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The Great Fat Fraud

TheGreatFatFraud

Several weeks ago I was sent “The Great Fat Fraud” from The Candence Group for review.

The author, Mike Schatzki, is a professional speaker and trainer. Two years ago he began doing research for a speech he calls “The No Sweat Couch Potato Recovery Program.” But as he studied the research on weight loss, obesity and health, he was astounded and mesmerized by what he discovered. It turns out that:

* Fat is not a disease.

* There is no obesity epidemic.

* Almost all of the health problems that have been attributed to weight are actually caused by something else.

Mike has a very interesting yet controversial take on health and “obesity.”  He claims that the obesity epidemic is all propaganda created by the weight loss industry, one of the most profitable industries in the country.

I know, I was thinking the same thing as you right now. Nuts!!!?? Right? No obesity epidemic? How do you explain the rise in obesity fueled diseases such as type II diabetes, heart disease, and even death!!???

from the book:

Perhaps Mark Twain said it best, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” And when it comes to obesity, what everybody “knows for sure” just ain’t so. So how come we believe it? Because the $58billion weight loss industry has been so fantastically successful in ignoring reality and selling us an incredible bill of goods called “The Obesity Epidemic.”

As crazy as I thought this was when I began reading the book, the author makes some compelling arguments. The weight loss industry is confusing, contradictory and sometimes just downright dangerous in with advice that is spewed out at us. There is always a study finding that X will make you lose weight and Y will cause diabetes, heart disease, and so on. Growing up, everyone believed that dietary fat was the cause of body fat. Then it was how you needed to count calories, or carbs. There are always new studies, and things are constantly changing. The Great Fat Fraud promises to not regurgitate out the same warmed over information you have heard over and over again.

This book has a very interesting approach to fat and fitness. The message I got was that the author was trying to toss out all the fluff, and all the information you were ever told. He says the key to health and living longer is not fad dieting, weight loss surgery, or even extreme workouts. It’s a more simple approach. …walking 10,000 steps per day and listening to your body. He claims “If you are fit, it does not matter what you weigh.”

Although I do not necessarily agree with everything that was written in this book, I do admire the no nonsense approach. The author does back up everything he says with scientific research. I do agree that continuing to diet will only raise your “set point” for your energy, and from the way our bodies are made, you will only continue to teach your body to hold only fat more efficiently every time you yo yo diet or try a new fad.

Mike claims that that the weight loss industry is the one making out like a bandit in all of this, and while this is true to an extent, I believe that the rise in obesity and disease will benefit healthcare industry the most and continue to do so!

We need to stop fad dieting and buying into quick fixes for weight loss. His approach with walking 10,000 steps is wonderful, and I believe everyone should do it, but as you can imagine, as a fitness professional, I still am not convinced that that’s all there is to it! It is a good start though!

The Great Fat Fraud outlines all of Mike’s findings in a conversational tone that makes digesting the research easy for those who don’t like minutia, but features detailed footnotes for those who do.  Mike has even gone so far as to post links to ALL of the reference materials on his website – http://www.greatfatfraud.com/reference/ – so readers who are so inclined can see for themselves exactly what each study said.

I will be back soon with a new favorite recipe using my nut milk bag and a simple condiment that I share with Ella.

Also… hopefully (& finally long time coming) my “body image after baby” post! <—Nervous about that one :/

xo

-L

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15 Comments

  • Reply Shanna like Banana

    Girl you are looking fab-u-lous! Do not be nervous about your post baby post. Own your fabooshness 🙂

    January 11, 2012 at 10:15 pm
    • Reply laury

      Thank you, girl!

      January 11, 2012 at 11:38 pm
  • Reply Julie (A Case of the Runs)

    I’m sure you’re rockin!!

    I think moreso than any specific “epidemic” is just a change of lifestyle (workaholism, instant gratification, keeping up with the Joneses) that has not been for the better of the world. =/

    January 11, 2012 at 10:22 pm
    • Reply laury

      true!!!

