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The Perfect Push Up

The Perfect Push Up Exercise Gimmick Although push-ups are the most rudimentary exercise in existence, multiple companies have produced ridiculous gimmicks to help you do the Perfect Push-up!

Research Blogging Award Finalist!

Research Blogging Awards 2010 Finalist Obesity Panacea has been named a Finalist for the 2010 Research Blogging Awards! You can see all the nominees by clicking on the link below.

If sport is important for kids, why not adults?

Friday, May 29, 2009 Author: Travis Saunders 0 Responses

I saw an interesting article yesterday in the Ottawa Citizen that I wanted to share with our readers. As in the rest of Canada, ice time in Ottawa's arenas is at a premium. Unlike gymnasiums and outdoor fields which require relatively little maintenance, rinks require an entire full-time staff to create and maintain the ice, as well as the expensive machinery which makes indoor ice possible. These overhead costs make rinks, and ice time, an expensive and precious commodity, and I would wager that most urban centers in Canada could use more rinks than they currently have.

All of this brings us to my current hometown of Ottawa, which is evaluating the way that ice time is allotted in its arenas. Although minor hockey (and to a lesser extent ringette) receives the majority of the "prime-time" ice-time (e.g. 4-9pm) in Ottawa, there is still a considerable amount which is given to adult hockey leagues. One of the changes being considered by the City of Ottawa would see adults excluded from all time-slots before 9pm, which would then be given exclusively to the use of minor hockey.

Now this is obviously a win-lose. More sport opportunities for kids is a great thing, but it also means less opportunities for physical activity for adults, many of whom claim that their leagues will fold if they are forced to play late into the night.  What I find interesting about this article is that it shows how our society seems to value sport participation for youth (especially boys), but far less so for adults.  I'm sure we all know people who were tremendous athletes in high school, only to completely abstain from sports the moment that their high school or college days were over.  That the city is considering shifting adult ice-usage to the late-night time slot seems to reinforce the view that sports have valuable physical and social implications for children and youth, but not adults. 

I would also be shocked to hear that any children are avoiding hockey because of too little ice-time (if i am off-base on this, please voice your opinion in the comments section).  According to this article in the Ottawa Citizen, last year nearly 400 "prime-time" hours which had been slated for minor hockey went completely unused.   Further, hockey is a very expensive sport, and although players come from diverse backgrounds, I would be shocked if the majority were not from the middle and upper classes.  These are the same kids who are likely to have access to other sports, and who frankly should be playing a wide range of sports in order to develop their physical literacy (an interesting topic which I hope to touch on in future posts).

For a fair number of the men who play in these recreational leagues (sadly, I don't know of any adult female recreational hockey teams/leagues, although I am sure they must exist), their one or two games each week is the only physical activity that they receive.  If we assume that most of them are getting about 20 minutes of ice time each game, that means they are getting about 40 minutes of vigorous physical activity each week, an amount that could conceivably reduce their risk for quite a few chronic diseases.  I'm sure that some will continue to participate if they are forced into the late-night time-slots, but some won't, and I hate to see any decision that could reduce physical activity levels in any population.

I would never argue for less opportunities for childhood physical activity, nor would I expect anyone else would without offending the majority of the population.  However, it's interesting that reducing opportunities for adult physical activity is seen as a viable option.  We make time for sports for children because it is important, and I hope we keep spots available for adults for the same reason.  This is the final week of the City of Ottawa's consultation phase, so if you have a strong feeling on this issue one way or another, this may be your last chance to be heard.  For an interesting article on the comments received in response to yesterday's Ottawa Citizen article, click here.

Have a great weekend,


Related Posts:

1.  Public Transit Users Get More Physical Activity
2.  Sleep and Childhood Obesity
3.  The Bluenose Youth Run

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LepToThin - Nature's most powerful weight loss agent?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 Author: Travis Saunders 0 Responses

I recently came across the website for LepToThin, a weight loss supplement which targets the hormone leptin. Although leptin induces satiety (in addition to many other functions), most obese individuals develop leptin resistance. Individuals who are resistant to leptin require more food before they feel full, making weight loss or even weight maintenance increasingly difficult.

Every so often someone comes out with a treatment that "cures" leptin resistance. This is somewhat of a holy grail for obesity treatments - if obese individuals were more sensitive to leptin, weight loss and weight maintenance would both more manageable. LepToThin claims to do just that - reducing leptin resistance, thereby reducing food intake, increasing metabolism, and reducing body weight. However, as usual with this type of product, the evidence to support that claim is exceedingly thin.

The active ingredient in LepToThin is called berberine, a plant extract from China which has been touted as a natural cure for diabetes. To be fair, there is some evidence to suggest that berberine has positive effects on glucose metabolism. For example, in a paper in the journal Diabetes, Lee and colleagues report that giving obese rats 380mg of berberine for each kilogram of body weight for two weeks resulted in significant weight loss and improved glucose metabolism. That sounds pretty impressive. However, for a person my size, it would take over 26,600mg of berberine to match the dose that was given to the obese rats in the study by Lee et al. How much berberine is in a daily dose of LepToThin? Less than 1,200mg. That means that if I were to take the recommended dose of LepToThin, I would receive less than 5% of the dose which resulted in weight loss in obese rats in the study by Lee et al. Perhaps more importantly, I could not find a single study reporting that berberine is associated with weight loss of any magnitude in humans.

A website associated with of LepToThin claims that it is "nature's most powerful and studied weight loss agent that works directly on the brain". That seems odd given that the above-mentioned study by Lee and colleagues is the only study that I have been able to find showing any relationship between berberine and weight loss. To find out where all these studies were hiding, I emailed the people who run, an "educational" website with strong links to LepToThin, to ask if they knew of any clinical trials showing that berberine or LepToThin are associated with weight loss in humans. Unfortunately the email address listed on their website is not a real email address. That is not a good sign. And the more time you spend on the LepToThin website, the more it starts to look like many of the other weight loss gimmicks we've profiled in the past.

First, there are grandiose claims, with absolutely no science to back them up. For example, the LepToThin website claims that it is the "First Product To Effectively Control Leptin Resistance", but provide no links to research backing up that statement, and my searches of PubMed and Google Scholar suggest that there are none. Ron Spallone, a naturopathic doctor affiliated with LepToThin, says that "It's not a stretch to say that this could be one of the most researched and promising weight loss supplements to come out in the last 20 years." Seeing as there is not a single paper evaluating their product on PubMed or Google Scholar, nor any evidence to suggest that the active ingredient can reduce body weight in humans, that statement is far more than a stretch.

