I had to write this blog post because I am getting a bit annoyed by certain TV shows touting improper nutrition and fitness ideas to the public. I know, it is main-stream media…and that means it may usually cater to the “common knowledge” approaches…but have you ever wondered what really happens to these poor people that go through the programs that may cause more harm than good?
There are a number of these shows on TV now, and I do use my DVR for a lot of them. One in particular is really getting my goat, though. It is a show called “Too Fat for 15.” This show focuses on families that have one kid in his or her teens that is obese or morbidly obese. The kid goes to a camp/rehab-type school for part of the year. In this school, the kid gets the standard classes, but also gets a fitness, nutrtition, and counseling aspect. That sounds all fine and dandy, right? Wrong! It would be great if the kid got the proper real-world training in these areas; however, the focus is once again on types of nutrition and fitness that focus on the calories in vs. calories out theory that is just not feasible in most people’s lives.
Let me give you an example:
In one episode, the kids and their families had a family day which consisted of a school outing to a restaurant. This restaurant seemed to be a burger-type joint kinda like Twisted Root. The burgers and salads seemed quality, but there was a lot of temptation for choosing not-so-healthy choices. What do I mean by that? Well, there were fries and buns. There seemed to be some dessert choices. Options for no sugar were available…they were tea and ASPARTAME laden sweeteners! Uggh! So, what did the facilitators suggest the kids get? Salad with little to no dressing, no OLIVE OIL, a bit of vinegar maybe, no AVOCADO! In fact, my jaw dropped when one person from the facility stated that AVOCADO was a BAD TEMPTATION FOOD for these kids! Uggh! Ok, before I go ANY further with this, I do have to say that AVOCADO is AN EXCELLENT fat source! It is not the fat that makes one FAT! How many scientists, doctors, and researchers have to say this before the main-stream nutrition “experts” understand it? What IS bad? Well, let’s see…how about the CARBOHYDRATES and PROCESSED FOODS in that burger bun? How about the ASPARTAME in that tea? On that note, guess what was available to these kids at the facility itself?! You got it, ARTIFICIAL SWEETENER…and I doubt it was STEVIA! The kids were piling it on their already sugar-laden fruits! The facility also had pasta and sandwiches! What?! Really! NOT really beneficial foods, I’d say.
Now, before I go off on a gigantic tirade about that, I want to focus on what the kids have to do for fitness! These kids exercise sooooo much during their stay. The show never really says how long they go in their exercise classes, and it only really shows some of the things they do…some of which I completely agree needs to be done; HOWEVER (there”s that word again), a mile run is NOT necessary or particularly healthy…especially if the kid is obese and has not done this! They do allow them to walk when they need to, but they time the kids! I have to give them credit, because they do stick with the kids regardless…but again, running might do some serious damage to these kids! The cortisol levels would most definitely be way up for many of them…which becomes an issue with energy metabolism in the body! That could contribute to the kids NOT losing weight!
One thing they do that I do like is that they have this semi-boot-camp-style day where the kids are doing a lot of natural movement that is beneficial. It is also done mostly outside…which is nice because it gives the kids that Vitamin D and necessary “outside in the wild” air that they should be getting for health and fat-loss (it is in a pretty awesome looking wooded area). I do like that.
Now, my final point on all of this is that the types of things the facility in this show touts are just not things that one kid could really feasibly stick to in real-life. I mean, do you see these kids and their (usually also unhealthy) families eating dry salads all the time? Do you see them sticking to minute portions of unhealthy foods…as long as the calories are down? Not likely. They might find themselves in real-life going on to eat the same foods, but with a drawback…larger portions and processed stuff on or with them! Why do they not teach a whole foods, lower carb, higher fat, moderate protein approach? Why, if not anything else, do they not teach the idea of cutting out FRUCTOSE, SUGAR, ASPARTAME, and JUNK? Why don’t they teach the kids that simply making choices of good, fresh foods such as wild-caught fish, grass-fed meats, and green veggies can be yummy? Why not avocado, coconut, olive oil, and no fruit? Why? I suppose it is because they are ignorant to the reality of health and wellness. I suppose it has been taught to them and it is the gullible leading the gullible! It makes no sense to me to teach someone to eat poor quality foods and exercise umpteen hours a day so that they regain control of their weight and health. Why not focus on making sure the kids understand how sleep, stress, whole foods, staying away from processed crap, and basic walking and resistance training can slim them down, get them healthy, and prepare them for a way better life? If they touted this, there would be far less obesity to deal with…hence there would be less worry in families and society about the diseases associated with all of this! And I guess that is why, right? Because drugs and food companies rule this nation…and why would they care about people getting healthy? It would make them lose money…hey, do you think that facility would go under if they did it right? Well, if they got wise maybe they would have many others to help for quite a while…heck, it’s an epidemic, right? I don’t see the facility going out of business any time even in the far future if they had great results that people could stick with…maybe not the same clients…but there would be new ones for many years to come! So, my guess…big medicine and big food run the facility and the show!
What say you?
Oh, and before I go…one more issue: They actually said on the show that “the scale never lies!” Do they really go by this at that facility?! HOW ABSURD! Any smart trainer and nutrtion expert knows that weighing is just NOT the way to accurately assess fat loss! Weight is a minor aspect…yes, I think there should be checks here and there…but honestly, the best way to tell is to pay attention to how the body feels and looks…maybe using the clothes as a guide…if you are leaning out, you WILL begin to drop clothing sizes even if you don’t notice! Yes, I think the scale is good for the kids when they see that they have done well here and there…but it could lead to major problems…like obsessively checking weight, not realizing they are gaining lean muscle, or getting down when they don’t drop what they wanted! And yes, the scale CAN, DOES, and HAS lied! Is that really any healthy motto?! Really!
Have a healthy day!