Monthly Archives: August 2015

A Cure to Obesity Calories & Exercise

4 b) Calories & exercise

By now I suspect you are beginning to understand the issue. As Americans we eat quite a lot. I wonder how we do on exercise? It is estimated that the average person takes about 10,000 steps a day. While this is not considered incremental “exercise”, it does add to your calorie burn. This activity will burn about 350 incremental calories, so now we are up to 1,850. Only about 15% of Americans have a scheduled exercise period beyond normal activity. The recommendation for all of us is a minimum of 30 minutes of any sort of exercise that will raise your heart rate by at least 50%. If your normal heart rate is 60 bpm then you need to raise it to 90. Brisk walking at 4 mph will accomplish this. You do not have to pay a gym to walk! This will burn another 300 calories, so now we are up to 2,150. Need some motivation to commit to this 30 minutes a day?

If you have yet to watch the video “23 ½ hrs.” please take a few minutes to do so:

A common comment is: “I’m a very busy person. I can’t spare even 30 minutes a day for exercise.” I have two suggestions for this person:

  1. Most people are lacking in time management skills. Unless time management is already incorporated in your daily activities then I would bet you are missing out on at least 30 minutes of daily time (probably closer to an hour). If you have not taken advantage of this skill set, do so.
  2. Set number one above aside. All of us need at least 30 minutes a day of alone time where we just plan and think things through. Pick an exercise activity that allows you to multi-task (both exercise & plan/think at the same time).

About ingestion of calories

However, we still have a problem and that is? You know this one as well………. We just eat too darn much food! Based on the averages we would need to exercise almost 3 hours a day to avoid gaining weight and that is not going to happen. There is no way around it, we must shrink our stomachs and learn to eat less. The average American needs to eat about 1,000 calories fewer a day, even with the recommended 30 minutes of exercise!

But what about the quality of the food that we eat? This is important for a lot of reasons, but not a huge factor regarding obesity. It is true that all calories are not created equal and there is a significant hoax regarding fat consumption that has been marketed to the public, but for that we will have to wait for the next blog.

Calorie Burn Chart (following is based on my personal treadmill computer which may or may not be exact, but it should be close):

Walk/Jog rate in MPH      in KPH             Calorie burn per min.   Approx. heart rate %

3 4.8 8.8 129%
3.5 5.6 10.2 150%
4 6.4 11.7 171%
4.5 7.2 13.2 193%
5 8 14.6 214%
5.5 8.8 16.1 236%
6 9.6 17.5 257%
6.5 10.4 19.0 279%
7 11.2 20.5 300%


Overweight & Obesity & a Solution

Overweight & Obesity & a Solution

4 a) In the prior blogs, I discussed the obesity issue. I now would like to delve further into this issue and affordable solutions. Let’s break it down: Obesity results from a person ingesting more calories than one expends. 3,000 – 3,500 calories equals one pound of body weight.

Example: A person consumes 2,500 calories a day but only expends 2,000 calories. This occurs for a year. What will happen to this person’s body weight? Answer: This person will have gained approximately 56 pounds!

Source: “Your body burns a certain amount of calories each day whether you exercise or not. We each have what is called a Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). This rate gradually decreases with age. To the BMR you add the total calories used during the day due to all exercise and activity, which gives you your Active Metabolic Rate. “

Calorie burn varies quite a bit depending on weight, age and other factors but on average a person will burn 1,500 calories during an average day without a planned exercise period (one calorie per minute). From this it should be obvious what the largest cause of obesity is……… come on…… know the answer…….  It is …………..  lack of calorie burn (if a person consumes in excess of 1,500 calories per day and most of us do!).”

How many calories do we, in the US, consume daily?                                                                         Source:

Best Answer:  Worldwide the average is 2,470 calories per day but there are large differences from one country to the next. Americans have the highest calorie intake in the world at an average of 3,330 per person per day and just behind are the Dutch at 3,320 per day. In joint third place are Russians and Australians on 3,280 per day (Australia used to be top). In many developing nations the average calories per head per day are between 1,500 and 2,000, Indonesia for example is 1,790. In the world’s poorest countries the total is less than 1,500 and in Burkina Faso for example it is 1,220. In times of drought and famine the figures fall significantly.”

Stay tuned for more on this topic

Should the user of the healthcare system bear the cost?

3 c) Should the user of the system bear the cost? It should be obvious that our spending on health education is not working, but why? I really believe that the effort to educate the public has been effective, so why is the obesity rate not declining. Some like to blame the fast food Industry, others the primary food manufacturers. While I agree that these are factors they are not, in my opinion the major issue. The vast majority of American’s know what they should do, but they do not. Until we place financial incentives in place I doubt we will make any significant head way. Instead of throwing tax payer money at the problem, I suggest that we ask people that are causing the problem to pay their fair share of the costs. Remember that in addition to the wasted Billions spent on Health Education, obesity is costing our health care system, incrementally, hundreds of Billions of additional dollars each year. Smokers also create a cost burden on the system. I suggest that both smokers and obese persons should pay their fair share of these costs rather than their costs being subsidized by the remainder. The following does a good job of quantifying the issue: Obesity & Smoking Source: Mayo Clinic

  • Which Costs More…Obesity or Smoking?

Obese Workers Have Even Higher Health Costs than Smokers, Study Finds Chicago IL — Obesity adds more to health care costs than smoking does, reports a study in the March Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, official publication of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM). James P. Moriarty, MSc, and colleagues of the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., analyzed the incremental (additional) costs of smoking and obesity among more than 30,000 Mayo Clinic employees and retirees. All had continuous health insurance coverage between 2001 and 2007. Both obesity and smoking were associated with excess costs for health care. Compared to nonsmokers, average health costs were $1,275 higher for smokers. The incremental costs associated with obesity were even higher: $1,850 more than for normal-weight individuals. For those with morbid obesity, the excess costs were up to $5,500 per year. The additional costs associated with obesity appeared lower after adjustment for other accompanying health problems (comorbidity). “This may lead to underestimation of the true incremental costs, since obesity is a risk factor for developing chronic conditions,” Moriarty and colleagues write. Smoking and obesity place a growing strain on an already stretched healthcare system. Employers are evaluating wellness programs — such as quit-smoking and fitness programs — in an attempt to lower costs by reducing health risk factors.