As with many weight loss products, the real gems are found in the Frequently Asked Questions section of the website. For example:

Question: How easy is the program to use?
Answer: Very easy....

Question: Are Core Innovations™ [the makers of LepToThin] products safe to use?
Answer: Yes!...

Question: As a vegetarian, can I use this program?
Answer: Yes you can! It was designed for everyone.

And my personal favourite:

Question: Will I see a flatter stomach?
Answer: ...LepToThin targets the breakdown of visceral fat or WAT (White Adipose Tissue). This is the unhealthy type of fat that's a proven contributor to disease and premature death. It can actually strangle your organs. Studies show there is a correlation between visceral fat and heart disease.

First of all, visceral fat does not strangle your organs! I cannot stress that enough. Visceral fat is a bad thing, but it doesn't strangle your organs, either literally or figuratively. Further, the terms visceral fat and white adipose tissue are not interchangeable. White adipose tissue is found throughout the body, not just within the visceral cavity. It is never a good sign when the makers of a "scientific" product, clearly do not understand basic physiology.

It should also be noted that contrary to the answer provided to that final question, there is no evidence suggesting that berberine (the active ingredient in LepToThin) targets visceral fat. None. In fact, the above-mentioned study by Lee et al., says that "both visceral and subcutaneous fat depots were similarly reduced by berberine". It would be difficult to come up with a worse answer to such a simple question.

So, what is the final verdict? I will admit that in writing this post, I came across some interesting studies on berberine, and I would be very interested to see more research into the subject. However, given that absolutely no research suggests that LepToThin's active ingredient is associated with weight loss in humans, and that the makers of LepToThin clearly have a poor understanding of basic physiology, this product doesn't seem like a likely cure for obesity. For more on LepToThin, please visit their website by clicking here.

To receive information on other weight loss gimmicks products, as well as the latest health and fitness research, enter your email address in the "Subscribe Via Email" box in the upper right-hand corner of the blog.


Related Posts:

1. Human Chorionic Gonadotropin
2. Acai Berry Scam Exposed: We Called It!
3. Slender Shaper: Another Fat Loss Gimmick?

Lee, Y. (2006). Berberine, a Natural Plant Product, Activates AMP-Activated Protein Kinase With Beneficial Metabolic Effects in Diabetic and Insulin-Resistant States Diabetes, 55 (8), 2256-2264 DOI: 10.2337/db06-0006

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Misguided Ad Campaigns

Monday, May 25, 2009 Author: Peter Janiszewski, PhD 0 Responses
1. Did you get your free burger at Harvey’s yesterday? Unfortunately, Travis and I missed the wonderful promotion. Apparently, May 24 was Harvey’s Free Hamburger Day, as long as you showed up between 10:30am-3:00pm. Although we missed our chance to wolf down all 380 kcals of a free Harvey’s hamburger (consisting of 144 kcals of fat), according to Travis, we may have been in the minority, as the line-up at the local Harvey’s was around the block.

Way to go Harvey’s!

2. Not to be outdone, McDonald’s also has a new obesigenic promotion going. As you can from the pictured billboard as seen in downtown Kingston, and the numerous TV ads, McD’s is now offering soft drinks of any size for $1! They call it the “dollar drink days” promotion. Given the option, I wonder who would actually choose a small or medium instead of the large drink given the same price. I fear the majority of cash-strapped Canadians will go for the 730ml large pop, containing 340 kcals worth of sugar!

For an even better deal, you can just eat the 21 teaspoons of pure sugar contained in these drinks and wash it down with some tap water – same nutritional content, same great taste, for much less.

3. I’ve received 2 versions of the same ad from Premier Fitness, and each time I am amazed at the sheer stupidity of the advertising approach. As you can see below, the flyer states in large bold letters: “DO NOT JOIN!” While I was never even considering joining Premier Fitness, this gem of a marketing campaign just sealed the deal – “Alright Premier Fitness – lay off me, I won’t join!”

Only the most determined consumer would put in the effort to read the fine print below to find out that you can get a free 30-day membership. Now, I am not a marketing expert, but I think you should save the fine print for stuff you DO NOT want the consumer to read.

Maybe Premier Fitness will get it right next time.

4. And lastly, one of my favourite ad campaigns comes courtesy of Goodlife Fitness (For Women). To celebrate Goodlife’s 30th anniversary in the business, they created the “Weigh More, Pay Less” event.

The flyer states:

“During Goodlife’s 30th Anniversary Weigh More, Pay Less event – bigger is better when it comes to saving money!”

“For a limited time, when you join Goodlife, the more you weigh, the less enrolment fee you’ll pay…”

I see, so in order to get the best discount on your Goodlife gym membership, you should gain as much weight as possible before you go to sign up and reap the financial rewards - or get pregnant, as suggested by the picture. Nice!

But don’t worry – “no weight restrictions apply and there is no weigh-in necessary…” and “you don’t need to be in shape before you join!”

This latter point is simply perfection – imagine that, you don’t have to be in good shape to join a fitness club…

Have a great day,


[Note: Thanks to Marina Komolova for providing the pictures for this post]

Related Posts:
1. Krispy Kreme andDenny's battle the North American underweight epidemic!
2. Yesterday's 'Large' Becomes Today's 'Small'
3. Holiday Weight Gain

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Richard Simmons Steamer - Surprisingly Flammable

Friday, May 22, 2009 Author: Travis Saunders 0 Responses
It's been a while since we've put up an exercise or diet related video, and with a beautiful day being forecast for most of North America on Friday, we thought this would be a good chance for everyone to enjoy a light video before heading outside to enjoy the sights and sounds of spring. Below is an amusing video of Richard Simmons promoting his steamer on the Late Show with David Letterman. Stick with it through to the end, it's worth the wait.  If you are an email subscriber, click the title of this post to see the video on the main page, or click here.

I'd also like to point out that this weekend is the National Capital Race Weekend here in Ottawa.  I won't be competing myself, but I plan on watching as many events as possible.  There is a 5km, 10km, Half, and Full Marathon, so good luck to Scott, Rob, Kate, Beth, Geoff (?), Meg (?) Kelly, Emily, Leslie, Booth, and the other thousands of runners who will be lacing up their running shoes over the course of the weekend.

