Friday, January 14, 2011

Time to Talk About Fitness and Weight Loss


The last Thursday of every month, a wonderful group of network-savvy woman head for the First City Club in downtown Savannah for the Women On The Move luncheon.  Just last Thursday, yours truly was the featured speaker for the monthly meeting.  It’s always a treat and a privilege for me to be invited to speak to an interested assembly about the work I love.  I consider myself a fitness educator, first and foremost, and this particular group was fully engaged in the topic and very curious and conversational, so we had a really great exchange.

What was the topic?  “How I Learned to Ignore TIME Magazine and Love Fitness.”  It’s a little takeoff on the “Dr. Strangelove” movie title.  (Thank you for being mature enough to remember it.)

Why ignore TIME Magazine?  Because their cover story on August 9, 2009 was, “Why Exercise Won’t Make You Thin.”  Was it timely to bring this story up again?  You bet it was.  Because on April 12, 2010 the New York Times ran a story entitled, “Weighing the Evidence on Exercise.”  Like the TIME article, the New York Times featured a quote by Eric Ravussin, professor and weight loss expert at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La.  The exact same quote.  Without attributing the quote to TIME, which is maddening.  (It is possible the quote was drawn directly from a summary statement in a research article Ravussin authored, but where was that citation?)

But wait, there’s more.  Back in August, when the TIME article was first released and it was the talk of the town among us personal trainers, my colleague Mark Lebos emailed Professor Ravussin and tore him up one side and down the other for making what we all agreed was a ridiculous statement.  Ravussin called Mark back within a few moments and told him he was misquoted and was spending a week on a media tour refuting the TIME story!


If you happen to read beyond the first two paragraphs of the New York Times story, you’ll see that they balance their conclusions in favor of exercise for weight management.

Please, read the TIME Magazine story, the response from the American Council on Exercise, and the New York Times story.  All the links are right here for you.  Look forward to your comments.
And if you’d like to hear all about my experiences and perspectives on this topic, invite me to speak to your group ;-)  J,8599,1914857-1,00.html and weight loss&st=cse&scp=1

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