- Higher risk of Diabetes (Type II)
- Joint damage and osteoarthritis
- Higher risk of several cancers, including colon cancer and breast cancer
Specifically, for each two pounds gained, a man's risk for developing diabetes rose by 7%. A one inch increase in waist circumferance over ten years increased risk by 20%. Overweight adults have a three-fold higher risk of developing osteoarthritis of the knees that will require surgery.
As the article points out, [a]lthough adult weight gain is common, you shouldn’t consider it normal or healthy.
Without missing a beat, the article continues by promoting the idea that following the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans will reduce your risk of gaining weight if you reduce your calorie intake and increase your activity.
So just how many extra calories are we talking about?
According to the article, it's as simple as reducing calorie intake by 100-calories each day and increasing activity.
Hmmm, does the math add up? If a two-pound gain each year is "average" that's less than 20-calories per day if we're to believe the "calorie theory." To be more precise, it's 19.2 calorie per day (3500-calories per pound x 2 pounds = 7000/365 days = 19.178).
I have no idea how they decided the recommendation to reduce calorie intake by 100-calories per day. With that decrease in calories, with no significant change in activity, one should lose almost 8.5-pounds in a year after accounting for and deducting the 20-calories per day one must eat to gain 2-pounds in a year.
Which brings me to an interesting article I read recently about the 2005 Dietary Guidelines and Food Guidance Pyramid(s) for Americans by Sandy Szwarc, "MyPyramid Scheme" at TechCentralStation.com. It may help explain the calorie deficit recommended in the MSNBC.com article.
Ms. Szwarc contends that "the new pyramid, MyPyramid, ...puts the nation on a diet. In fact, its calorie recommendations are so restrictive, they endanger the health of Americans. "
"MyPyramid involuntarily subjects Americans, especially figure-conscious females, to the very same risks of dieting and dietary restrictions: dysfunctional eating, food fears and eating disorders; nutritional shortfalls; and health problems such as doubling long-term risks for high blood pressure, heart disease and type 2 diabetes to name a few."
Are we really being subjected to stealth messages designed to have us perpetually on a diet?
I'm starting to think so. When I visited MyPyramid.gov, the calculator on the homepage recommended I consume 1800-calories per day to maintain my weight and was based on my age, gender and activity level.
If I didn't already know my Basal Metabolic Rate [BMR] and Active Metabolic Rate [AMR], I wouldn't know that the 1800-calories recommended is, in fact, a calorie-deficit of over 850-calories per day for my height and weight. I would also not know that such a calorie intake was barely enough calories to meet my BMR. Such a calorie-deficit would cause an 88-pound weight loss in one year and wreck havoc on my health!
Yes, we have an obesity epidemic in the United States. I do not think a solution is going to be found by recommending sustained calorie deficits, calorie counting, perpetrating fat-phobia while ignoring the very real issues - we eat too much sugar, too many processed foods, too many refined grains, too many damaged fats, too many man-made trans-fats and too many liquid calories.
Simply reducing calories without addressing the problematic foods will not improve our weight or health. The current recommendations are just more of the same recommendations we're been fed a steady diet of for the last 30-years - and still without one study designed to specifically investigate how compliance with the guidelines prevents weight-gain or improves risk factors!
The answer to the obesity epidemic does not lie in counting calories, fat grams or stealthy messages designed to place you unwittingly on a calorie-restricted diet! The solution is one many will not speak of, will not admit, will not dare to go out on the limb of truth with - real food.