      January 11, 2012 at 11:38 pm
  • Reply Lisa

    This is really interesting to me. I can see this point of view in some ways—I mean, if we could get people off the “diet mentality” and onto a “health mentality” then it would automatically cause everyone to address the roots of the obesity problem and not just the symptom (extra body fat).
    Americans (and probably other countries) don’t do a good job at emphasizing health–we just really want to look good. And I’ll admit I’m guilty of this too sometimes. I do want to be healthy and I make a lot of choices for health’s sake, but I also think about the jeans I want to fit into and how I’d like my arms to look when I make food/fitness choices. I don’t know, I think a little bit of vanity (or whatever you want to call it) is ok—maybe the problem is just when people are out of balance, trying too hard to lose pounds without thinking enough about health indicators?

    Hmmm…definitely something to think about! I probably won’t read the book, but I’m glad you talked about it 🙂

    I’ll be looking forward to the nut milk bag post and the body image post!

    January 11, 2012 at 10:23 pm
    • Reply laury

      YES! I absolutely agree with you! It is very interesting and the author had a lighthearted and different approach to the whole thing, which was a little refreshing. He actually did a whole chapter on the vanity issue too. I agreed with his overall concept of just moving more and getting out of the dieting and quick fix mentality. I still think there is more to it, but like you said, if no one had the diet/vanity mentality and we all just focused on health.. would we go through this cycle? Would people pant sizes be smaller?

      January 11, 2012 at 11:43 pm
  • Reply KatieFitz

    Hey Laury!

    “If you are fit, it does not matter what you weigh.” – I really don’t agree with this at all. Honestly – and this is where a lot of people will argue with me – if you’re fit, you won’t be fat. I’m sure there are plenty of people that say you can be overweight and still fit…..I just don’t see how that works. On a personal level – my sister is definitely obese and yet every time she goes to the doctor there is “nothing wrong with her”. Her blood work is normal – no type II diabetes – nothing. And yet, she struggles to breathe every time she walks….so am I to believe that just because her doctor says shes ‘fit’ that she is?

    I think the real travesty is the fact that people have become lazy and unfortunately a lot of the way society has changed in the last 50+ years has helped all of the world become lazy too. While the fitness and exercise community is pretty large – I feel as though the greatest thing keeping people from joining into this group is fear. We all know that fear is one of the biggest factors that keeps people from doing something….fear of failure, fear of loss, fear of humility….Somewhere along the lines people have given up and just said – well…it’s easier to stay the way I am than change because change is hard. What happened to us?

    January 12, 2012 at 8:11 am
    • Reply laury

      Hi Katie!! How are you??

      Thanks so much for chiming in…you bring up some very interesting points! I love this discussion!

      In the book he goes on about being “fat and fit” versus “skinny and unfit>’ I don’t remember exactly how he worded it but I think somewhere along the lines of “skinny fat” {<--I;m not a fan of that term so much.} I agree to an extent. Like I said there is MUCH more to it! Yes, you can have a high BMI and even a little on the higher side as far as body fat and be MUCH more fit than someone with a BMI of 19 that wears a size 2. I have personally seen clients with technically high BF% and BMI who could run circles around clients with much lower percents. On the other hand, I don't think there is anything healthy about being in the obese range. In the book he talks a lot about how our bodies WANT us to hold on to fat. How fat is a good thing. He even talks a lot about how un natural the whole body building community is...how they must do extreme dieting and training because our bodies just do not want to be that lean! It makes a lot of sense when you think about it.(I am actually planning on writing a big post on my experience with breastfeeding and body fat.) Overall, I really think you can not generalize, there is always more to it and each person has a unique situation. Can you be "technically" fat and fit? Yes. Can you be a size 2 and out of shape and get "fat fueled" diseases? Absolutely. morbidly obese and fit?" I don't think so. Very overweight and fit? If it affects your health and quality of life, contributes to back pain and knee pain, breathing and so on, then I wouldn't say you were very "fit." I remember watching "The Last Heart Attack" on CNN and they were talking a lot about baseline tests at the doctor, and how they may not be enough anymore. Even standard EKG'S! Like what you said about your sister...she is overweight, unit, yet the doctor says based on her test that she is fit. "I think the real travesty is the fact that people have become lazy and unfortunately a lot of the way society has changed in the last 50+ years has helped all of the world become lazy too. While the fitness and exercise community is pretty large – I feel as though the greatest thing keeping people from joining into this group is fear. "---Absolutely!! I see this all the time and it's why I do in-home training! Almost all of my clients fear the gym or are self conscious or just not motivated to go! I show up and they have to do it! Over time I build their confidence and encourage them to try fun group exercise like Zumba or water aerobics, etc. I tell clients and even non clients all the time that when they go to the gym, no one is worried about you. Everyone is thinking like you...they are worried about themselves, looking at themselves and checking themselves out in the mirror 😉 ---they usually go, ahhh....okay...and it makes them feel a little better about the fear of humility and a little braver about going. You have to start somewhere. Even if you tell yourself I only need to go for 15 minutes and walk on the treadmill....that's it...then you can leave. Getting there is half the battle though! And usually after 15 minutes you feel good and stay a little longer! I could g o on and on with this topic...but I am rambling and not sure if I even make sense anymore hahah

