Why we gain weight and what to do about it

We’ve all heard about the global ‘obesity epidemic’. The statistics are truly alarming. In the USA in 2009-10, more than 2 in 3 adults were overweight or obese, and more than 1 in 3 were obese. In the UK and Ireland in 2015, 62.9% of adults were overweight or obese, and obesity among adults rose from 14.9% to 26.9% between 1993 and 2015. If current trends continue, obesity is predicted to affect 60% of adult men, 50% of adult women and 25% of children by 2050. Continue reading “Why we gain weight and what to do about it”

Book review: The Barbell Prescription

Did you know that adults who do not engage in regular strength training lose up to 1 pound (0.45 kg) of muscle per year after 40? This is just one of numerous items of information in a comprehensive new book, The Barbell Prescription: Strength Training for Life After 40, by Jonathon Sullivan and Andy Baker. Jonathon Sullivan is doctor who has been working in Emergency Medicine in Detroit for 20 years. He is also a Starting Strength Coach who owns and runs a gym devoted to barbell-based strength training for people in their 40s and beyond, Greysteel Strength and Conditioning. Andy Baker is also a Starting Strength Coach and owner of a barbell training facility. The foreword is by Nassim Nicholas Taleb (of Black Swan fame). Continue reading “Book review: The Barbell Prescription”

Coachability and feedback

Let’s say that you hire a coach; perhaps you want to be healthier and you find a suitable health coach. How coachable are you going to be?

That may seem like a silly question; after all, if you hire a plumber you are going to stand aside, maybe ask a few questions, the answers to which you may or may not understand, and then let him get on with his work. If you take your car to a garage to be serviced, you will probably just let them do what they say is necessary unless it is outrageously expensive (and probably even then, unless you happen to be a mechanic). So why is it that many people pay a coach good money but don’t really listen to what the coach is saying or spend most of their time trying to think up clever ways to show the coach that she doesn’t really understand them, and even if the coach did, they don’t really have anything much to offer that will be useful or relevant to their situation, which they believe to be unique. Continue reading “Coachability and feedback”

Why genes are not the whole story for health

In recent years, there has been a lot of emphasis upon the genetic causes of disease, particularly the chronic diseases that are wreaking havoc upon older populations in the developed world, such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and others. The implicit promise of the Human Genome Project was that this would be a paradigm shift for medicine because the sequencing of the complete human genome would pave the way to understanding the root causes of diseases, and then it would be possible through genetic engineering to prevent or cure cancer and other ills. Continue reading “Why genes are not the whole story for health”