, and fidgeting is not an easy habit to form, I'm sure. I would tend to agree with your nutritionist friend. I definitely believe people are more overweight that say, cavemen, but that's hardly comparable. Early human and human ancestors' diets were probably limited by how much they could hunt, not how hungry they were. So its not illogical that genetic pre-disposition to obesity would never have been weeded out. Thus my thesis is that if this study has any basis, then the major factor in weight gain would be the amount eaten, for at least some people. According to this thesis, some people might be able to gain or lose weight through exercise, but others can't (significantly). My analysis: big deal. People are obsessed with eating "enough". People are confusing "limiting food intake" with "starving". Sadly, I had a cousin who went from obese to athletic, and was accused by the entire family of being "anorexic". I can remember 2 of my (mildly) obese friends whose parents would accuse them of not eating enough. That's my suggestion, anyhow. IANA nutritionist, but I've got a reasonable amount of education in nutrition and biology in school.

Re:After TFA, read this too (5, Informative)

jweller (926629) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342603)

excellent article, thanks for linking it. Seems I never have mod points when I want/need them. I started by cutting hydrogenated oils out of my diet, I'm working on high fructose corn syrup. I'm not 100% on either one, but I'm making conscious choices to cut back on both. I know this will be blasphemy on this site, but Mountain Dew contains "brominated vegetable oil". Gatorade, a "health" drink contains "glycerol ester of wood rosin". Tell me honestly, is there any way you would put that in your body if it wasn't hidden in some mile long ingredient list?

Watching my 10 year old niece grow up, I can say with some certainty, that obesity is at least in part, a learned behavior. She has been fed a steady diet of fast food and sweets, and is essentially instructed to "sit in front of the TV while Mommy does something else". Watching her morbidly obese mother sneak food and gorge herself to find solace has only reinforced negative eating habits. My wife and I took her skiing last weekend and she lied to me about her weight. 10 years old and she is ashamed of how heavy she is. She was almost in tears when my wife and I explained to her that for her own safety, she had to tell us what she weighed so her ski bindings could be set properly.

breaks my heart.....

I'm skeptical... (4, Insightful)

recursiv (324497) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342041)

Furthermore there is no correlation between body mass index and the number of calories used!


Body fat isn't magic. It comes from food you eat. If you are exercising more and still have more weight, it means you are eating too much. People need to stop looking for excuses.

And yes, BMI sucks.

Re:I'm skeptical... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18342093)

Metabolism is a crazy thing though. There is no one single rule that everyone can follow.

Re:I'm skeptical... (1)

purduephotog (218304) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342101)

Agreed.

Genetics works over time. I don't see a miracle happening where we are breeding at the rate of bacteria to go thru hundreds of generations to breed 'fat' people.

My parents weren't fat. My grandparents weren't fat- at least in the old bw photos I saw. My grandparents parents weren't fat, so far as we can tell from their pics.

I'm overweight. In fact, by the new guidelines, I'm obese- 230lbs / 6'2".

Frankly, I blame the chinese. Food that is- it's too good eatin... now where's my 5lbs for 5$ special coupon...

Re:I'm skeptical... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342309)

Get ready for epigenics. It's going to blow your mind.

(Basically, there is early stage research showing that your grandparents diet influences your genetic expression; it don't change your genes none, but it figures into which ones you use)

Re:I'm skeptical... (1)

Yinepuhotep (821200) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342229)

Body fat isn't magic. It comes from food you eat. If you are exercising more and still have more weight, it means you are eating too much. People need to stop looking for excuses.
For most people, this is true. However, there are medical conditions that are known to cause the body to store fat, no matter how little you eat. I've seen someone eat as little as 300 calories a day (over a period of several months) and gain weight, because she has one of those medical conditions.

Re:I'm skeptical... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18342363)

I'm sorry, I simply do not believe you. If that person expended more than 300 calories of energy in one day, it is simply impossible to gain weight. Now, it is possible that she did not have the energy to do so, but I'm fairly sure that even in a coma one uses more than 300 calories per day just to survive and keep the brain going.

Re:I'm skeptical... (1)

balloonhead (589759) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342389)

Better hook her up to a perpetual motion machine.

While it is true that the enzymes in the body can be more or less efficient between different people, and that some people can be better or worse at extracting all the available calories in the foods in the digestive tract, the fact remains that weight gain or loss equals calories in minus calories consumed. Perhaps her appetite was higher. Perhaps she was a little more efficient at storing fat. But enough excuses - that simply means she needs to eat a little less (and it really is just a little - every day of too much calories adds up over the course of a few years) or do a bit more activity.

Making excuses for fat people pisses me off. How many fat people do you see in Somalia or Ethopia? Bugger all. They simply don't have enough food.

Your friend didn't eat 300 cal a day. She ate way more, but either lied about it, underestimated it, or was slowly losing weight. Expect 10 years of weight gain to take 10 years to lose.