      January 12, 2012 at 1:11 pm
  • Reply the delicate place

    you know my thoughts on the book via FB! also, don’t be nervous you look incredible! no one would ever know you had a baby seriously! gorgeous!

    January 12, 2012 at 11:50 am
    • Reply laury

      Awwww thanks! I am not nervous about how I look…more nervous about sharing my feelings and thoughts and how it will all be received. I’m just planning on laying it all out there…even if I sound a little crazy 😉

      January 12, 2012 at 1:12 pm
  • Reply Lisa @ Healthy Diaries

    Very interesting Laury! I definitely don’t trust the “Diet” industry and agree that their only concern is to make $. I agree with Lisa above that people need to focus more on healthy than dieting. Diets don’t last, plain and simple! Obesity is a huge and real problem though in American and I’ve seen it getting worse with my own eyes!

    Don’t be nervous about your body image after baby post! you know u look great!

    January 12, 2012 at 1:16 pm
    • Reply laury

      Yes, Lisa, it’s true! It gets worse and worse as time goes on.

      Thanks…I didn’t always feel how I feel now, and I plan on sharing the good, bad, the ugly and the crazy as far as how I felt…no filter…it makes me a little nervous 😉

      January 12, 2012 at 1:38 pm
  • Reply jen

    that is so interesting! i feel like the older i get, the more i turn into the crazy person who trusts no one..im ready to bury my money in the backyard, buy a rifle, and never leave my house again, haha. But really, everywhere we go were faced with distorted truths that benefit someone else, who is usually making a profit from it. Its so sick and wrong that even the HEALTHCARE industry is in this catagory, and making profits from people theyre trying to help! And everywhere you turn theres new rules about why youre overweight, and the new tricks to solve your problem…take a vitamin, eat less, eat more, eat this specific berry, wait eat THIS NEWER specific berry, and poof all your problems will be solved. i am definitely interested in finsing this book!

    January 12, 2012 at 3:08 pm
  • Reply Laura

    My husband is a research chemist and is actually doing research on obesity and the fact that environmental contaminants and factors CAN actually cause people to be more obese then years ago. It doesn’t mean that this is the reason that the guy down the street is 50 lbs overweight but it is ONE reason why people today do have some of the obesity issues that we see so much of.

    January 12, 2012 at 6:45 pm
  • Reply Abbey

    To put the Candence report into perspective, 2 out of 3 residents of the USA over 20 years of age are overweight and of these, one third of Americans over age 20 are in the obese range.
    It is a medical fact that being overweight and obese leads to problems with blood pressure as well as cholesterol which leads to heart issues and other health related issues.
    The National Institute of Health estimates that between $75 billion to $125 billion is spent on indirect and direct costs that are related to diseases directly related to obesity.

    January 29, 2012 at 6:34 am
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