Have The Weight Loss “Myths” Really Been Disproved?

It has recently been reported that there are certain “myths” you hold about weight loss and wellbeing which simply aren’t true. This is because of research done by David Allison, a biostatistician at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues, but independent researchers have questioned some of their points.

According to Allison, who reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, ‘The evidence is what matters,’ and many feel-good ideas repeated by well-meaning wellness experts just don’t have it. However, though independent researchers say the authors have some valid points, they also point out that many of the report’s authors also have deep financial ties to food, beverage and weight-loss product manufacturers.

Marion Nestle, a New York University professor of nutrition and food studies, says ‘It raises questions about what the purpose of this paper is’ and whether it’s aimed at promoting drugs, meal replacement products and bariatric surgery as solutions. She continued, ‘The big issues in weight loss are how you change the food environment in order for people to make healthy choices,’ such as limiting the marketing of junk food to children, for example, and some of the myths that the teams cite are “straw men” issues, she said.

One “myth” that Allison attempts to disprove is that sex helps you lose weight. He says that though people claim that sex burns 100 to 300 calories, the study that was done on this matter showed that six minutes of sex only burned 21 calories, or the same amount as walking. However, this was the only study done on sex and energy expenditure, was done in 1984 and did not measure the women’s experience, only the man’s.

However, independent researchers do agree that ‘school P.E. classes have an impact on kids’ weight’ is a myth, as is ‘snacking leads to weight gain’ and ‘regularly eating breakfast prevents obesity’. Yet Dr David Ludwig, a prominent obesity research with Boston Children’s Hospital, who has no industry ties, had a final point of disagreement: ‘I agree with most of the points’ except the authors’ conclusions that meal replacement products and diet drugs work for battling obesity, he said, but as most weight-loss drugs sold over the last century had to be recalled because of serious side effects, ‘there’s much more evidence of failure than success.’



Comments are closed.