There’s a Vox story doing the rounds on social media called “Why you shouldn’t exercise to lose weight, explained with 60+ studies.”
Much of the post will be old news to those who have read the excellent book “Why Calories Count: From Science to Politics,” by Marion Nestle and Malden Nesheim.
In Aug. 2012, I recommended the book here on Newley.com, summarizing some of the points the authors made on exercise:
Many people over-emphasize the importance of exercise in weight loss. The best way to lose weight, or to maintain a healthy weight, is not to overeat. Yes, exercise is important because it keeps our bodies functioning optimally, and it provides psychological benefits. But to maintain your weight, just as we’ve heard through the years, its best to consume fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, etc. Yes: this is common sense.
Interestingly, one reason, the authors say, that weight loss strategies in the U.S. so often focus heavily on exercise — think about the workout scenes in “The Biggest Loser” — is that exercise doesn’t threaten the food industry or policymakers. If you tell people to eat less, then the question becomes: Eat less of what? And that raises problems for, say, companies that derive their revenues from packaged food products. (As the saying goes, you can only squeeze so much profit out of broccoli.)
If you’re interested in nutrition, exercise, and the culture of food, the book is a must-read.