Friday, May 7, 2010

Does fat camp work?

This study says it does.
Kanafani tracked obese 10- to 18-year old adolescents who attended a weight-loss camp. They participated in physical activities and group educational sessions covering nutrition, physical fitness and self-esteem. During their stay, the kids ate three balanced meals and two snacks per day prepared under the supervision of a registered dietician.
The results showed an average weight loss of more than eight pounds and average reduction in BMI score of three points. Additionally, participants' blood pressure dropped significantly and fitness levels, as measured by a one-mile run, improved markedly.
Yup. There is a direct relationship between food intake and weight, and there is an inverse relationship between exercise and weight. Unfortunately, there is often also an inverse relationship between food intake and exercise.

But good for the fat kids. Eight pounds doesn't seem like it would be a high percentage, but it will probably have shown some kids that doing things that make you sweat can be fun to do. I'm just pessimistic in general about people losing weight. It has too much to do with the electro-chemical mush in your brain that I despair of any strategy that involves will power. In 5 or 10 years, we should have an anti-fat pill that takes us effortlessly to our fighting weight and then stops having any effect, with no (or at least tolerable) side effects. I'm pessimistic about human nature but optimistic about science.

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