Re:I'm skeptical... (0)

Yinepuhotep (821200) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342485)

You are being needlessly inflammatory, and posting from a position of ignorance. Her calorie intake was documented EXACTLY as I stated. Over a period of six months, she gained roughly 35 pounds, while eating approximately 300 calories per day. Those are the facts. The fact that you do not like those facts does not change reality.

Re:I'm skeptical... (4, Insightful)

Kythe (4779) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342419)

For most people, this is true. However, there are medical conditions that are known to cause the body to store fat, no matter how little you eat. I've seen someone eat as little as 300 calories a day (over a period of several months) and gain weight, because she has one of those medical conditions.

What you say above is actually impossible for an adult human. No one burns fewer than 300 calories per day simply by breathing.

(I suppose the person in question could have consumed copius amounts of water, enough to offset the huge caloric deficit that was causing actual tissue to be consumed, but that wouldn't be fat gain.)

Yes, how quickly your body burns calories is in part genetic. And yes, if you get an overabundance of calories, genetics helps to determine where the excess goes (in other words, the percent that gets stored as fat). But genetics can't overcome the laws of physics. Mass and energy can't be created out of thin air.

Re:I'm skeptical... (1)

Yinepuhotep (821200) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342517)

OK. You tell me: How many calories are in a pack of ramen? Eat one pack of ramen a day. Nothing else. Gain 35 pounds over 6 months. It happened in real life. You might also want to check out a disease called "Cushing's Syndrome". The people suffering from that condition don't eat such extremely anorexic diets, but they DO gain weight despite consuming very small amounts of calories. In fact, that's one of the defining traits of Cushing's Syndrome.

Re:I'm skeptical... (1)

rolfyone (921944) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342287)

agreed - seems a fairly large part of the equation that they left out. It's really not magic, i'm surprised we spend so much money studying a relatively simple thing instead of trying to work out something new.

Re:I'm skeptical... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18342339)

It isn't magic. That said, there are many other factors at play and some of those may play bigger role in some individuals than others. Using myself as an example, I eat a lot. Ever since puberty, I consume a big amount of food each time, 3 times a day plus snacks and stuff in between. Yet, I am underweight. There were periods in my life where I did a lot of sports and there were periods where I practically did nothing but sat in front of a computer day after day, went home, sat on the couch watching a bit of TV and then slept. There were also periods when I was sick and couldn't eat much. However, one thing is pretty much constant... my body weight. I've tried to gain muscle mass by lifting weight and all I got was slender arms with toned muscles. So whatever happened to the extra energy/protein during a no sports period? I can only guess that it's my high metabolism adjusting to the situation.

It's not all strange that some kids have a tendency to gain weight regardless the amount of sports or food, even if they eat just enough to maintain a healthy diet. What is annoying is the fact that the research funding is stopped because it does not agree with the conclusion the UK government wants. That is not about science anymore. So they want to make children more active to be healthier. Good. That alone should be enough a reason regardless of what the research says, but they shouldn't stop funding a research because they don't like the conclusion.

Re:I'm skeptical... (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342501)

What is annoying is the fact that the research funding is stopped because it does not agree with the conclusion the UK government wants. That is not about science anymore. So they want to make children more active to be healthier. Good. That alone should be enough a reason regardless of what the research says, but they shouldn't stop funding a research because they don't like the conclusion.

This is the real story here. Everyone missed that in their haste to post about counting calories (hint, there is no such law as the law of conservation of calories) and getting off slashdot to run around outside.

Mod parent up.

ouch... (1)

nothing now (1062628) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342045)

... that's gotta hurt

I could've told you that from empirical evidence alone.
I was the slowest kid at my school and I was skinny as hell

I'm confused (4, Interesting)

LS (57954) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342047)

So are these scientists claiming that children don't expend energy while exercising? Don't the laws of conservation apply to children as well, or are they from an alternate universe? The UK should be careful publishing these results, lest some nut starts enslaving children to build his perpetual motion device.

Re:I'm confused (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18342127)

No, you misread the article (or summary at least)... it doesn't say that exercising and sports didn't result in calories being burned. You must consider that other things besides "exercise" result in calories being burned... walking or riding a bike to school, or even simply having restless legs. My legs are almost always moving - I can't keep them still. I eat about 3500 calories a day, I am 5'7" and I weight ~125 lbs and I've never had a gym membership. I also typically ride a bike 6 miles a day during the work week.

Lifestyle and habits have more to do with weight than going to the gym or playing sports.

Simple to unconfuse you... everone has a limit... (4, Interesting)

Fallen Kell (165468) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342591)

Basically it is saying that every child has a total limit on the activity they do in a day/week. And those limits are all about the same. So if the child is more active during school doing things like sports, they are less active out of school because they are tired. The children who were less active in school sports were more active outside of school doing other things, playing, riding bikes, running around outside, etc., etc... The end result is that it doesn't seem to matter if you promote activity in school since the net total activity is approximitely the same between people active in school verses not active in school. Which means that the problem is not that people are not as active as they have been in the past, it is the food and portions of food they are eating along with their genetic disposition to the kinds of food. Activity level is not a part of the problem of childhood obesity according to this research as it appears that the activity level at least between people who are over-weight and those who are not is not statistically linked. Further study may be able to prove that activity level is not linked to being over-weight. The problem with this conclusion is the fact that it means the food is the problem. And governments have not been very keen on attacking the food industry. Only a few places have done that, and it is usually at the local level, as at the national level, the food industry has too much lobby'ing power in most democratic governments.

