The SparkPeople Blog

A Challenge: Can You Separate the Facts from the Myths?

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
1/15/2009 6:47 AM   :  1464 comments

See More: weight loss, health, diet,
No doubt you’ve noticed that the world of weight management is populated by all kinds of claims, theories, diet strategies, and different approaches, many of which totally contradict most of the others.

And this problem isn’t confined to the snake oil peddlers and fad diet promoters who have a financial interest in getting you to believe their particular claims. Even reputable scientists and health professionals don’t always agree on “the facts,” or on the best way to help people manage their health and their weight successfully.

Given all this confusion and uncertainty, it’s not surprising that even some of the most basic and widely held convictions people have about weight and health turn out not to be proven fact.

Below, for example, are five very basic statements about body weight and health that you’ve probably heard many times, from many different sources. Not all of them are true.

Your mission for today, should you decide to accept it, is to correctly determine whether each of these statements is true or false. If you are one of the first 25 readers to get all five correct, you will receive a SparkGoodie valued at 100 SparkPoints, personalized with a congratulatory note from me (If you're not already a member of SparkPeople, you will need to join for free before posting your answers, and set up your SparkPage by the time the prizes are awarded next Thursday. Otherwise, your Goodie will get lost in transit). While the cash value of this reward may not impress your banker or your loan shark, and you can’t eat it, I’m sure you'll be excited by the prospect of watching its sentimental value increase exponentially as this blog expands its readership, with your name permanently recorded as a winner of this historic first challenge.

So, read on for the 5 Statements, and post your answers in the comments section (along with any remarks you want to make–but please, no attempts to deliberately mislead other respondents). Then, tune in next Thursday, when the correct answers will be revealed, and the 25 winners of this valuable prize will be announced (if there are any).


Statement No. 1

Obesity causes health risks, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Statement No. 2

People with a BMI in the “normal” range have a lower risk of mortality than those in higher (or lower) BMI ranges.

Statement No.3

Losing weight will definitely reduce your risks of health problems and premature death.

Statement No. 4

As long as it is not taken to extremes, dieting is a safe, proven, and effective weight loss method.

Statement No. 5

The two most effective motivations for losing weight are fear of the health risks caused by obesity, and the desire to conform to social standards regarding body size, shape, and appearance.

OK, those are the 5 statements. Enter your True or False responses in the comments section, and be sure to include the number of the statement along with your T or F. And don't forget to look for the results next Thursday.


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Comments

  • 1464
    1.T
    2.T
    3.T
    4.T
    5.F - 2/11/2013   6:37:01 AM
  • 1463
    All are false because they are all generalized statements and can be true, but not always. They are all kind of "trick" statements. - 9/26/2012   10:17:49 AM
  • 1462
    1. T
    2. F
    3. T
    4. T -- "dieting" is what you eat. Good, bad, or ugly. "Dieting" with it's generally accepted definition will not prove successful. Your lifestyle must change. You must change for life.
    5. T
    - 7/16/2012   12:18:17 PM
  • 1461
    ! true 2 false 3 true 4 false 5 false - 5/11/2012   2:02:18 PM
  • 1460
    1. T
    2. F
    3. F
    4. F
    5. F - 5/11/2012   12:24:23 PM
  • 1459
    1. True
    2. False
    3. True
    4. False
    5. True - 5/11/2012   11:36:10 AM
  • TNTCARP
    1458
    1.T
    2.T
    3.T
    4.T
    5.F - 4/3/2012   10:44:39 PM
  • 1457
    1. T
    2. F
    3. F
    4. F
    5. T - 4/3/2012   10:05:23 AM
  • 1456
    T
    F
    F
    F
    F - 3/31/2012   3:06:08 PM
  • 1455
    First one is true.
    The others are false.
    I almost got fooled on #5 about motivation because I missed the word 'effective.' I think those two are the most common motivations that get people to diet, but they don't hold. - 3/30/2012   9:50:18 AM
  • 1454
    Statement No. 1 - T
    Statement No. 2 - F (we will all die regardless of our BMI)
    Statement No.3 - F
    Statement No. 4 - T
    Statement No. 5 - T - 3/29/2012   11:56:50 AM
  • 1453
    All are false. Many CAN be true, but they are not true all the time.