If you'd like to give the race a try yourself, please visit the race website here, or consider heading downtown to watch the races Saturday night or Sunday morning.  Remember - you don't have to be fast to enjoy a road race!  A 5km walk with the family is a great way to spend a lovely Saturday night!  The race organizers also donate thousands of dollars to youth track and field clubs across Canada (including my former club, the University of Calgary Athletics Club), which is a wonderful commitment to the sport and to youth physical activity.  I should also point out that Boston Marathon winner Deriba Merga is aiming for the 10km WORLD RECORD on Saturday night, which should be terrific to watch. If you'd like to see the race, it starts at 6:30pm in front of City Hall in downtown Ottawa, and will be finishing roughly 27 minutes later.

Have a great weekend, and enjoy the video!


Related Posts:

1.  Obesity Panacea Interviews Former Boston Marathon Winner Amby Burfoot
2.  Travis Recaps his Boston Marathon Experience
3.  The Bluenose Marathon Youth Run

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The Bluenose Marathon Youth Run

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 Author: Travis Saunders 2 Responses
On your marks... GIV'ER! (Photo courtesy of Andrea Mosher)

I was in Halifax this past weekend and was fortunate to be involved with a terrific event that anyone interested in physical activity should know about. It is called the Bluenose Marathon Youth Run, and it is awesome!

The Bluenose Marathon is a road race which takes place in Halifax, Nova Scotia each May. Like many major road races, it includes a full marathon, a half-marathon, and a 10km race. What makes the Bluenose Marathon special, however, is that it also includes a 4.2km youth run, which attracts thousands of students in grades 3-9 from throughout the province. My girlfriend Daun has taken part in several of these youth runs, and this year the two of us ran with a number of students from the elementary and middle school where she taught Physical Education last year.

The Pre-Race Warm-Up (Photo Courtesy Andrea Mosher)

There are too many great things about this event to fit them all into one post. First of all, it's great to see the sheer numbers of people who come out to volunteer and cheer on the runners. The start area was nearly as crowded as at the Boston Marathon earlier this year, and the atmosphere was just as exciting. The kids were all dancing to the pre-race music, doing some aerobics to get warmed up, and getting focused for the journey ahead (I've been told that there was also some pre-race puking from a few kids, but luckily all of the students that I was running with had iron stomachs). Then there is the way that they start the race: "On your marks... GIV'ER!", followed by sheer mayhem as thousands of kids sprint through the start line (keeping track of several 11-year olds running at full speed, surrounded by other kids dressed in identical race tshirts, is quite a challenge!) From start to finish, everything about the race is about participation and having fun, and that's a fantastic trait for any youth sporting event.

Daun and Travis running in a sea of kids (Photo courtesy Andrea Mosher)

The youth run gets thousands of kids out on race day, which is terrific. But what's even better is that the kids train for weeks leading up to the race, with the goal of completing the equivalent of a full marathon (42.2km) over the course of their training. In fact, after the race it's not uncommon to hear the students talking about how this was their first or second or third "marathon". And do you know the best part? The kids have fun! They have an absolute blast! The kids run together, they chat, they cover themselves in gatorade at the aid stations and then stomp on all the empty cups, and they have a tremendous time doing it. I ran with a group of grade 5 students from the Halifax Independent School, and the whole group was very supportive of each other, walking whenever someone had a cramp, and generally just out for a nice jog and a good time.

The Finish Line! (Photo courtesy Andrea Mosher)

I know that many parents (and unfortunately even some teachers) worry that something as strenuous as a 4.2km run is "dangerous" for kids, but I can't imagine that the students would come back year after year if it were a truly traumatic experience. The kids that I ran with simply slowed down or took a walk break whenever they needed a bit of a rest, and as soon as they felt better (which usually only took a few seconds) they were right back with their classmates. And I can tell you from taking part, not all of these kids were "natural" runners. There were kids of all shapes, sizes, and abilities taking part, and there was absolutely zero emphasis placed on winning (the organizers don't even bother to record times or placings). The race is not about winning, but rather having fun and taking part, and that's what I love about road racing in general. Too many kids get turned off from running at a young age (for example, an elementary school in Kingston recently turned away students from the Cross Country Running team if they required a walk break during training), so its great to see a race make running such a positive experience for so many students.

Most of the participants in the Youth Run will not go on to be competitive runners, but almost all of them have seen that physical activity can be fun, and that's a great lesson for them to learn. This is not the only road race that has a youth run (although it's by far the largest youth run I've seen personally), so I'd encourage you to look for one in your area either for your own children, or to volunteer in some way. Depending on your child's age, you may want to look into Read and Run programs, which help students develop a love of reading, and running, all at the same time. Or just go outside for a run/walk with your kids. Run when they feel like running, and walk when they feel like walking. As they say at the Bluenose Marathon, just Giver!

Thanks to Andrea Mosher for the generous use of her terrific photos! If you are wondering why we all have blue noses in the pictures, it's because we were running in the BLUE NOSE youth run. :p


Related Posts:

1. Obesity Panacea Interviews Former Boston Marathon Champ and Runner's World Editor Amby Burfoot.
2. 10 Simple Ways to Become More Physically Active.
3. Are Marathon Runners Healthier than Runners who Don't do Marathons?

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Peter's research featured in Maclean's

Monday, May 18, 2009 Author: Peter Janiszewski, PhD 0 Responses

Given that today is a holiday and the weather is beautiful (albeit a tad chilly), I thought I’d post something short and sweet.

Late last week a great story was posted on the Maclean’s website which should be of interest to our readers. The story is entitled “Size isn’t everything” and it discusses many of the concepts that have come up in our posts over the past few months. The article is also great as it features the biggest names in Canadian obesity research, most of whom I know personally, including Dr. Arya Sharma, Dr. Jean-Pierre Despres, and my supervisor, Dr. Robert Ross.

Most importantly (for me), my name and work is also mentioned in the article along with these top thinkers in the obesity field (page 2). Given that I am still in the infancy of my academic career, to be named in a national magazine in the presence of such esteemed company is quite an honour. I am flattered, Maclean’s!

Please check out the full article on the Maclean’s website, where you can also see the comment I left in reference to the article. The article will appear in the upcoming print issue of Maclean’s.