Re:I'm confused (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342637)

Don't the laws of conservation apply to children as well, or are they from an alternate universe?
That's an absurdly simplistic analysis. One obvious explanation is that to the extent exercise burns calories, it also makes the kids more hungry.

Anyways, thermodynamics does not directly relate calories consumed to weight. It only sets the lower bound. A hotdog and bun has about 350 calories, and a pound of fat is 3500 calories. When Kobayashi eats 53 hot dogs at a sitting, you think he puts on 5 pounds of fat? I don't. (My guess would be a massive attack of diarrhea). It's entirely possible that one person's body might be more prone to put on fat than another's even if they both eat and burn the same number of calories. Poop contains calories, too, you know.

Absurd conclusion as many families know (4, Insightful)

MonkeyBoyo (630427) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342055)

Those children who do sports at school do not burn more calories than those who don't.
There are many multiple-child families in which some children engage in strenuous sports while others do not. They can all tell you that the sporty children eat a whole lot more than the non-sporty ones.

Crappy writeup by xiox (4, Informative)

MonkeyBoyo (630427) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342163)

In reading the BBC article, I found it said nothing along the lines of

Those children who do sports at school do not burn more calories than those who don't.
It didn't mention calories at all. At most it said

we have been unable to show any relationship between the physical activity that a child undertakes and his BMI.

Re:Crappy writeup by xiox (4, Informative)

sessamoid (165542) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342313)

Accuracy? We'll have none of that! In short, they discontinued the study because using BMI as a measure for obesity is plain stupid, and it took them this long to figure that out.

The results are very interesting (0, Troll)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342067)

I suppose they would be...if you're interested in the obvious.

Re:The results are very interesting (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342461)

What's trollish about that? Hasn't this been known since the 70s? It's like saying hypoxia causes diminished brain function. DNA rules. It should be as obvious as the color of the sky.

Moo (5, Insightful)

Chacham (981) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342069)

While this may show interesting correlations, the fact remains that if more calories are burnt than are consumed, the body will lose weight.

When kids exercise more, they also eat more, and the body tries to retain the same reserves while burning off more calories. Eating no more, or just a little more, will be fine and the subject will still lose weight.

It's when the eating leads to significantly ore eating that there is a problem.

So, exercise and diet are required. But that isn't news. We've known this for quite some time.

BS (1, Insightful)

umbrellasd (876984) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342077)

People who engage in sports and are in all other ways have the same activity of your average couch potato do burn more calories. You can't magically cheat the system. A person that participates in an organized sport for an hour a day will burn more calories than someone that sits on their duff for that hour. The real question is, does being in a sport make you more disciplined about matching your caloric intake to your actual need. For many sports the answer is likely no, so the jock just ups his burger intake and keeps pace with the couch potato, fat-wise.

For sports with weight classes or any highly competitive sport where BMI is relevant (wrestling, bodybuilding, most track events, you bet your fat ass there will be a difference. The successful atheletes will be leaner, burn more calories, and eat more calories. Way more. Anyone that has been through high school or college and seen one of these teams eat and train knows this obvious fact without commissioning an expensive study.

More wasted dollars.

Go RTFA. (1)

tehdaemon (753808) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342553)

Try RTFA. The point of the article is that those kids who engage in school-related sports are less active at other times. This means that school sports has almost nothing to do with activity level in kids.

Since there is no corelation between school sports and exercise, then of course there will be no corelation between school sports and calories burned and BMI.

People who engage in sports and are in all other ways have the same activity of your average couch potato do burn more calories.

The whole point of the article was that the assumption that you made is not the case. Kids in school sports do not in other ways have the same activity level as their non-sports classmates.

T

Authored by Homer J. Simpson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18342105)

Lisa you and your silly stories:
beer kills brain cells
carbon dioxide causes global warming
being sedentary causes obesity

Other long term effects (2, Interesting)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342111)

Ok in growing children, physical activity doesn't have as much direct effect as I would have assumed. But I made that assumtion based on the direct effect that physical activity has on the health of adults. If school is there to help prepare our youth to be highly functional adults, learning to value physical fitness and activity is still an important thing to instill in the kiddies, not just for health but for general succes in life. "No woman or guy wakes up beautiful in the morning. The beautiful is a result of smart life choices, smart shopping choices, smart diet choices, smart makeup choices, smart outfit and accessories choices and even smart chair-stylist choices." "It is not just politicians whom we prefer to be beautiful. A number of studies, many involving American economist Daniel Hamermesh, have found that "ugly" people earn less in many walks of life, from advertising to law. The beauty premium seems to apply even in professions where there is no reason to expect that beauty counts."

