How Being Fit Can Be Bad For You by Thomas Newberry

Everybody “knows” that obesity is America’s number 1 killer even though they don’t actually know anyone who has died from being too fat, which is what “obese” means. You may know someone who has died from diabetes or heart disease or cancer, but not from obesity (with the possible exception of sleep apnea).
Obese people are more likely to get all those diseases, but calling obesity a killer confuses correlation with causation. Obesity and heart disease and diabetes and cancer are all dietary-related diseases. Most people who eat poorly will be at greater risk of all of these conditions, but are highly likely to become obese long before becoming sick. Obesity is the dead canary in the coal mine. You can know two things about obese people: they are SENSITIVE to a poor diet and they are EATING a poor diet.
Exercise reduces obesity. But it does not manufacture nutrients that are not present in the diet. Nor does it mitigate the need for those nutrients. Nor does it eliminate the toxins that come with packaged foods. BEING FIT WILL MAKE PEOPLE WHO EAT POORLY THINK THEY ARE HEALTHIER THAN THEY ACTUALLY ARE. Exercise definitely has some health benefits, but it does not eliminate the risk of dietary-related diseases other than obesity.
As far as lifestyle factors go, sitting too much has a greater influence than exercising too little. The teacher who never “exercises” but stands all day is likely to be healthier than the office worker who sits all day and exercises an hour every night.
Good food makes you healthy. Activity makes you fit. You cannot be completely healthy without both, but being fit does not make you healthy. For HEALTH purposes, walking 3 to 5 miles per day and avoiding sitting for long periods of time will give you AT LEAST as good returns as frequent, vigorous exercise.
Editor’s Note – Welcome Thomas Newberry, an old friend of mine from college who is now the business manager at Nutritional Health Center


Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected]