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The role of exercise in all of this.
What it really boils down to is this.  The food industry is led by only a handful of companies--- companies like   , , and  to name but four.  Surely you recognize them.  And many would blame companies like these for the trend toward obesity in this country.  A recent study on obesity suggests that 60% of our population right now is either overweight or obese and a full 1/3 of all our children in this country are not just overweight, but obese.  Are we simply ignorant of the food value in what we eat?  I think that is in large part the cause of our problem. 
Some would blame the government in not educating us enough or in failing to regulate the food industry in what they put up there on the shelf or present us with at these drive-thru windows.  We read the labels on the food we buy and yet we have absolutely no idea of what we have just read.  Others blame the food industry which spends billions of dollars every year pushing unhealthy food in our direction.  And they continue do so, blaming our spiriling weight gains not on their products--- but on ourselves for failing to take personal responsibility for our actions.  It is not the food industry's fault, but yours.  Note the shift of responsibility here--- FROM  the food industry that puts all this food in front of us that we know so little about TO  you, the indulging consumer of it!  So in the end, its not their fault for selling it, but your fault for buying it!  This idea plays well in America because it fits the American Dream of taking charge of our own lives in this, the land of the free.  So, if everybody is responsibile for their own actions, why should the government do anything about it?  And the less regulation of the food industry, the better---Right?
The food industry also heavily promotes the idea that we should all exercise more.  Why? Because of their claim that exercise will offset the weight-building food they sell and we eat, day-in-and-day-out.  But does it?  Does exercise work-off all those extra calories we so generously eat?   Ask yourself this single question, "Is it possible that the benefits from one hour of exercise can be wiped out by eating just one muffin?"  Recent research on this question suggests that the answer is "Yes!"---see the May 2010 issue of "Nutrition Action". 
Conclusion:--- "Exercise has so many health benefits that it's hard to count them.  Exercise lowers the risk for cancer, heart disease, and even cognitive impairment as people age.  There's a very long list of reasons to be physically active--- but weight control--- despite what the food industry would have us otherwise believe--- may not be one of them."--- see the May 2010 issue of "Nutrition Action".
NOTE THIS TOO:--- Recently I saw on NBC Nightly News a segment about conern over the growing obesity in our children, and how this one featured school was emphasizing increased physical activity during the school day for all their students, irrespective of grade-level, as their answer to the issue of obesity in their school.  And so we saw all these school kids running around outside doing just that--- exercising.  And there were some kids who could keep up--- but many who conspicuously enough, could not--- for they were obviously too heavy relative to their height in their huffing and puffing to finish the exercise. 
In retrospect, as I now think about this TV segment seen by millions of Americans that evening, I ask myself this question?  What do these school administrators know about the root cause of obesity in the kids they teach?  Has anyone ever stood up in a PTA meeting and suggested that what they needed was for all these same kids to return to their classroom and learn that real weight control has little or nothing to do with exercise, but on educating these kids in what they eat--- "eat this, not that?"    It's OK to have these kids running about in their exercise programs to teach them about lowering their personal risk for cancer, heart disease and the like, but for God's sake, don't tell them its going to help them with their weight control!

NOW THIS FROM HUGH WANG, M.D. --- on exercise --- May 2, 2010

Hi, Bruce & whoever else is in the Weight Room:
When I read your teaser about what exercise has to do with losing weight, I thought I'd weigh in on this topic.
All of us have seen thin people with pot bellies.  These and the obese with the same who have the omental fat that is related to insulin and leptin resistance, in other words hormonal fat.  These are also the ones who will benefit from avoidance of sugar, fructose, and grains to shut off this resistance.  Omental fat cuts off the blood flow to your organs.  Ask yourself why you are short of breath climbing stairs or trying to run.  Why is your heart on medication?  Why must you take blood pressure pills?  Why have you 
considered Viagra or Cialis?  Why do you suffer from dysfunction of your excretory organs?  The freeway to your organs is one or two lanes narrower because of the pressure of omental fat.  The traffic backs up, of course.  A familiar scenario?
I have proven to my own and anyone else's satisfaction who will do it that avoidance of these substances will cause you to lose weight without the usual plateau or yo-yo effect that is such a discouraging fact of weight loss programs.  You need not count calories or exercise.  Most doctors do not know this.  Test your doctor, but be sure not to hint as to the answer.  It is not on TV or in women's mags.  It's not in the newspaper on the front page, altho it should be.  It's not even buried in the obit columns.
Now, exercise.  Why exercise?  If you believe the above, and you should, you will not exercise to lose weight.  A good workout will make you lose five .lbs. of sweat. Tomorrow after you drink some fluid and eat, you will be back to your prior weight.  Count calories.  Eat only half the food you normally eat.  You will lose weight, i.e. muscle weight, not fat.  You will be weaker because of this.  Rocket science!
Exercise just to maintain muscle strength and tone, and exercise for cardiovascular aerobic value.  I recommend light weights in your hands for a few minutes several times a day.  If you break a sweat, you may be overdoing it.  If you are sore the next day, you are indeed overdoing it.  I recommend you do a few squats several times a day.  You are lifting your entire body weight, no small matter.  This entire exercise program will take you no more than 15 minutes a day, leaving you the rest of the day to solve world problems, to eliminate poverty, to encourage entrepreneurship, to contemplate your navel, to watch the clouds float by, to bond with your family, and to enrich your spiritual life and that of your friends.
I know these thoughts are heretical.  Who else have you heard say these things?  You have spent your life proving that the usual sources of your weight loss knowledge are not correct.  The Emperor wears no clothes.  Try to disprove ME!  Do what I ask of you, and try to get fatter.  I dare you!
My sincerest and most caring love, Hugh

