Dieting Is Fraught With Failure
Great article by Len Kravitz, PhD: "Dieting Makes You Fat! How?" [Research, September]. At Personally Fit, most clients come to us to lose weight. We explain the difference between weight loss and fat loss, and we prioritize strength training. The loss on the scale is not as drastic, but the inches lost and the improved body composition that many of our clients experience are outstanding. We also emphasize that [clients'] programs should have somewhere to go, so doing the least amount of exercise and being able to eat the most they can and still lose fat is the place to start. We don't increase volume of exercise or continue to lower calories if [clients] are seeing success. We re-evaluate when they hit a plateau, and we adjust their program accordingly.
President, Personally Fit Individualized Training Inc.
Raleigh, North Carolina
October Issue Points to Ponder
I commend the IDEA team on editing such a comprehensive magazine. It must be challenging to plan each issue so that it offers fresh material and insights and then do the detailed editing to make it professional.
I especially like the Food for Thought section and the articles about the effect of diet and nutrition on health. In the October issue, the items on colorful vegetables, turmeric and horseradish were especially informative. I did find one understatement to bring to your attention: The Question of the Month item in Food for Thought says, "More than one-third of American adults are overweight or obese. . . ." That statistic was lower than I remembered from my research, so I looked it up. The National Institutes of Health statistic shows that more than two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese. But that fact strengthens the argument in your article.
The "Fresh Insights on Fat" article [Research, October], with the descriptions of adipokines, was particularly useful in providing recent information to fitness pros. I agree with the conclusion of the study that "found that people achieving between 10 and 90 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week alleviated the FTO [fat mass and obesity associated] genotype's effect on obesity measures. By contrast, people needed 150–300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise to reduce the association between the FTO genotype and obesity."
However, that may conflict with the conclusion of another study, discussed in "Combat Prediabetes With Moderate Exercise" [Making News, October]. Unfortunately, this study did not report results of a low-amount/high-intensity exercise regimen.
The Research article offered this take-home message: "Physical activity is effective at managing body weight in people with a genetic predisposition for obesity—contradicting the deterministic view that we cannot do anything about the genetic influences on obesity." That seems to contradict the opinion from an article in a previous issue that said that obesity can never truly be "cured." To me, the variety of opinions emphasizes the demand for additional research on such matters.
The news item "Healthy-Weight Adults at Risk for Prediabetes" [Making News, October] describes the low correlation between BMI and prediabetes. This is true for other diseases as well. I often tell my clients, "Don't rely on BMI."
I love the magazine and look forward to future issues.
Tomlinson Rauscher, PhD
The editors respond: Tomlinson, thank you for pointing out the understatement in the October Question of the Month. You are correct, of course, and we regret the oversight.
In November–December Product Showcase, we printed the wrong book cover for Run With Power: The Complete Guide to Power Meters for Running, by Jim Vance. The correct cover is shown above. We apologize for the error.