    I think #5 is pretty much false all the time.

    I know the BMI is not always accurate. My nephew is a skinny tweek and has muscles that are extremely wiry. He weights a lot and when you put his measurements in the calculator freaks out LOL! - 3/29/2012   11:52:31 AM
  • 1452
    All answers are false. - 2/25/2012   11:04:12 AM
  • 1451
    1. True
    2. True
    3. True
    4. True
    5. True - 2/13/2012   8:23:44 PM
  • SKOTT67
    1450
    1. T- Obesity causes health risks.
    2. F- BMI doesn't accurately measure everyone. As a 6'2" man with a large bone structure BMI says I should weigh 185. I would be sick if I weighed that much.
    3. T- Remove the cause of sickness and get better.
    4. T- Of course it depends on your definition of dieting.
    5. F- Fear is a bad motivator. You will die of the stress. Live to be healthy take a positive look at life. That will be your best motivation. You will never change for someone else. - 1/29/2012   8:12:13 AM
  • PIXIESTIX6669
    1449
    All are true...tho I consider it a lifestyle change, and not a "diet" for statement 4 and no one should care what society thinks for the second part of statement 5 - 9/6/2011   2:43:34 PM
  • 1448
    False
    True
    False
    True
    True - 9/4/2011   1:08:39 PM
  • PORTERHOUSE08
    1447
    1 - Could be true or false, depending on how you read it. I'm considered obese, but other the being overweight I don't have health problems
    2 - I say false. Once again, I'm healthy but overweight. I know several people who have a "normal" BMI, but there cholesterol is through the roof.
    3 - Can go either way. What if your already underweight...
    4 - I say this is true.
    5 - For the most part this is true, but conforming to social standards is not a healthy reason for weight loss. With that being said, it is a very effective motivator for certain individuals. - 9/1/2011   11:04:32 AM
  • 1446
    1-4 T
    5 - F - 5/9/2011   9:23:49 AM
  • KCHRISTY6
    1445
    I think they're all Talse (or Frue)... They're very general statements and I see a grain of truth in all of them, but I don't believe that any of them are absolute by any means. - 5/3/2011   8:46:08 AM
  • 1444
    All FALSE, or half-truths at best.

    Statement No. 1 Obesity causes health risks, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

    Nobody knows why some people get these conditions and others don't. Cause-and-effect is only speculation, at best. About 40% of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese, which means the other 60% are normal-to-thin.

    Statement No. 2

    People with a BMI in the “normal” range have a lower risk of mortality than those in higher (or lower) BMI ranges.

    BMI is a height-to-weight ratio, and does not address percentage of body fat, healthy eating or exercise.

    Statement No.3

    Losing weight will definitely reduce your risks of health problems and premature death.

    Not all people will benefit from losing weight. And being of normal weight is no guarantee of longevity. People can still die of non-weight-related disease, heart attack, aneurysm, or get hit by a beer truck.

    Statement No. 4

    As long as it is not taken to extremes, dieting is a safe, proven, and effective weight loss method.

    "Safe, proven and effective?" For whom? We are all individuals, and other physical conditions, medications, etc. all play into weight loss. Factor in getting enough sleep, a reasonable amount of exercise, sufficient water, stress-coping mechanisms, and basic physical health, and the statement is true. Otherwise not!

    Statement No. 5

    The two most effective motivations for losing weight are fear of the health risks caused by obesity, and the desire to conform to social standards regarding body size, shape, and appearance.

    Fear MAY be effective as a short-term motivator, but in the long run, moving toward health is much more motivating than moving away from unpleasant consequences of ill health.

