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Old 04-22-2010, 09:39 AM   #1
BigMcLargeHuge
 
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Default Interesting NY Times Article on Exercise & Weight Gain

Just wanted to share this excerpt from a NY Times article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/18/ma...me&ref=general


The effects of exercise on the appetite and energy systems, however, are by no means consistent. In one study presented last year at the annual conference of the American College of Sports Medicine, when healthy young men ran for an hour and a half on a treadmill at a fairly high intensity, their blood concentrations of acylated ghrelin fell, and food held little appeal for the rest of that day. Exercise blunted their appetites. A study that Braun oversaw and that was published last year by The American Journal of Physiology had a slightly different outcome. In it, 18 overweight men and women walked on treadmills in multiple sessions while either eating enough that day to replace the calories burned during exercise or not. Afterward, the men displayed little or no changes in their energy-regulating hormones or their appetites, much as in the other study. But the women uniformly had increased blood concentrations of acylated ghrelin and decreased concentrations of insulin after the sessions in which they had eaten less than they had burned. Their bodies were directing them to replace the lost calories. In physiological terms, the results “are consistent with the paradigm that mechanisms to maintain body fat are more effective in women,” Braun and his colleagues wrote. In practical terms, the results are scientific proof that life is unfair. Female bodies, inspired almost certainly “by a biological need to maintain energy stores for reproduction,” Braun says, fight hard to hold on to every ounce of fat. Exercise for many women (and for some men) increases the desire to eat.
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Old 04-22-2010, 10:51 AM   #2
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Articles like this just annoy me.

For one thing, concentrating on something negative or potentially negative about exercise just negates its positive qualities and can also serve to discourage somebody from exercising if they think "oh i'll just eat more."

Secondly, i'm not a scientist but even i can see this is totally flawed. They're comparing healthy young males exercising at an intense rate over a certain amount of time with overweight males and females doing moderate exercise over seemingly a variety of times. There is zero scientific value to not having a control group and not having them do the same activities over the same time periods. Additionally since this article mentions reproduction, it's not covering older females; if the issue of 'holding onto fat' is about reproduction, would that mean it doesn't affect seniors?

"Scientific proof that life is unfair" is just a silly term that in no way belongs in anything scientific. There are plenty of skinny females and fat males.
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Old 04-22-2010, 01:20 PM   #3
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Which article were you reading? The excerpt was pretty even-handed and nowhere in the original did I notice phrases like, "scientific proof life is unfair" or, "exercise for women is useless". Where's all this polarizing language coming from?
You're right about the quality of the study, but it still had some very interesting observations. As I understand it you can write articles on uncontrolled studies. I forget what they're called right now, but it is generally accepted in the scientific community that they don't prove anything the way an official, controlled, peer-reviewed study would. It's kind of sad how much policy in this country is based on uncontrolled observations of a couple-dozen individuals, but that's another rant.
Getting back on topic I found the article in question interesting, though I don't think there will be many real implications outside of the story board - and maybe a slight fluctation in gym stock prices this afternoon.
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