Fight against fat goes high-tech

Posted on January 6, 2010

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Will all this wizardry lead to a slimmer society? Scientists say there’s reason to hope. Getting an accurate picture of what people eat and how often they move around will help researchers develop personalized weight-loss advice.

Obesity is epidemic in the United States with two-thirds of adults either overweight or obese. It’s a major health concern for children and adolescents, who are at higher risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes as they grow older.

You have to love America after reading this. I applaud researchers who are trying to devise ways to modify the behavior of obese teens by getting them to recognize what they’re putting in their bodies.

However, the end of this article says the kids would “do anything to lose weight.” Really? What about eating right and exercising? No amount of gadgetry strapped to your arm is a substitute for that. It seems to me people believe that just writing down what they eat and their level of activity will magically make them members of a thinner society… we all know that’s not the case. (Ever watch the Today Show? They know that drinks with calories are really what’s sabotaging all your diet efforts.)

I don’t have a magic answer for the obesity problem (I would certainly be much richer – and thinner – if I did), but I hope that this research leads to real behavior-modifying solutions for society at large.

In the meantime, every time I read about a new fitness gadget, it seems to be my very fit friends that are interested in giving it a try. It’s exactly like Michael Pollan’s claim in In Defense of Food that vitamin takers aren’t healthier because of the vitamins – they already lead healthier lifestyles, which is why they take vitamins.

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