Both quotes from:http://www.slate.com/id/2161615/ [slate.com]

Nutrionists Discover Free Energy! (4, Funny)

physicsphairy (720718) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342131)

Those children who do sports at school do not burn more calories than those who don't.

Startling--this is apparently the next wave of human evolution--a breed of child that can expend energy without depleting any of its energy reserves.

It is only a matter of time before this unlicensed borrowing from the aether bears grave repercussions for the laws of physics.

In the meanwhile, however, I suggest rigging up these children to some sort of power collection device. We can retard global warming by moving away from fossil fuels to infinite-energy-children fuels, and thereby ensure a safe future for our mutant underlords!

Re:Nutrionists Discover Free Energy! (1)

SimDarth (975287) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342149)

Sounds like my daughter. If we could only give everyone the energy of a two-year-old.

Re:Nutrionists Discover Free Energy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18342215)

I think what this is essentially finding is a near-perfect correlation between calory intake and output in children. Which violates no laws.

I get it, it's funny; I just don't know whether you're only trying to be funny or if you also missed the point of the article.

Re:Nutrionists Discover Free Energy! (4, Insightful)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342219)

Actually, what the study found was that those who did sports were less active after school. So the non-sport doing kids did stuff outside of sports and thus burnt their share that way. So I assume those with good genes and diet were better off than those doing sports but but failed on the other parts.

The comment was well hidden deep inside the article... As usual.

Re:Nutrionists Discover Free Energy! (1)

BarryJacobsen (526926) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342251)

I haven't read TFA, but "Those children who do sports at school do not burn more calories than those who don't." doesn't require that those who do sports are getting the energy for free, it could just be the case that those children who do sports do not by virtue of doing sports burn more calories than those who don't. i.e. It could be the case that the students who don't do sports end up using those calories doing non-sports related activity (that is they burn their calories playing cops and robbers instead of playing soccer).

Duh... (1)

zdc (1064870) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342133)

this is why some nerds look like this guy [montaraventures.com] .
Not in the greatest of shape, but definitely not obese by any stretch.
You can't tell me that the skinny, dorky, pencil-necked geeks have taken in any degree of exercise in their lives aside from phalange-punching-perl-programming with "We Built This City" by Starship on the (net)radio.

All of that money trying to figure out why people are such fatties could have been instead used to try to put a little meat on the starving children of Africa's bones IMHO.

It makes you wonder (3, Insightful)

Forrest Kyle (955623) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342135)

We have here a "scientific study" that shows that conservation of energy doesn't apply to children. It makes me wonder what other spurious crap we accept as truth because a "study" was done.

If this study is true, then I would like to build a car powered by children on excercise wheels. It seems clear to me that they don't require any extra energy to excercise so, hey, free energy.

Two points (1)

The Orange Mage (1057436) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342137)

It's entirely possible to be fat and healthy. As long as you exercise and eat right, it doesn't matter too much how much you weigh to a certain point. I know people in excess of 300 pounds who are way healthier than I am at 130 pounds. Also, why do the British pluralize "math," yet singularize "sports?" The -ize's in the previous sentence are intentional and inflammatory, by the way.

Re:Two points (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18342189)

Why not "exercize" as well?

Re:Two points (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18342383)

Actually no its not. It's only possible to have the /appearance/ of "healthy" while being fat.

The fact of the matter is that being fat puts an amazing amount of stress on the body and no amount of exercise will change this. To be fat, one must have an horrid diet (unless they have an extremely rare condition) which puts stress on the body. Basically, all of medicine flies in the face of what you're claiming.

All what you're saying is an urban legend among fat people to justify an extremely unhealthy lifestyle and to avoid difficult change (e.g. actually exercising and eating right). Suck it up, do the work, or die early. That's basically what it comes down to.

Re:Two points (1)

The Orange Mage (1057436) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342601)

How then, AC, do you explain the good number of people who have been obese all their lives living well into their 80s and 90s? Also, how do you explain the fact that those who are extremely obese (The kind that appear on Springer and Maury, we're talking immobile 800+ pound people) always die WHEN they try to lose weight drastically? And then you've got 14 year olds who aren't even over 160 lbs getting gastric bypass surgery, and people dieting (fails most of the time), putting MORE weight back on as a result, and doing MORE harm to their bodies than if they never "dieted" at all. This whole Obesity "Epidemic" makes me sick. Even the name is misleading. Epidemic is meant for things that are contagious. You can't "catch" being fat. Though the world, dumbasses that they are, sure treat even the chubbiest of people like they've got the damn plague.

Re:Two points (1)

terrymr (316118) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342539)

I believe that is because maths is an abbreviation of mathematics and sport is well ... sport.