Thank you for this, Hugh.  And such a timely response too!  So timely that I have already added these comments of yours on exercise just below mine at "The York '52 Weight Room."  So your words too are there now--- as we speak.
And in particular, I do so love your last couple of lines--- those that say, "You have spent your life proving that the usual sources of your weight loss knowledge are not correct." --- followed immediately by---  "The Emperor wears no clothes."  Oh, that's so good!  I hope my friends at York '52 remember the Hans Christian Anderson tale of "The Emperor's New Clothes" to appreciate how perfect your analogy is when you close-up with "The Emperor wears no clothes!"  Most will probably miss it...but hey, the rest of what you have to say here will be universally understood by all.  That's for sure.  So thanks for this, Hugh.  Very informative, and well written too--- as per your usual self.

And then here again is Malcolm Ing M.D.'s point of view on the importance of exercise... (May 2, 2010)
ed note: While I subscribe to using exercise to reduce the risk of cancer, the onset of Alzheimer's, and a host of other medical problems--- and Hugh Wang, M.D. prescribes exercise for its cardiovascular aerobic qualities and to maintain muscle strength and tone as we age, what follows here now is Mal Ing, M.D. prescription for exercise to grow new neurons in our brains.  It's a simple case of exercising to relieve stress and helping our brains function better, and at the very least maintaining and perhaps even expanding our memory capabilities.
But note especially that these Doctor friends of ours do not suggest that exercise will help us control our weight--- a notion that is promoted only by the food industry in this country today.  To the food industry, weight control is not about what we eat--- but about how much we exercise.  Nothing could be further from the truth of the matter! --- Bruce******
Hi Hugh and Bruce,
While I agree to all of what Hugh has to say on the subject of using diet to control omental fat etc, I must throw in my "two cents" about exercise. 
Exercise has been found to be the only way to sprout new neurons(neurogenisys) in the brain. The use of  anti-oxidants and the like are to prevent or slow the  deterioration that occurs  when we "age". However,  studies (PET imaging etc )have shown that you can develop new neurons in the "hard drive " of your brain for memory. This occurs in the dendate nucleus of the hippocampus. So you should exercise, if you can, to maintain your memory and there are some studies out of the University of Illinois that showed that women who participated in  cross country did better in academics than others who did not exercise etc.
Also, where exercise  (PE classes) were utilized by 4th and 5th graders, these students did better academically than their counterparts who did not have PE. This is why it is a mistake  for schools in our country to be cutting back on exercise programs in favor of more sedentary class time. Exercise is also a great stress reliever. In short, you have to get off your gluteus maximus (posterior) to save your brain!

Now for some comic relief on the exercise program we all know as "WALKING "  --- provided for us here, curtesy of Tom Hodge, York '52:---
On The Importance of Walking







Walking can add minutes to your life.
   This enables you at 85 years old
   to spend an additional 5 months in a nursing
   home at $7,000 per month. This is my reason.

My grandpa started walking
    five miles a day when he was 60.
    Now he's 97 years old
    and we don't know where he is.
I like long walks,
    especially when they are taken
    by people who annoy me.

The only reason I would take up walking
    is so that I could hear heavy breathing again




I have to walk early in the morning,
    before my brain figures out what I'm doing.

I joined a health club last year,
    spent about 400 bucks.
    Haven't lost a pound.
    Apparently you have to go there.

If you are going to try cross-country skiing,
  start with a small country.

I know I got a lot of exercise
    the last few years,......
    just getting over the hill.


Every time I hear the dirty word 'exercise',
    I wash my mouth out with chocolate.

The advantage of exercising every day
    is so when you die, they'll say,
    'Well, she looks good doesn't she.'


We all get heavier as we get older,
    because there's a lot more information in our heads.
    That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


Every time I start thinking too much
     about how I look,
    I just find a Happy Hour

       and by the time I leave,
    I look just fine.