Have a great day,

Related Posts:

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Liposuction does not make you healthy

Friday, May 15, 2009 Author: Peter Janiszewski, PhD 0 Responses
At the outset, this notion may seem a tad counterintuitive. If obesity, or excess fat, is bad for your health, how can removing some of that excess fat not improve your health? Unfortunately, while liposuction might make you look better, a number of studies have shown it is unlikely to improve your health – read on to find out why.

Let’s start a bit upstream.

First, it is important to understand that fat, or adipose tissue, which is mostly composed of many individual fat cells (adipocytes) is not inherently unhealthy. To the contrary, adipose tissue is absolutely necessary to allow the body to store excess calories during times when we ingest more calories than we expend through activity and resting metabolism. By doing so, adipose tissue acts as a buffer of excess calories, and thus protects other tissues of the body from accumulating fat (i.e. heart, liver, muscle). This notion is best represented by the fact that individuals who completely lack fat tissue (a disorder known as congential lipodystrophy) are very unhealthy and are at great risk of diabetes and heart disease, despite having an athletic and lean appearance.

In other words, fat tissue is essential for health.

Where many people get into trouble is when they have exhausted their body’s ability to store more calories in adipose tissue – we all have a certain threshold to which our fat depots can expand. When we get to that point, our fat cells become so big that they are no longer able to buffer excess calories and thus cannot protect other tissues from fat accumulation and damage. This is when many of the classical metabolic problems of obesity become apparent – increased blood fats, blood glucose levels, etc.

But wait, isn’t losing fat through diet and exercise good for health?

Yes, when we expend more energy (exercise) or reduce the amount of food we ingest (diet), or both, our body draws on our extra stores of energy in our adipose tissue – this process gradually reduces the size of the individual fat cells. That is, fat loss occurs due to a reduction in size of fat cells, not a reduction in the number of fat cells. Not surprisingly, your pants start fitting better. Also, this process makes fat cells more efficient at sucking up excess calories the next time we again eat more than we expend – think Thanksgiving weekend.

This is completely different from the scenario of liposuction, where a whole bunch of fat cells are removed from the body – that is, you reduce the number of fat cells, but the remaining ones don’t get any smaller or healthier – in fact, the opposite may be true (less place to store excess calories than before surgery, so enlargement of those fat cells left behind).

As an example of the lack of health benefit from liposuction, I decided to discuss a paper which was published back in 2004 in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine. This paper was actually the first paper I discussed with my lab during journal club when I initially arrived at Queen's to do my Master’s back in 2004.

In this study, Klein and colleagues investigated the health effects of liposuction of subcutaneous (under the skin) fat in the abdominal region in 15 obese women.

The liposuction procedure removed between 30- 45 % of the subcutaneous fat in the abdominal region, which was equivalent to approximately 10 kg of fat tissue (see above picture from the study). This represented a 20% reduction in total fat mass – a very substantive change!

However, with regards to the women’s health – the results were rather disappointing, although not surprising given the above discussion. Specifically, 12 weeks after the surgery the women did not show improvements in any of the metabolic markers assessed (insulin sensitivity – a precursor to diabetes, blood pressure, blood glucose, insulin, or lipid levels) as well as any of the other novel markers of disease risk (CRP, adiponectin, IL-6, TNF-α).

Thus, as this paper concludes, while liposuction may be of benefit for cosmetic causes, it should not be considered a clinical treatment for obesity. In other words, surgically removing fat tissue will not bring about the health benefits of weight loss as induced via a negative energy balance (more physical activity and less calorie consumption).

Have a great long weekend.


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Klein, S., Fontana, L., Young, L., Coggan, A.R., Kilo, C., Patterson, B.W., & Mohammed, B.S. (2004). Absence of an Effect of Liposuction on Insulin Action and Risk Factors for Coronary Heart Disease New England Journal of Medicine, 350, 2549-2557

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Ten simple ways to become more physically active

Wednesday, May 13, 2009 Author: Travis Saunders 0 Responses

Regardless of your shape or size, physical activity has been shown to add years to your life, and life to your years. But believe it or not, the benefits of physical activity are not restricted to exercise performed in the gym. In fact, one of the easiest ways to improve your health may be through increasing the amount of low intensity physical activity you perform throughout the day. For example, simply increasing the number of steps that you take each day is very likely to reduce your risk for diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It's still uncertain if this light intensity physical activity can reduce body weight, but it is clear that individuals who engage in high amounts of light intensity physical activity are healthier than those who do not. In fact, there is good evidence to suggest that simply reducing the amount of time spent sitting each day may reduce risk of death independently of other lifestyle factors (for my recent post on this topic, click here).

Peter and I have discussed the importance of daily physical activity in several posts over the past few months, so today we have decided to offer some practical ways that you can incorporate physical activity into your daily life. These are tips that we have found work well for us, and we think they may work well for you as well. Try one or two, and once they've become part of your routine try a couple more. We would also love to hear your own tips in the comments section below.

Withour further ado, here are ten simple ways to become more physically active:

1. Take the stairs as often as possible.

This one is as simple as it sounds. If you have to go up two floors or less, opt for the stairs. Ditto if you have to go down three floors or less. If you have to go up or down a distance that is too great for you to walk at the moment, walk the first few flights, then take the elevator the rest of the way. Remember, every time you take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator, you are making a decision that will positively affect your long term health.

2. Drink plenty of water.

This sounds odd, but it's a trick that I've been using for years. If you are constantly sipping water throughout the day, you are going to have to pee at least once an hour. Every time you have to pee, you have a guilt-free excuse to go for a 5-minute walk to the washroom and back! To crank it up a notch, use a washroom in another part of your building, which may give you an opportunity to use the stairs as well. It's easy to forget to take a 5-minute walk-break every hour, but it's impossible to forget to go pee.

Added bonus - staying well hydrated may also reduce feelings of hunger, and can often reduce chronic back pain. So this is really a win-win-win.

3. Park as far from the front door as possible.

Another simple but effective tactic. Whether you're at the mall, work, or school, parking the car at the edge of the parking lot forces you to walk just a little bit further than you are used to. It will only add a few seconds to your trip, but if you do it everyday it could add years to your life.

Added bonus - less chance of getting dinged by shopping carts and teenage drivers.

4. Clean your home regularly.

I've got to admit, this one was Peter's idea (as any of my former roomates can attest, cleaning is not my forte). Most people don't realize what a good workout cleaning can be, especially if you have a large home. Cleaning involves plenty of walking, lifting, and stretching - all of which are very good for your body. Washing dishes by hand can also be an easy way to burn a few extra calories, and to spend some time chatting with other members of your family (I spent many hours drying pots and pans for my Mom growing up).