Bicycle commuting does help! Personal testimony (4, Informative)

mrs clear plastic (229108) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342153)

I would like to say that bicycle commuting to and from work do help in reducing obesity.

I have embarked on a daily program of commuting by bicycle 10 miles
round trip and a weekly ride of 50 miles round trip since August of
2006 and I have notice a big difference.

I have lost at least three to four inches on my waist and I have been
feeling a lot better overall.

Lately, I have increased my riding so that I do the 50 mile round trip two
to three times per week. A goal is to average three to four days per week
where I do the 50 mile round trip. That trip by the way also includes a
900 foot hill each way.

My manager at work has told me that he's seen a big difference as early as
October (2 months after I started this program).

One complaint that I do have is that my childhood shcool did not let us ride
our bikes to school. I hope that this policy is changed.

Perhaps if we let (or insist) that our kide ride bicycles to and from school,
this might help. It may also eliminate the guzzling and belching shcool
busses.

Hugs and peace

1. Eliminate PE 2. But Little tubs on Atkins (4, Informative)

Nova Express (100383) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342177)

1. This suggests what many geeks have been suggesting for a long time: Eliminate PE from the required school cirriculum. Every since it was made mandatory under (IIRC) Kennedy, Americans have only gotten fatter. It doesn't help the problem, and it institutionalizes the bullying of the weak by the strong. Could we better compete with China if, instead of running around a gym for an hour, every American high school student got an extra hour of math, science, or computer instruction? (Given teacher's unions, its no sure thing, but it certainly couldn't hurt.) let those who want to take PE as an elective, and let the rest get smarter rather than sweatier.

2. If other diets haven't worked, try putting Little Tubby on Atkins. No, it won't necessarily work for everyone. It depends on the type of metabolism you have. But if you've tried low-fat and it doesn't work, Atkins (or another carb-restrictive diet) might.

Re:1. Eliminate PE 2. But Little tubs on Atkins (1)

dyslexicbunny (940925) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342421)

2. If other diets haven't worked, try putting Little Tubby on Atkins. No, it won't necessarily work for everyone. It depends on the type of metabolism you have. But if you've tried low-fat and it doesn't work, Atkins (or another carb-restrictive diet) might.
Or just stop feeding Little Billy enriched wheat bread. A friend of mine on the cycling team dropped the easiest five pounds of his life through doing that.

Re:1. Eliminate PE 2. But Little tubs on Atkins (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342429)

Could we better compete with China if, instead of running around a gym for an hour, every American high school student got an extra hour of math, science, or computer instruction?
Considering they clean our clocks not on superior academics but on cheap labor, I don't think an extra hour of anything would compensate for the difference in cost of living/lack of labor controls in China.

Phys Ed good, Atkins, not so much (3, Insightful)

hellfire (86129) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342641)

Physical Education is just that Physical Education. I'm not an athlete, I'm a computer geek, but I fully support phys ed in school:

1) Phys Ed gives kids activity to expend energy. Studies show exercise helps not just the body but the mind.

2) Phys Ed encourages physical activity which is important as an Adult. Exercise may not help childhood obesity (which is still questionable, you know how these quack studies pop up on slashdot regularly just to drum up hits), but it definitely helps as you are an adult.

3) What's wrong with learning about Baseball, Basketball, Hockey, Football, Lacrosse, Archery, Wrestling, track, tennis, softball, volleyball, bowling, or Badminton? If we shouldn't learn about these activities, then we shouldn't anything past the 6th grade. If this isn't important, then Shakespeare, Calculus, world history, and Chemistry aren't important.

As for Atkins, that's a half assed answer to health for kids. You don't just try diets to get a kids weight down. That's poor education. If you keep a kid active, regulate how much they eat and they are still obese, take them to a doctor and get it looked at. Otherwise don't obsess about their weight, and don't go crazy. Some kids will be fat, others won't. Teach them to feel good about themselves, don't teach them to go nuts about their weight and start getting them on ties as some kind of experiment.

One possible explanation for these results (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18342225)

Scientists did note that in the UK, "sport" apparently involves and standing in one spot hunched over some sticks for 18 hours at a stretch.

Another Factor: Hormones in Food (4, Insightful)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342239)

There has been a lot of backlash over the growth hormones in meat and milk. It's why so many "organic" products are hitting the shelves. It does make a difference.

I just don't buy it that people's genetic makeup has changed that much in just a few decades that we are now turning out little fat farm children. It's too convenient of an excuse. Exercise and diet are two big factors that also govern obesity. As others pointed out, sedentary sweet-eating children become sedentary sweet-eating and fat teenagers and adults.

But a factor not so many know about are all the hormones injected into animals and added to their food so they get nice, fat, and juicy faster and on less food. Humans also respond to a lot of those hormones. Just the way the animals do.

Re:Another Factor: Hormones in Food (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342357)

"Humans also respond to a lot of those hormones. Just the way the animals do."

By digesting them?

Re:Another Factor: Hormones in Food (1)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342551)

Uh, by responding to their fat-grabbing siren call to bulk up and make milk. There is a reason little girls menstruate and develop breasts earlier than they used to.

