I read with interest the recent Newsweek cover story, Why the Campaign to Stop America’s Obesity Crisis Keeps Failing, by Gary Taubes. Taubes shines a light on the importance of eating the right types of calories to beat obesity and I want to share it with Koko Nation along with my own insights into some of the questions he raises.
As a professional in the business of helping clients get and stay in better shape long term, I applaud Mr. Taubes for questioning the status quo. My experience at Tufts Center for Nutrition taught me how sugars and white flour products can wreak havoc on the metabolism and lead directly to chronic weight gain. However, I believe Taubes’ assessment of the role of exercise in weight management is overly simplistic and may mislead readers to think exercise (especially high-intensity type training) is ineffective and possibly even a contributing factor in our nation’s struggle with weight.
One of the most powerful benefits of exercise is not how many calories are burned during exercise. Exercise, particularly strength training, is absolutely essential for maintaining our body’s lean muscle mass as we age. This, in turn, helps maintain or elevate our metabolism. By boosting our metabolic rate, our bodies naturally burn calories at a higher rate 24/7. Unfortunately, too many dieters today instead focus on low calorie diets that result in an overall loss of precious lean muscle mass, (research shows as much as 10-50%,) which ultimately slows their metabolic rate. And unknown to many, excessive cardio exercise (“chronic cardio”) can exacerbate this muscle loss.
Bottom line, the real key to long term weight control is both the right type of calories, as Mr. Taube states, and the right type of exercise. It’s that simple.
Michael Wood, CSCS
Chief Fitness Officer
Koko FitClub Franchising
Everyone at Koko FitClub has a shared goal: We are dedicated to changing the lives of people in our communities. For our future, we envision Koko FitClub fulfilling an important need in our communities. Not simply as a place to get a great workout, but as the way people get and stay healthy.
This need is dire, and it’s not confined to America. It’s global.
Last Friday, Koko FitClub Chief Fitness Officer, Michael Wood, shared some frightening world-wide statistics on people who are obese and overweight. He found this data on the World Health Organization (WHO) website (2004) showing a significant rise in both over the past decade:
- World-wide numbers (for 1999) included 1.3 billion *overweight and 300 million *obese
- World-wide numbers (for 2004) have risen to 1.7 billion overweight and 400 million obese.
- Prediction by WHO (for 2015) – 2.3 billion overweight and 700 million obese individuals worldwide.
*The WHO defines “overweight” as a BMI equal to or more than 25, and “obese” as a BMI equal to or more than 30.
Unfortunately, thanks to these staggering numbers, the World Health Organisation has found the need to coin a special term for this global epidemic: Globesity. “Globesity is fast becoming more of a problem than famine and under-nutrition, and has now reached a point where it is becoming a serious threat to the health of every nation striving for economic development.” (Independent, Feb. 2002) Wow. Does that quote blow your mind as much as it does mine?
We live in a global community. By saying Koko is dedicated to changing the lives of people in our communities, it’s clear that mission goes far beyond North America; and Koko is full of determined people striving to fulfill this mission. Do I think Koko can help save the world by saving it from the Globesity crisis? Absolutely.
If you’d like to read more on the subject:
President & Co-Founder
According to a Department of Health and Human Services study in 2003, US employers spend $13 billion dollars
on obesity related disease every year
! One effort to curb the obesity epidemic and its staggering costs to employee health and corporate bottom lines is National Employee Health and Fitness Day. The goal of NEHF is the promotion of health and fitness in the workplace through employer sponsored events. This year’s theme is “Making Healthier Habits Work.” Its a great time to find out what your employer is doing to encourage healthy habits, like exercise, and share your
healthy Koko habit with your workplace!
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Find out if your company funds fitness memberships. Some cover a partial cost of membership based on their employees meeting a minimum visit requirement, (i.e. 3 days-a-week.) Letting HR know that Koko automatically tracks your progress and participation may encourage Koko’s inclusion on a company list of approved fitness centers.
- Ask HR if your time at Koko earns your a discount off your employer-sponsored health insurance.
- Koko easily fits into your lunch hour! Why not start a new lunch ritual that will boost your energy level through the entire afternoon.
- Bring your favorite co-workers in for a free Koko demo. (You might find yourself with a workout buddy for that new lunch ritual!)
Rally a group
of co-workers and coordinate a corporate discount between your company and your local Koko FitClub
You already know that Koko is designed to fit into your busy life, so by extension it can also fit naturally into your workday schedule. Combined with the ease with which Koko Smartraining technology tracks progress and participation, as well as the affordable membership cost, it is also a perfect match for your employer’s health and wellness program. Why not celebrate National Employee Health and Fitness Day by sharing the benefits of Koko with your workplace. Ask your Koko FitClub
staff for a few brochures to share with your company.
President & Co-Founder