QUICKLINKS AND VIEW OPITONS
The idea that exercise causes weight loss due to nutritionist Jean Mayer, notes Gary Taubes
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 2:14 pm Email this article
"The dubious credit for why we came to believe otherwise goes almost exclusively to one man, Jean Mayer, who began his professional career at Harvard in 1950, proceeded to become the most influential nutritionist in the United States, and then, for sixteen years, served as president of Tufts University (where there is now a Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging)," writes Gary Taubes in his excellent book Why We Get Fat and What To Do About It. Jean Mayer Lack of Real Life Experience
Jean Mayer NEVER Helped Fat People Lose Weight
“He would eventually publish hundreds of papers on nutrition, including why we get fat, but his job never actually required that he reduce a fat person to a healthy weight, and so his ideas were less fettered by real-life experience,” Taubes continues.
“Mayer actually began extolling exercise as a means of weight control in the early 1950s, a few years out of graduate school, after studying a strain of obese mice that had a surprisingly small appetite.
“This seemed to absolve eating too much from being the cause of their obesity, so Mayer naturally assumed their sedentary behavior must be responsible, and they were certainly sedentary. They barely moved.
“By 1959, The New York Times was giving Mayer credit for having ‘debunked’ the ‘popular theories’ that exercise was of little value in weight control, which he hadn’t.”
Later, Taubes writes:
“It was Mayer who pioneered the now ubiquitous practice of implicating sedentary living as the ‘most important factor’ leading to obesity and the chronic diseases that accompany it.”
Still later, Taubes writes:
“‘The development of obesity,” Mayer wrote in 1968, ‘is to a large extent the result of the lack of foresight of a civilization which spends tens of billions annually on cars, but is unwilling to include a swimming pool and tennis courts in the plans of every high school.”
A yet still later, Taubes writes:
“That same year [ 1977 ], the New York Times Magazine reported that there was ‘now strong evidence that regular exercise can and does result in substantial and- so long as the exercise is continued—permanent weight loss.” [ Not true. ]
“By 1983, Jane Brody, personal-health reporter for the Times, was counting the numerous ways that exercise was ‘the key’ to successful weight loss. [ Not true. ]
“By 1989, the same year [ obesity researcher ] Pi-Sunyer gave his pessimistic assessment of the actual evidence, Newsweek declared exercise an ‘essential’ element of any weight-loss program. [ Not true. ]
“Now, according to the [ New York ] Times, on those infrequent occasions ‘when exercise isn’t enough’ to induce sufficient weight loss, ‘you must also make sure you don’t overeat.’” [ Not true. ]
Taubes Explains Why Fat People Exercise Less
Taubes later explains why being fat reduces the desire to exercise
Later in the book, Taubes explains why being fat reduces physical activity.
He explains that obese people have elevated insulin levels which increase the amount of fat taken up by fat cells, and DECREASES the amount of fat taken up by muscles cells, and so, obese people do not have as much energy to exercise because, essentially, the muscle cells are starved of energy (fat).
So, as Taubes explains, it is NOT that lack of exercise makes you fat, but rather that being fat REDUCES energy in muscles cells, and thus, reduces physical activity.
In other words, it is NOT that being lazy makes you fat, but rather that being fat makes you tired because of lack of energy.
As he also explains, this reduction in the amount of fat that is absorbed by muscles cells also INCREASES appetite in obese people because, again, their muscles cells are starved of energy (fat).
This is a MUST-READ Book
This is MUST-READ book for anyone interested in body weight
This is MUST-READ book for anyone interested in body weight… or anyone who believes that saturated fat is bad for you… or anyone who believes that carbohydrates are good for you… or anyone who believes that obesity is caused by a lack of will power… or anyone who believes that obesity is caused by eating too much and exercising too little (yes, of course this is true, but this does not answer the question as to why people eat too much and exercise too little, which Taubes answers in this book).
I highly recommend this book.
Gary Taubes is an excellent science journalist.
His previous books include “Good Calories, Bad Calories”, a longer book which is also about low-carb diets, but is a much longer book.
Other Articles from This Book, Why We Get Fat
Articles from Gary Taubes current book, Why We Get Fat
Other Articles from Good Calories, Bad Calories
Articles about Gary Taubes previous book, Good Calories, Bad Calories
Contact info for Gary Taubes
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