Troll -- fat people are ugly and should die early (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18342243)

Fuck these studies. I'm 40 and have a great body (oh and a great report card from my doctors) due to a minimal amount of restraint taught to me by good nutrition lessons from my parents and (gasp) the US public school system. If fat people want to think sport doesn't help, then die and let me me have your piece of the public funds when I reach public $$ age. Activity does help. Stop being a helpless, blame-filled pile of fat shit. You make me sick.

Kyle Stahlman -- Boston

High Frutose corn syrup (2, Informative)

3seas (184403) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342247)

It's in alot more then soda and it is even now being put into bread that you probably were buying before it was added.

cheap by-product sweetner that adds as much a 1/3" to your triglicerid count (translates into fat)

You can drop your weight by simply removing it from your diet. I lost 30 pounds in less then three months that way and others I've told have lost weight for removing it from their diet.

Re:High Frutose corn syrup (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342337)

I would like you to rerun your anecdote, but this time, make sure that you replace all the hfcs calories you dropped with raw sugar calories. Thanks.

Re:High Frutose corn syrup (4, Funny)

terrymr (316118) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342569)

Not only that but the taste of soda made with HFCS is vastly inferior to that made with sugar.

genetics playing a role, just an anecdote. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18342271)

but I'm no scientist. I only know this, I needed to lose 70 lbs to achieve a healthy body weight and I did it through walking. For 5 months straight I tried the stationary bike routine, 6 days a week, 45-90 minutes session.. sometimes twice/day. After 5 months I had lost a grand total of 3lbs, what the fuck is up with that. It was pretty depressing because I refused to step on a scale the whole time, thinking it would be much better to surprise myself. That's when I bought a treadmill and started walking an hour a day. It was 8 months later that I found myself 60lbs lighter than before and had to buy all new clothes.

Wasn't easy for though, my toes blistered up horribly for the first month or so.. and then it got to the point where I was wearing a 20lb weight belt just to make up the difference, then 30lbs, 40lbs and now 60 (it's a really kludgy looking thing now.) I haven't been using the belt for a few months, just walking for that hour to ninety minutes seems to keep my weight in check.. On the diet side, nothing much has changed, still eat like I used to and I haven't cut anything out *shrug*

Why the hell I couldn't lose a fucking pound on the stationary bike baffles me, is it because of genetics? I don't know, but whatever because I found a working method and I'll stick with it.

It's not all about willpower (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18342273)

http://archives.cnn.com/2000/HEALTH/07/28/fat.viru s.ap/index.html [cnn.com]
http://www.boston.com/news/globe/health_science/ar ticles/2006/05/22/gut_bugs_studied_as_a_cause_of_o besity/ [boston.com]
http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2006/01/obes ity_virus.html [consumeraffairs.com]
http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2007/02/obes ity_environment.html [consumeraffairs.com]

There is increasing evidence that obesity is caused by factors other than the willpower of the victims. It is very easy to be moralistic and point the finger at the fat among us but it may be profoundly unjust. It's kind of like shunning lepers or even shunning anyone who doesn't look like us.

My question is this: How is it that we now have an epidemic of obesity in third world countries whose living conditions haven't changed much and where most of the population is chronically undernourished.

If your body wants to make and conserve fat, it will do so at the expense of other functions. Starving yourself to lose fat means that you are also starving all your other systems and that isn't particularly healthy.

Is there a relationship between... (1)

Giant Killer (33130) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342275)

...how much these kids eat and how fat they are?

I always figured there was a reason they called them the "laws" of thermodynamics.

Sports and Fast Food? (1)

Nutty_Irishman (729030) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342281)

I wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that families that are sports oriented don't have enough time to cook healthy meals and as a result, eat out more often. There's a reason why they feature the stereotypical soccer mom in commercials advertising fast (often microwaveable) food.

Ridiculous (3, Insightful)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342285)

I suggest everyone tag this with a "BS" tag.

Since when do accelerometers measure the amount of calories you burn? I could quite easily sit on a weight machine all day pumping iron, with an accelerometer sitting on my waist saying I'm doing no exercise.

Unless these kids have found some sort of way to violate the conservation of energy, the kids that run around, instead of, say, sitting in one place, will have burned more calories than the other.

I've worked with programs that do athletics with kids in afterschool settings, and believe me, they make a big difference in terms of childhood obesity. They aren't just exercise programs, but teach nutrition, healthy lifestyle choices, etc.

Wow who knew there were thin people on slashdot. (3, Interesting)

Jartan (219704) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342327)

I'm amazed there are indeed thin people here on slashdot making their usual comments about their theories on why fat people are fat.

Seriously though all the study showed was that fat kids tend to move around about as much as thin kids. That really has little to do with how in shape they are or how many calories they burn siting still due to having more muscle etc etc. Plus the human body can use vastly different methods to convert energy and all of them have different efficiency values.