5. Gardening and yardwork.

Photo by MyAngelG.

Yardwork is great because not only does it increase your physical activity, but it also gives you an excuse to be outside. Pulling weeds, mowing the lawn, trimming the hedge, and raking leaves are all very physically taxing and like cleaning, they use a range of muscle groups.

6. Disconnect your cable for the summer.

Time spent watching TV is an independent predictor of disease, especially for kids (for a great article on the topic by Ekelund and colleagues, click here). It's not surprising when you think about it - the only time that most kids aren't moving around is when they're sitting in front of the TV. Get rid of the cable, and suddenly you've got one less reason to spend your days sitting on the couch. If you're like me, after a few weeks without cable, you might start to wonder why you ever had it in the first place. And if, like me, you need to watch the NHL playoffs - walk to the local pub/sports bar with your friends on game night.

7. Buy a pedometer.

Pedometers are beeper-sized gadgets that count the number of steps that you take each day. They are a terrific way to measure the amount of physical activity you are getting each day, and can also serve as a great motivator to make the decision to walk whenever possible. Aim for at least 10,000 steps each day, but any increase is likely to bring health benefits, so don't feel bad if you can't get up to 10,000 right away. A high quality pedometer costs just $20, and are available online from Speakwell, a Canadian company based in British Columbia.

8. Use active transportation and public transit.

Photo by frankdethier.
I have only been living in Ottawa for a week, but already I am in love with the bike paths. I have a beautiful 20 minute bike ride to work each day, and I can't imagine a better way to start the day. It takes about 4 minutes longer than driving (but is significantly cheaper since there's no parking fee to lock up my bike). Walking, roller blading, and biking are all great ways to get around, and they often take a lot less time than you'd expect.

If the trip is a little too far to hoof it, consider taking public transit. As researcher Ugo Lachapelle discussed in a recent interview here on Obesity Panacea, individuals who take public transit are more likely to meet physical activity recommendations than those who don't take public transit. This is because most transit trips involve at least some walking to and from stops. And remember that most major cities have bike racks for buses in the summer, and allow bikes on trains during off-peak hours.

Many workplaces offer free or discounted transit pass programs, so be sure to check if your employer has such a program.

9. Have "walk-meetings".

In an ideal world, we would all have 45 minutes for a relaxed lunch. If you happen to enjoy this luxury, consider taking half your lunch break to go for a walk either alone or with someone else you work with. It will help wake you up for the afternoon, as well as giving you a chance to chat with your co-workers (you could even use it to kickstart that workplace romance you've been planning for so long).

If you don't have time to take a large walk break at lunch, consider having "walk-meetings". Whenever you have to meet informally with co-workers, turn the meeting into a short walk. If it takes 5 minutes to discuss the project you are working on, that means you just got 5 extra minutes of physical activity! Peter and I used to frequently walk to the local grocery store on our lunch break, all the while discussing projects we were working on. It was a chance to get out of the lab, to talk about our work, and to get some physical activity all at the same time.

10. Go for a family walk after dinner.

Photo by _neona_.

This one was Peter's idea, but I have to admit that we did this almost every night when I was a kid in my family as well. My sister and I would hop on our bikes, my parents would walk behind us, and the four of us would go for a half hour trip around the neighborhood. It's another chance to spend some time together, get outside, and get some exercise all at the same time.

As you can see, none of the tips we're suggesting is earth shattering. In fact, most of them are things you could start doing immediately, and cost absolutely nothing at all. Like I mentioned in the introduction, try out the tips that seem most realistic for you at this point in your life. Once you've mastered them, consider trying a couple others. And please share with us your tips for making physical activity a part of your day!

Disclaimer: While the activities we have suggested are all low to moderate intensity, speak to your physician if you have any health concerns before increasing your physical activity levels. The information here should be used as a general guide only, and should not be construed as specific medical advice. Also, work place romances are usually a bad idea, so be careful with that as well.

To receive future interviews, as well as the latest health and fitness research, enter your email address in the "Subscribe Via Email" box in the upper right-hand corner of the blog.

Related Posts:

1. Public Transit Users More Likely to Meet Physical Activity Targets.
2. Can Sitting Too Long Kill You?
3. Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis - it's NEAT!

Ekelund, U., Brage, S., Froberg, K., Harro, M., Anderssen, S., Sardinha, L., Riddoch, C., & Andersen, L. (2006). TV Viewing and Physical Activity Are Independently Associated with Metabolic Risk in Children: The European Youth Heart Study PLoS Medicine, 3 (12) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0030488
Lachapelle, U., & Frank, L. (2009). Transit and Health: Mode of Transport, Employer-Sponsored Public Transit Pass Programs, and Physical Activity Journal of Public Health Policy, 30 DOI: 10.1057/jphp.2008.52

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Workplace Intervention Increases Employee Physical Activity Levels

Monday, May 11, 2009 Author: Peter Janiszewski, PhD 0 Responses

Although it is widely recommended that adults attain at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most days of the week, over half of Americans (51.9%) and Canadians (51.0%) fail to meet this minimum threshold. While physicians may also counsel their at-risk patients regarding physical activity, these patients seldom adopt the recommended behavior. Thus, while we currently know that physical activity is good for most people, we don’t have the vaguest idea how to get most people to become active.

Any intervention that may actually work in the real world (versus a laboratory) brings us one step closer to understanding how to produce an increase in physical activity in our largely sedentary population. A recent study by Dishman and colleagues, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, gives one example of such an intervention.

In this study, participating employees at 20 Home Depot sites throughout the United States and Canada were randomized to either an intervention condition or a control condition for a 12 week duration – that is, all employees at one location were in the same condition.

The intervention consisted of two major components:

1) Personal goal setting: Participants were encouraged to progressively increases the accumulation of 10-minute blocks of exercise and pedometer steps each week, targeted toward meeting or exceeding current recommendations for physical activity: accumulation of ≥150 minutes each week and/or ≥10,000 pedometer steps each day. This information was provided to each participant in the form of a Participant Handbook.

2) Team goal setting: Employees were divided into teams of 5-20 members, each team with a designated captain. Team captains were responsible for motivating participants to set goals and earn points for their team. Posters that recorded and compared team goal attainment were displayed in break rooms and were updated every 2 weeks by the site coordinator.

