What the author failed to research was that having excess weight plays a major role in hormonal imbalance which then plays a larger role in the promotion and development of disease. When a person has properly balanced body weight composition, they are then more apt to be hormonally balanced relative to the hormones affected. Such enzymes and hormones affected are interleukine 6, tumor necrosis factor, insulin, increased free fatty acid activity, leptin, and many others. I am glad to hear the author saying it is important and/or more important to focus on being active however what we put in our mouth plays a direct role in what happens inside the body such as increased inflammation (oxidation of blood and cholesterol), fluid retention (increased blood pressure and kidney stress), increased insulin production (another vascular pro-inflammatory) which is in response to insulin resistance and elevated blood sugar.
The American diet (“nutrition” as I prefer to refer to it) is on average close to 30:1 pro-inflammatory to anti-inflammatory respectively. When we think of “diets” such as the Vegan or the Mediterranean, these are in the 4:1 and 6:1 ratios. When we are eating foods that have a high inflammatory response in the body we are then open for increased disease such as heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. So no, we shouldn’t “just let our weight fall where it may”! Where it may help to address this issue instead of ignoring it would be the psychology of why people do not continue their nutritional changes when they are successful or even before they have had success and are struggling with weight. The biggest problem is we do not view and assess having excess weight as a health threat until it causes a disease or health condition. Even then, only sometimes does this work.
For instance, if you were diagnosed with cancer, this is a very real threat that will impact your life significantly. Our brain assesses this as an immediate threat and we want to deal with it, as we should. When someone is first diagnosed with elevated blood sugar or an actual diagnosis of diabetes, many more times than not the person dismisses this as something not of a real immediate threat. It is part of the brain that is responsible for this and what will help are more professionals providing scientific evidence into easy to learn education strategies for the public to view conditions such as diabetes as a threat. Once people understand what various chronic diseases are and how they work, they then are able to assess them as a viable threat and then decide to make changes in managing them or preventing them through lifestyle change such as nutritional changes. This is what the Health Belief Model of behavior change is based on and works very well. Education needs to be paired with a strategy that connects the person and their emotions to the problem. Otherwise the education is just information that is discarded by the brain or in the trash. Please address this and set the record straight to prevent those from believing it is just fine to allow increased body weight, particularly central body weight. The waist circumference measure is an easy way to assess individual risk. From belly button around the waist back to the belly button, men should be <40 inches and women <35 inches.
--Ryan Bosch BS, ACSM-CES, CDE
Sanford Health Fargo, ND
I was so inspired by the recent article about you and A Grape in the Fog that I had to write and congratulate you on having the courage to listen to your inner voice. Having recently left my position as manager, strategic communications planning with the American Cancer Society to provide marketing for small nonprofits without a marketing department, I certainly understand how important - and fulfilling - it is to follow your dreams.
Kudos to you and much success for many, many years to come!
--Linette SingletonI frequent my local B&N every weekend. This is the first time I actually picked up your magazine, and it was the last one there! There were your regular Vogue, Glamour and Marie Claire, there but only one of your magazines left. I'm ashamed to admit, I thought it may be too old for me, but I couldn't have been more wrong.