Over the last decade, there has been a lot of debate about the efficacy of exercise to achieve weight loss. Take 2014, for instance. Many different voices chimed in on the importance of exercise, and what should be done about making it more available to the young. (This was, needless to say, during the Obama administration, when the First Lady adopted childhood obesity as her issue.)
In mid-year, this optimistic announcement was made (courtesy of journalist Claire Moser):
Mayors from across the country unanimously passed a resolution this week supporting new public parks and outdoor recreation programs to promote healthy urban areas and combat childhood obesity. The bipartisan resolution adopted at the annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Possibly some industrious reporter has followed up on how that turned out.
In Denmark, Dr. Jens Christian Holm conveyed his method to almost two thousand patients, which enabled 70% of them to maintain a normal weight. All they had to do was change their lifestyles and habits in 20 different ways — and not small ways. How did exercise fit into this? Christopher Lane wrote,
[T]he program urges a dramatic reassessment (including by family members) of what children are eating and how much physical exercise they actually are getting.
Dr. Holm charmingly refers to “activities and inactivities.” In the realm of family obesity prevention therapy, motivation has always been a problem, but the method advocated by Dr. Holm reportedly works, and is a program that “families have really embraced.” These sentences from the cached version of his webpage explain:
We know that the fat mass is defended by an ingenious hormonal regulatory system, and that the fat tissue defense can vary from person to person. This means that some people will lose weight easier and faster than others…
For some, the body can be relentlessly proficient in maintaining the fat mass, but remember, there are no alternatives or magical tricks.
A Forbes.com interview yields another worthy Dr. Holm quotation:
First you need to understand obesity as a chronic disease like asthma, diabetes, epilepsy. And then you know to make chronic treatment. Then you need to understand that weight loss is not the most important thing. The most important thing is weight maintenance.
Your responses and feedback are welcome!
Source: “Want To Tackle The Childhood Obesity Epidemic? Then We Need To Build More Parks,” ThinkProgress.org, 06/25/14
Source: “Tackling Childhood Obesity: What Works, What Doesn’t,” PsychologyToday.com 11/10/14
Source: “Has A Doctor From Denmark Solved Childhood Obesity?,” Forbes.com, 04/13/15
Image by Juliane Schultz/CC BY-SA 2.0