For example did the overweight kid stop running as soon as his body switched over to aerobic energy conversion because his lungs started hurting from breathing harder than usual? Theres no way the device can know something crucial like that unless it monitors more than mere movement.

Uh (1)

daeg (828071) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342331)

I'm not saying the study isn't valid, but it reeks of bad science like the smoking "studies" that found smoking doesn't cause lung cancer.

Not Magic? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18342341)

The fact of the matter is that, although metabolism is biochemistry, not magic, we still know very little about the actual mechanism of it. A normal person, joule for joule eats MUCH more energy than they need to expend. Why isn't everyone obese? Most of this gets excreted as waste products, some people's metabolism is more efficient in burning off excess energy, some people are more efficient at building muscle, repairing tissue, etc.

The equation of obesity is not as simple as 3500kcal = 1lb. There are MANY factors that even for an underfed individual can cause them to gain weight...Just ask anyone who has ever been on prednisone. . .

The following are just a few more examples of the things that are making us fat:

Thyroid --- yup... it is possible that up to 10% of women have some amount of thyroid dysfunction. This is the metabolism center of your body... hmmm. Why so many? Might it be due to the flouride in most peoples water system that is known to damage the thyroid? It's curious that the "epidemic" began around the same time as water flouidation was introduced. Curiously, one of the first signs of hypothyroidism (that goes away with treatment) is an elevated blood pressure and cholesterol.

Insulin --- All that high fructose corn syrup confuses the insulin cycle in your body and may cause it to store fat. Interestingly, the satiation that regular cane sugar delivers is due to part of the insulin cycle that does not react the same with HFCS and causes one to eat more.

Cortisol --- Steroids, natural, environmental, or introduced drugs will all cause weight gain and hormonal problems. A friend of mine with lupus, who was having chemo as well as taking prednisone (cortisone) gained 50 lbs even though she vomited everything she ate for 2 months. Think stress. Interestingly, cortisol increases cholesterol and heart problems.

Hormones --- everyone knows the birth control pill makes you gain weight. What you didn't know is that in many of the plastics we eat off of, drink out of, or have our food packaged in contain chemicals that mimica sex hormones, and can cause symptoms of increased testosterone or estrogen such as weight gain, hirutism, baldness, gynocomastia, sexual dysfunction, and depression.

Monosodium Glutimate --- Before this salt became one of the most ubiquitous flavorings in pre-packaged foods, it was used in laboratories to create obese mice and rats. Yup... researchers found that adding MSG to the rodent's food not only caused them to eat more, but also increased (non-lean) body mass for mice on a regulated diet. A "safe" level of MSG has never been determined, and in many countries this additive is banned from food. In america, almost everything contains MSG. The food manufacturer's response: it will help the elderly eat more and gain weight. Yeah, but what is it doing to our children?

Statistically Speaking (1)

Hercules Peanut (540188) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342353)

There are lies, damn lies, and statistics.

Careful what you take away from this and all three of the above can be progressively more misleading.

Obvious (3, Interesting)

DebateG (1001165) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342361)

Anyone who has studied basic human metabolism should be able to figure this out. Exercise alone simply is a bad way to lose weight.

The total energy expenditure (TEE) of the human body is determined by the following equation:

TEE = BMR + PA + TEF

BMR = Basal metabolic rate
This is proportional to the lean body mass, not the BMI (which is a really bad measure of obesity). This is typically 60 - 70% of your TEE

PA = Energy expended during physical activity
This consists of around 20% of your energy expenditure

TEF = Thermic effect of food
This is the energy expended to digest food, typically 10% of kcal's consumed. This really doesn't really come into play in weight gain since eating more food still gives you excess calories (albeit at 90%) and eating less is still fewer calories.

In other words, the majority of your energy expenditure is determined by your basal metabolic rate by a ratio of around 3.5 to 1. This is especially true in children whose BMR's are naturally higher than most adults'. This is not to say that exercise isn't useful. BMR is determined by lean body mass, which is determined by your muscle mass, which is determined by genetics and exercise. Exercise does help you lose weight, but it takes a lot longer than diet. Exercise also has independent benefits on cardiovascular health and a host of other health measures.

So all those people who tell you that losing weight is 80% diet and 20% exercise aren't lying. That's simply the science.

I suppose (1)

sa1lnr (669048) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342381)

"The UK government is trying to increase the amount of sport in schools."

That's why they let so many State schools sell off their sports fields to property developers!

Wonderful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18342417)

Fat people are always looking for someone to tell them its not their fault they are fat.

Maybe cutting back from 10 bags of cheetos per day to 9 will make a difference.

I think it's mostly diet (1)

Glacial Wanderer (962045) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342427)

I don't know why the summary of this article said this points to genetics or diet that is causing towards child obesity. I think the article points towards diet and says nothing about genetics. I highly doubt that the epidemic of child obesity is being caused by some rapid change in our child's genes over the past 50 years; however, our diets have changed dramatically over the past 50 years.

