Saturday, August 20, 2011

North Vancouver Boot Camp Declares War On Fat!

I was talking with a client the other day and that phrase came up, "Declare war on fat" and I truly believe that that's what we need to do if we want to see serious results with our own bodies and generally stop the obesity epidemic that hurting our society.

I watched an interesting video on sugar and fructose by Dr. Robert Lustig, UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology. He explores the damage caused by sugary foods. He argues that fructose (too much) and fibre (not enough) appear to be cornerstones of the obesity epidemic through their effects on insulin. I've provided the video below and I recommend watching it. It's really long so watch it in parts if you can't watch it all at once. The seminar's called "Sugar: The Bitter Truth"

I've summarize a few points below.

The Good
First off, he makes a valid point that the public health movement against dietary fat that started in the early 1980′s was a grandiose failure. The climb in obesity to epidemic proportions over the last 30 years is plenty of evidence for this. It was also accurate of him to cite the significant increase in overall caloric consumption over this same time period. Furthermore, he shows an interesting progression of Coca-Cola’s 6.5 oz bottle in 1915 to the 20 oz bottle of the modern day [3].

Lustig acknowledges the First Law of Thermodynamics as it applies to changes in bodyweight. He attacks the vague expression that “a calorie is a calorie” by pointing out that different nutrients impart different physiological effects and have different roles within the body. His concluding recommendations included kicking out liquid calories except milk, which is generally a good strategy for children. I am however not a huge fan of milk due to the amount of processing done to it [3].

The Not-So-Good
While Lustig correctly points out that the nation’s overall caloric consumption has increased, he proceeds to blame carbohydrates as being the primary constituent. The thing is, he uses data spanning from 1989-1995 on children aged 2-17. Survey data is far from the gold standard of evidence, but if you’re gonna cite it, you might as well go with something more recent that includes adults [3].

Here’s the latest from the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS), which tracked the percent of total daily calories of the range of food groups from 1970-2007. The actual spreadsheet of the following figures can be downloaded here, click on the “Percents” tab at the bottom (note that these figures are updated regularly by the ERS, so the version you download may be different from what’s reported here) [1]:

  • Meats, eggs, and nut kcals decreased 4%.
  • Dairy kcals decreased 3%.
  • Percentage of fruit kcals stayed the same.
  • Percentage of vegetable kcals stayed the same.
  • Flour and cereal product kcals increased 3%.
  • Added fat kcals are up 7%,
  • Added sugars kcals decreased 1%
  • Total energy intake in 1970 averaged 2172 kcal. By 2007 this hiked up to 2775 kcal, a 603 kcal increase.

Taking a hard look at the data above, it appears that the rise in obesity is due in large part to an increase in caloric intake in general, rather than an increase in added sugars in particular. So is too sugar a problem? Absolutely but I think the primarily cause is increased calorie intake and decreased amount of physical activity - people are generally more sedentary [3].

King and colleagues recently compared the physical activity data in the National Health & Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 1988-1994 with the NHANES data from 2001-2006, and found a 10% decrease [2]. That figure seems conservative to me. It’s safe to say that all 603 extra daily calories have been landing on the hips, thighs and backsides of the general public [3].

Is fructose (or sugar) really the poison it’s painted to be? The answer is not an absolute yes or no; the evilness of fructose depends completely on dosage and context. Lustig fails to specify the dosage and context of his claims [3].

Ultimately, I believe it comes down to what I mentioned above: too many calories and too little exercise. Now it's true that eating too much sugar (and high fructose corn syrup as it's in a ton of processed food) are a serious issue that needs to be dealt with but solely putting the blame on fructose as the main culprit, I think is a stretch.

On a Side Note
The Canadian National Exhibition is running right now in Toronto and you won't believe what food items are being offered.

Making headlines this year are two amazing (although, ‘amazing’ is a subjective term) new food items – the Krispy Kreme donut burger and deep fried cola.

You ask - are people actually trying this stuff? And, is it even possible to deep-fry a beverage?

The answer - yes, and yes.

I wondering if the PNE here in Vancouver will offer the same. I hope not. Check out the video below to see the Krispy Kreme donut burger and deep fried cola. You'll be shocked.

Dr. Robert Lustig's seminar called Sugar: The Bitter Truth

PS. Quick note re: perfumes and fragrances at boot camp.  Since some people react and are sensative to certain scents and fragrances, please refrain from wearing them when coming to class. Don't worry if you already have it on from work, just don't spray it on before coming. Thanks.

PPS. If you live in North or West Vancouver, BC and want to experience the boot camp in North Vancouver that GUARANTEES you'll lose at least a clothing size in 30 days or your money back AND will help you get fast results like this girl in the video below who lost 20 pounds, 6.5 inches off her waist and 4 inches off her hips, then click the link below:

===>Here's the video:

  1. Economic Research Service, USDA. Loss-Adjusted Food Availability Data. Updated Feb 27, 2009. [ERS/USDA]
  2. King DE, et al. Adherence to healthy lifestyle habits in US adults, 1988-2006. Am J Med. 2009 Ju; 122(6):528-34. [Medline]
  3. Aragon, A., Jan 29, 2010.
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