To help facilitate the intervention, senior management was encouraged to endorse participation. Additionally, environmental prompts, in the form of posters, encouraged physical activity and its health benefits, emphasized the target goals for minutes and steps, and illustrated opportunities to be active, such as parking and walking, taking walk breaks, and climbing stairs.

Participating employees of Home Depot sites which were randomized to the control condition simply received monthly newsletters describing the health benefits of physical activity.

The result?

After the 12 week intervention offered to employees at eight Home Depot sites, the percent of workers who were meeting current physical activity recommendations increased from 31 to 51%. In that same time period, the number of steps taken per day by the employees (as measured by pedometers) increased by about 2000 – from 8000 to approximately 10,000 steps.

Meanwhile, physical activity levels among employees at other Home Depot locations which received only the newsletter did not change during the 12-week period.

While these findings suggest that such a strategy in other workplaces is not the panacea for North American inactivity, the results are nevertheless encouraging – a 20% increase in the number of people attaining recommended physical activity levels on a national level could have marked effects on rates of chronic diseases, life expectancy and health care expenditures.

Additionally, while weight status of employees is not reported in this study, as I have previously discussed, physical activity can improve your health even if the number of the bathroom scale refuses to budge.

So why not start a similar program at your workplace? Get yourself an activity journal and a pedometer. Split your fellow employees into teams, and work individually and collectively to increase your daily step counts – you could even throw in a prize for the winning team or the most active participant as added motivation.


Related Posts:

DISHMAN, R., DEJOY, D., WILSON, M., & VANDENBERG, R. (2009). Move to ImproveA Randomized Workplace Trial to Increase Physical Activity American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 36 (2), 133-141 DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2008.09.038

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Hydroxycut Recall: best-selling weight loss gimmick takes a fall

Friday, May 08, 2009 Author: Peter Janiszewski, PhD 0 Responses

Last week, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a consumer warning regarding the dangers of Hydroxycut use, urging all consumers to stop using the products immediately. The FDA’s warning motivated the subsequent recall of all Hydroroxycut products sold in the US and Canada by the manufacturer.

Hydroxycut is a top selling over the counter weight loss supplement in North America, with approximately 1 million items sold every year in the US alone. Open any health and fitness magazine, like the one I just purchased (Maximum Fitness) and there is a good chance the very first page you see is an ad for some version of Hydroxycut (see picture below advertising Hydroxycut Hardcore). Prior to the recent recall, the Hydroxycut television ad campaign was no less pervasive, and whole sections of drug store shelves were crammed with various concoctions of the same product. Their advertising was so successful that I even found a bottle of Hydroxycut at my parent’s house during a recent visit – rest assured, I discussed the potential dangers of such products with my folks, and removed it from their medicine cabinet.

Thankfully, as instigated by the FDA warnings, the recent recall has resulted in empty sections of drug store shelves where the Hydroxycut products once were (as I noticed at the local Shoppers Drug Mart). I can only imagine how much shelf space has just become available at supplement stores like GNC.

Our Canadian readers may be interested to know that Hydroxycut products are produced by Iovate Health Sciences Inc. of Oakville, Ontario.

Hydroxycut products are nutritional supplements marketed as fat burners, appetite suppressants, energy enhancers – all with the purpose of producing weight loss. Since the first appearance of Hydroxycut products, there have been numerous changes in the composition of ingredients. Initially, Hydroxycut consisted of a blend of ephedrine and caffeine along with other random, and largely useless ingredients. The combination of caffeine and ephedrine is known to result in a significant stimulatory effect – alertness, thermogenesis, elevations in heart rate, etc. – changes which would transiently increase energy expenditure, and may result in some weight loss.

Unfortunately, the same stimulatory effect can result in anxiety, sleep disturbance, GI problems, and most notably death due to cardiovascular complications. Subsequent to numerous reports of health risk associated with using ephedrine, this ingredient was banned from use in all supplements. Thus, in 2004 Hydroxycut was reformulated without one of its key ingredients.

Since then, even caffeine free versions of Hydroxycut have been produced. In other words, the same ingredients that might be expected to have some effects on energy metabolism , appetite, and weight loss (caffeine and ephedrine) have progressively been removed from the concoction, leading one to wonder how the product might work at all in these diluted versions. In the end, since the withdrawal of the products from the market, a discussion of whether any evidence for the efficacy of the product in producing any of the touted effects exists seems unnecessary (like beating a dead horse).

The FDA warning and the voluntary product recall by Iovate stemmed from a growing number of reports suggesting Hydroxycut use may lead to various health problems, most commonly liver toxicity.

The FDA website states the following:

“The FDA has received 23 reports of serious health problems ranging from jaundice and elevated liver enzymes, an indicator of potential liver injury, to liver damage requiring liver transplant. One death due to liver failure has been reported to the FDA. Other health problems reported include seizures; cardiovascular disorders; and rhabdomyolysis, a type of muscle damage that can lead to other serious health problems such as kidney failure.”

Indeed, a recent letter to the editor at the World Journal of Gastroenterology points to a number of published case reports of liver injury associated with the use of Hydroxycut.

According to a Health Canada spokesperson, 17 adverse reaction reports associated with Hydroxycut products have also been filed north of the border. These adverse reactions involved the cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, and neurological systems, although no liver problems have been reported.

While you should not be able to find these products on any store shelf any longer, the FDA’s advisory further recommends that, “consumers who have these products are urged to stop using them.”

To download an MP3 of the FDA media briefing regarding the hazards of Hydroxycut please click here.

Interestingly, despite the pervasive presence on store shelves throughout the country prior to last week, Hydroxycut products have never been officially authorized for sale in Canada. This, of course, did not interfere from the products being sold across the country. You see, with “nutritional supplements,” Health Canada, and from my understanding, the US FDA, do not impose the same rigor with regards to product efficacy or safety as they do with prescription medication. Instead, the product safety of any given supplement is only evaluated after the product is already on the market. Thus, you, the consumer, are the guinea pig. If you and others using a given product complain enough about adverse events, only then will Health Canada or the FDA step in and pull the plug on the company peddling the product – all supplements are thought to be safe until problems occur (innocent until proven guilty). These notions are well addressed in this article.

The FDA website has a great question and answer section regarding the Hydroxycut consumer warning, which you can read here.One of the best questions, which I have heard many times, along with the perfect response is included below:

Question: I thought Hydroxycut contains natural ingredients. Doesn’t that make it safe?
Answer: No. “Natural” ingredients don’t necessarily mean that a product is safe. Many substances that come from nature can be toxic.