I'm a huge proponent of eating nutritious foods. I've convinced some of my obese friends to try my diet high in vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and a few low fat proteins; specifically avoiding oils, fats, and processed sugars. Everyone I've convinced to try this diet has lost weight without being hungry. Unfortunately I'm the only one I know who's stayed on this diet. In the modern world it's hard to eat healthy because most restaurant food or processed foods have oils/sugars added. Many Americans get 30% of their totally calories from added sugars. That's 30% of their calories are completely void of any nutritional value.

I've seen multiple studies that seem to indicate that eating the average America diet is actually more likely to kill you than smoking. This is something the food industries are trying to hide. I strongly recommend getting a good book on nutrition and reading more on this subject. If you have the discipline to follow fairly rigorous diets there are studies with lab animals that show you should be able to extend your maximum age by 50%. Diet is the only known way to improve your maximum age (exercise improves your average age). If you're interested in this subject start by looking for some books by Roy Walford.

Skinny people have larger bowel movements (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18342431)

It is well known that skinny people have large healthy fibre filled bowel movments. Fat people on the other hand excrete, (after considerable effort) hard, tarry, small deer pellets.

Even though the skinny children and the fat children both consume nearly identical quantities of food, the skinny children excrete it all, while the fat kids retain a little more of each meal. This unexpelled waste builds up and causes weight gain and bloat.

This is not a problem caused by lack of excercise. No, this is a problem caused by lack of laxatives. The husky child needs more laxative to make him get up and go.

Re:Skinny people have larger bowel movements (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18342617)

It's true; I'm skinny and whenever I shit I drop about 4 or 5 lbs.

Some facts on metabolism and weight gain. (1)

genegeek (548040) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342463)

First off, the average male adult will probably need about 2500 calories per day to maintain weight. To lose one pound, you need to subtract 3500 calories from your maintenance weight. That's right: 3500 calories is about equal to a pound. Now, figure that if you go run ONE MILE, you have just burnt 100 calories. Thus, if you run 4 miles a day EVERY STINKING DAY (speaking from experience) you will need about nine days of this to lose one pound. 36 MILES is only ONE FREAKIN' POUND. Say you're a mere 20 pounds overweight. Then we're talking about 6 months of non-stop daily four mile runs and no cheating on your regular 2500 calorie per day diet to shed those 20 pounds. Any personal project that requires 6 months of daily effort with no extra pay and a small, gradual reward is almost impossible to achieve. The bottom line is, if you are relying on exercise alone, it is very difficult to lose weight. That is why diet and exercise are always mentioned together. By dieting, you can, for example, reasonably cut 600 calories per day with very little pain. That's a pound a week with NO exercise. And that's the basis behind weight watchers and nurtisystem, where they provide the food in calorie-measured portions. And if you are the slashdotter who thinks anyone can eat 300 calories per day and gain weight, well, I can practically guarantee you will benefit by studying these numbers a little. Metabolism is not a wishy washy thing. This is an idea that seems to comfort the obese, but it's not true. Your cells are the same as mine and the next guy's. Your DNA is almost identical to mine. Give or take a fraction of a percent at the most. And your calorie requirements are basically the same.

Re:Some facts on metabolism and weight gain. (1)

jonnythan (79727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342543)

You're *completely* ignoring calories that are burnt when not exercising.

Exercising regularly forces your body to burn significantly more calories during rest than you would without exercise.

This is how I was able to lose 10 lbs a month by subtracting a mere 500 calories a day from my diet and exercising. Your formulas would basically make this impossible.

The "study" included some sumo wrestlers..? (1)

the_REAL_sam (670858) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342497)

I ran track and cross country for 2 years.

My diet doubled, and I never gained a single pound, except for 10 lbs muscle gained during track season's weight-training, and which I would burn off during the next cross country season. Everyone in the sport was skinny as a rail, and had ultra-lean, and extraordinarily enduring muscles.

It is also true that I don't normally gain weight outside of that sport, but as I said, while I was running my caloric intake doubled.

It is with that observation that I declare their study was pure bunk.

Stop F*cking feeding your children to death (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18342571)

400lbs and 700lbs children ending up on TV is terrible, but it just underlines the fact that many (1st world) parents aren't introducing discipline in any aspect of their children's lives. Talking about removing PE is just more of this. Doing menial boring bullshit is an inevitability of life as is eating the appropriate quantity and quality of food.

If it wasn't a problem we'd all eat whatever the hell we wanted, all the time, and be the body shape we wanted.

Which isn't the case for most of the world... unless you happen to pump your fat out in a tube and attach various industrial materials beneath your skin.

Got Milk? (1)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | more than 7 years ago | (#18342597)

The growth and milk production hormones in milk and milk products have been linked to earlier menstruation and earlier breast development in girls. Growth hormones in milk and meat have been linked to obesity in the people that consume them.

There is a reason people are turning away from hormone-pumped animal products - it's because they are bad for you.
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"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
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