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Platitudes Won’t Help Your Overweight Friends Lose Weight

“Eat less. Move more.” Oh yeah? Get bent.

I’m tired of seeing this facile advice shoveled onto overweight people, as if losing weight were a simple matter. I’ve been blessed with a high metabolism, and have always been thin, but I’ve been close to people who struggle with their weight and I know that there are vast physical and psychological obstacles to following the seemingly obvious advice to “eat less and move more.”

While it may seem refreshing to cut through the hype-machine of diet and exercise products to get at “home truths” that may lie beneath, the reality is that losing weight is a difficult and, for some, impossible struggle. To reduce (no pun intended) the issue to a matter of “just eat less, and get out and get some exercise!” is nothing more than the latest, currently politically correct way to condescend to fat people. It’s rather like telling a person suffering from acute depression to “just cheer up!”

Studies have shown that exercise doesn’t necessarily produce weight loss. Meanwhile, many people use food to feed psychological needs that go well beyond their nutritional requirements, and such habits can be as hard to break as any addiction. There are all kinds of reasons for people to be overweight and a variety of difficulties they face that you may not be aware of.

So as we approach National Pig-Out Day, give your heavy friends and acquaintances a break. Chances are they’re already trying (or have tried multiple times) to lose weight—and finding it harder than you imagine.

About Jon Sobel

Jon Sobel is an Executive Editor of Blogcritics as well as lead editor of the Culture & Society section. As a writer he contributes most often to Culture, where he reviews NYC theater; he also covers interesting music releases. He writes the blog Park Odyssey, for which he is visiting and blogging every park in New York City—over a thousand of them. Through Oren Hope Marketing and Copywriting you can hire him to write or edit whatever marketing or journalistic materials your heart desires. By night he's a working musician: lead singer, songwriter, and bass player for Whisperado, a member of other bands as well, and a sideman.
  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Exercise doesn’t necessarily produce weight loss only because of what you eat afterward.
    That’s all that this study has shown. Umm…No Duh?! What you eat ( your diet) has always been a major & very important factor in weight control or what I call fat control. You can’t really eat what you want then expect to lose the fat just because you exercise!

    In fact, “Eat Less, Move More” is a very unhealthy approach to a healthy lifestyle. So, is dieting! IMHO, you need to change what you eat (not necessarily how much), adjust the times when you actually eat & analyze what you do for an exercise routine. And , just an FYI, but, it’s very good to pig out once a week. It’s a reward for all your hard work,plus, it will keep you on the right path.