In a letter sent to Iovate Health Sciences Inc. (read in full here), the FDA is “advising consumers to consult their health care provider if they are experiencing symptoms possibly associated with this product, particularly nausea, weakness or fatigue, fever, abdominal pain, or any change in skin color."

Responding the FDA letter, in the official product recall announcement by Iovate Health Sciences Inc. (read in full here), the company states that “…out of an abundance of caution and because consumer safety is Iovate’s top priority, Iovate is voluntarily recalling these Hydroxycut-branded products.”

The recalled Hydroxycut products include all of the following:
- Hydroxycut Regular Rapid Release Caplets
- Hydroxycut Caffeine-Free Rapid Release Caplets
- Hydroxycut Hardcore Liquid Caplets
- Hydroxycut Max Liquid Caplets
- Hydroxycut Regular Drink Packets
- Hydroxycut Caffeine-Free Drink Packets
- Hydroxycut Hardcore Drink Packets (Ignition Stix)
- Hydroxycut Max Drink Packets
- Hydroxycut Liquid Shots
- Hydroxycut Hardcore RTDs (Ready-to-Drink)
- Hydroxycut Max Aqua Shed
- Hydroxycut 24
- Hydroxycut Carb Control
- Hydroxycut Natural

For product refunds, consumers are encouraged to return their product directly to the location where it was purchased or they can contact the Iovate Health Science Inc. directly by phone (1-877-468-2835).

So if you’ve recently been thinking about buying some Hydroxycut, thankfully, you no longer have that option – the FDA just saved you some cash, not to mention some serious health complications. If you have already purchased a Hydroxycut product and are currently using it, discontinue and return to the place of purchase.

To receive information on other weight loss gimmicks, as well as the latest health and fitness research, enter your email address in the "Subscribe Via Email" box in the upper right-hand corner of the blog.

Have a great weekend.


Related Posts:

Lobb, A. (2009). Hepatoxicity associated with weight-loss supplements: A case for better post-marketing surveillance World Journal of Gastroenterology, 15 (14) DOI: 10.3748/wjg.15.1786

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Obesity Panacea Interviews Author and Boston Marathon Winner Amby Burfoot

Wednesday, May 06, 2009 Author: Travis Saunders 5 Responses
Amby Burfoot at a 5km the day before the 2009 Boston Marathon (Photo by Stacey Cramp)
It is an understatement to say that Amby Burfoot is a an influential figure in the distance running community. His running credentials are impeccable - he won the 1968 Boston Marathon while a Senior at Wesleyan University, finished top 6 in the NCAA cross country championships, and later ran 2:14:29 at the prestigious Fukuoka Marathon, a time that was within 1 second of the American Record. As a result of his achievements, he has also been enshrined in the American National Distance Running Hall of Fame.

Since his days as a world-class marathoner, Amby has become an influential advocate for the sport, writing numerous books (see the complete list here) and countless articles for Runner's World magazine, where he is now the Editor at Large. He also authors the Peak Performance blog, which provides a great roundup of the latest health and fitness research. He has done more than almost any other individual to promote running to the masses, and he exemplifies a lifelong commitment to physical activity and healthy living. He has graciously taken time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions on running, working at a "treadmill desk", and how to prepare for my next crack at the Boston Marathon.

TS: You have been running, and promoting running to others, for almost your entire life. In other sports like hockey of football, even the best athletes tend to stop participating once their competitive days are over. What makes running different, and why has it been a lifelong passion for you?

AB: I was very lucky that the major early coach-influence in my life, 1957 Boston Marathon winner John J. Kelley, was a naturalist-humanist-philosopher-amateur biologist/zoologist. He always preached that we were just big-brained animals, nothing more, and that we had to live according to our biologically-evolved mandates. Or else. In short: simple, healthy foods; ample exercise. I believe this, and try to follow the basic principles. Besides, I've become addicted to exercise, in a good way I hope. I'm almost 63 now, and can see that I won't always be running. I already walk 6 to 8 miles a week, and I spend 70 percent of my exercise time on a stationary, recumbent bike, because it allows for "multitasking," ie, exercise and reading at the same time. But I do interval training, lactate threshold workouts, and moderately long runs when I do run, and I still enjoy the occasional race.

TS: In the Runner's World Complete Book of Beginning Running you caution that most new runners start out too hard, and suggest that the best way to start a running program is by walking. Why is it so important to start out slowly?

AB: The only goal is to continue for life and finish as strong as possible, and you can't do that if you go out too fast. Seriously, most beginners quit because they get discouraged that they can't run a mile on Day 1, and don't make progress fast enough. Also, they get passed by little old ladies with 6-inch strides, particularly tough for the male ego. Walking is undervalued as an aerobic activity, and mixing walking and running together is WAY undervalued. It's the way I run on days when I'm not feeling good, or when I'm exercising with my wife, and it's the way most people should probably run most of the time. Find a relaxed pace, hold it for a while, walk; repeat, and repeat, and repeat.

Amby beside a cutout of himself following his Boston Marathon victory.

TS: Running and other endurance events like triathlons seem to be enjoying a new renaissance. In your opinion, what has changed the most during the years that you have been involved with the running community?

AB: Well, I've been around since the mid-1960s, and there's no doubt about the biggest change: women, women, and more women. This is what guarantees the future of aerobic sports like running and triathlon. They're not essentially skill sports like tennis and golf; they're persistence sports: If you stick with the program, you get better. Women are very good at sticking with the program, probably better than men with our testosterone problem. (We want success and we want it now!)

When I first started running, there was exactly one runner in the known Universe over age 50, and that was John A. Kelley, who eventually managed 58 Boston Marathon finishes. Now masters runners are everywhere, and we're all determined to stay fit as long as we can. This is the second biggest change.

Thirdly, the looming obesity crisis and the accumulation of some nice epidemiological studies makes it pretty clear that exercise has important personal and public health experts. Jim Fixx set us back a bit in 1984. Most people now realize that exercise can't guarantee perfect health, but inactivity can guarantee bad health.

TS: We know that for any training plan to have a real health impact, it has to be maintained over the long-term. And yet, many people find that their training grinds to a halt after just a few short months. Do you have any advice to help people become physically active for years, rather than just a few months?

