The Fat Trap

So I’m reading a very interesting article from the New York Times Magazine (Link to article) about obesity and weight loss.  I was particularly interested in the quote

“The research shows that the changes that occur after weight loss translate to a huge caloric disadvantage of about 250 to 400 calories. For instance, one woman who entered the Columbia studies at 230 pounds was eating about 3,000 calories to maintain that weight. Once she dropped to 190 pounds, losing 17 percent of her body weight, metabolic studies determined that she needed about 2,300 daily calories to maintain the new lower weight. That may sound like plenty, but the typical 30-year-old 190-pound woman can consume about 2,600 calories to maintain her weight — 300 more calories than the woman who dieted to get there.”


Well that sucks!  Then I look at how many people they studied (about 130).  The rest of the article refers to two other studies that included 34 people and 31 people and a registry of 10,000 people that have reported that they have lost 30 pounds or more and kept it off for at least a year.  Does any of this sound like a comprehensive sample size?  I don’t understand!  I thought obesity was the next epidemic and a high priority for health care.  Why is it that there are a lot of sensational articles about obesity studies but when you read them the sample size is so often too small to be taken seriously?  I say “Do the job right or don’t do it at all!”.


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