AB: Nothing that I haven't already said, and that many others also haven't said many times. Training partners are hugely important. If you extend this a little bit, you quickly get to the national-social milieu. In a few years, we'll all be amazed that we once thought inactivity was a personal issue when in fact it's a social issue, and it will take big social programs to have an impact. We need and will have something akin to the current "green" movement. I'm optimistic that the Internet's social networking abilities can play a positive role, even though video displays are currently seen as mostly a negative factor.

Amby doing a swim and run on January 1st 2006 in Connecticut

TS: In the May issue of Runner's World, Marc Parent claims that "If you can walk from the couch to the refrigerator, you are not too fat or too old or too slow to run". What would you say to change the mind of someone who believes they cannot run due to their size?

AB: I don't lie to people. Size is an issue. A 240-lb person is going to have a harder time with many healthy exercise programs than a 120-lb person. On the other hand, he or she also has more to gain. Basically, we are who we are--size, eye color, singing ability. So, deal with it! Make smart choices! I definitely believe that motivation is the next big frontier in the fitness movement. We talk way too much about vo2 max, muscle fiber types, tempo runs, resistance training, and the like, and not nearly enough about the gray matter between our ears.

TS: You have a "treadmill desk", which allows you to work at your desk while walking at 1mph (burning up to 100 calories/hour in the process). Do you think that devices like the treadmill desk which allow people to integrate physical activity into the workday will ever become the predominant way that people to stay fit?

AB: We have a sample treadmill desk in the office at Runner's World. I talked the company into letting us try it on a "loaner" basis. It's an impressively high-quality piece of equipment,and I'm enjoying it on an occasional 30-minute to 60-minute basis. (It's not in my office, but a "public" office.)

If I had one at home or in my private office, I'd probably use it much of the time. I'm also trying to figure out how to use a laptop while on my recumbent bike, though I'm happy with my usual activity of reading. In my home office, I've perched my computer on top of a desk and plastic crates to create a standing desk. I've read some of the inactivity/sitting physiology studies, and I'm also concerned about good back health. (Had a debilitating muscle spasm a year ago.) Having said all this, I'm not sure that many people are ready to get out of their chairs, and stand and/or move all day. I'd be happy to have them wear pedometers and accumulate 10,000 steps a day.

TS: It's been exactly one week since my first Boston Marathon, and my legs are still screaming - any advice for my next go around?

AB: Yes, Boston will definitely do that. I'm sure you've seen all the studies: a little practice--downhill training sessions--seems to help. But Boston definitely presents a double whammy--26 miles, plus all those eccentric contractions. Just to make you feel bad, I have a colleague at work who set a personal best (3:08) at Boston this year by 10 minutes, and reported no post-race soreness. She's a bit of a phenom--an ultrarunner who seems to be just beginning to discover her talent.


A huge thanks to Amby Burfoot for taking the time to share his thoughts with us and our readers!

To receive future interviews, as well as the latest health and fitness research, enter your email address in the "Subscribe Via Email" box in the upper right-hand corner of the blog.


Related Posts:

1. Travis Recaps his Boston Marathon Experience
2. The 50 Million Pound Challenge
3. Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis

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Sedentary lifestyle and excess belly fat increase erectile dysfunction risk

Friday, May 01, 2009 Author: Peter Janiszewski, PhD 2 Responses

Regular readers of our blog may recall my recent post on the association between erectile function, or the inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse, and cardiovascular disease. It is now suggested that the onset of erectile dysfunction be used as an indicator that an individual is at significantly elevated risk of a cardiovascular event (heart attack) within 3-5 years.

While there are many risk factors for erectile dysfunction – most of which are also risk factors for cardiovascular disease – obesity is one of the most commonly cited. For example, numerous studies have previously shown that men with the largest body mass indexes (BMIs) are at greatest risk of developing erectile dysfunction.

However, it is also well know that the health risk associated with a given BMI or obesity level is mediated by many other factors – that is – not every obese person is necessarily at elevated risk of disease and mortality (see prior post on metabolically health obese). For instance, individuals who are physically active, despite being obese, may be at lower risk of disease compared to their lean but inactive counterparts. On the other hand, well established is the notion that regardless of BMI level, those with most of their fat deposited around the midsection are at particularly elevated health risk (see prior post on my prior study regarding abdominal obesity).

The Journal of Sexual Medicine just published a recent study I conducted along with Drs. Janssen and Ross, in which we investigated the association between physical activity levels, abdominal fat, and erectile dysfunction in 3,941 adult men from the 2001–2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

First, our results suggest that men with a high BMI (>30kg/m2) or a high waist circumference (>102cm) – a measure of abdominal fat, have approximately 50% greater likelihood of having erectile dysfunction. Additionally, men who performed less that the recommended amount of moderate-intensity physical activity (<150>150 minutes per week) and maintaining a waist circumference below 102 cm is important for the maintenance of proper erectile function, regardless of BMI level.

This study is just another example of the emerging notion that excess weight, on its own, is rarely a great indicator of one’s health. Additionally, as I have previously posted on, positive lifestyle changes, such as increases in physical activity and improvements in diet, can lead to numerous health benefits even if the number on the bathroom scale refuses to budge.

If you are interested to read this study in full, or to peruse any of my or Travis’ other scientific publications, please check the links provided under our “Publications” tab on the left. Or, to receive posts on the latest obesity news and research, enter your email address in the "Subscribe Via Email" box in the upper right-hand corner of the blog.

Have a great weekend,


Related Posts:
1. Physical Activity in the Treatment of Obesity Related Health Risk: Is Weight Loss the Optimal Target?
2. What Does the Function of Your Penis Tell You About Your Cardiovascular Health?
3. Kingston Seniors Get Fit For Research

Janiszewski, P., Janssen, I., & Ross, R. (2009). Abdominal Obesity and Physical Inactivity Are Associated with Erectile Dysfunction Independent of Body Mass Index Journal of Sexual Medicine DOI: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2009.01302.x

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About Us

We are PhD students in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. Our research focuses on the relationships between obesity, physical activity, and health risk. This blog is our attempt to consider the many "cures" for obesity that we read about on a daily basis. Enjoy.


The opinions expressed here belong only to Peter and Travis and do not reflect the views of any organization. Any medical discussion on this page is intended to be of a general nature only. This page is not designed to give specific medical advice. If you have a medical problem you should consult your own physician for advice specific to your own situation.

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