    As for achieving the social norm, many of the people we admire for their physical perfection don't even look like that without their entourage of personal chefs, personal trainers, hairdressers, makeup artists, wardrobe designers, etc. Ever see some celebrity photographed coming out of the supermarket in jeans, oversized tee and their real hair? Surprise! They look like us on a bad day.

    I'd say the best motivation for losing weight is whatever the person finds motivating for them, whether it's looking or feeling better, fitting into a size 6 again, running a half-marathon, bringing their blood glucose or blood pressure down, or having the energy to run after the grand-kids for ten hours.

    Just my opinion, of course. Fell free to disagree. - 1/1/2011   4:49:09 PM
  • 1443
    1. t
    2. f
    3. t
    4. f
    5. f

    I think? - 7/3/2010   7:51:39 AM
  • 1442
    1, 2, 3 true

    4, 5 are false - 7/2/2010   8:47:27 AM
  • 1441
    1-3 are true, 4 & 5 are false - 6/20/2010   11:02:13 PM
  • LAOKEEFE
    1440
    Question #1: True - My in-laws are obese and have all of the ailments due to their excessive weight!
    #2: True - BMI or Basic Metabolic Index is indicative of your height and weight together. If you're in the normal range, than your probably a good healthy weight!
    #3: True - In the short time I've been working on losing weight, I've already notice my triglyceride levels reducing significantly. I no longer need to take medication for it at all!!!
    #4: True - Dieting is safe, if you're not taking away the minimum needed to sustain a healthy life!
    #5: True - I started this eating healthy thing because I saw myself going down the path my parents are on right now. They need to take medicines everyday to maintain proper levels for cholesterol and triglycerides. - 6/16/2010   12:29:34 PM
  • ALOKAM
    1439
    Statement No. 1: False. Obesity does not CAUSE health risks, but does increase the chances of dealing with these potentially fatal illnesses.

    Statement No. 2: False. BMI don't kill people but unhealthy habits and costly risks kill people.

    Statement No.3: True. Gaining your health will definitely reduce risks and hopefully premature death. We all die someday but it's how you choose to live your life will determine when that day/date will be.

    Losing weight will definitely reduce your risks of health problems and premature death.

    Statement No. 4

    As long as it is not taken to extremes, dieting is a safe, proven, and effective weight loss method.

    Statement No. 5

    The two most effective motivations for losing weight are fear of the health risks caused by obesity, and the desire to conform to social standards regarding body size, shape, and appearance.

    - 6/9/2010   11:42:23 PM
  • 1438
    All 5 statements are true as far as they go. We can all look deeper and see exceptions or circumstances not accounted for in the answers - but in general all are true statements. - 6/8/2010   7:06:02 AM
  • 1437
    All FALSE !! - 6/5/2010   5:02:31 AM
  • 1436
    All of the statements are false. - 4/28/2010   2:07:00 AM
  • JIRENEM
    1435
    all are false - 4/17/2010   9:55:06 AM
  • 1434
    1 - False: Obesity INCREASES risks, but doesn't cause them. Being alive causes risk.
    2 - False: We all have the same risk of mortality - 100%.
    3 - False.
    4 - False.
    5 - False. - 4/17/2010   1:19:32 AM
  • 1433
    ALL are TRUE, TRUE, TRUE, TRUE, TRUE. - 4/16/2010   10:50:36 PM
  • 1432
    1. T Obesity causes RISKS of these health problems.
    2. F Everyone will eventually die, so we all have a guaranteed mortality.
    3. F Losing weight will reduce your RISK of health problems, but only if you are above a healthy weight.
    4. T Any change that reduces your normal calorie intake or changes/restricts the types of food you eat is dieting, and it is proven to be effective in weight loss.
    5. T From the people who answered this False, I'd like to know what your motivation is if not to look better, feel better, and/or be more healthy - 4/16/2010   6:40:12 PM
  • 1431
    1. True
    2. False
    3.True
    4. True
    5. False - 4/16/2010   5:53:29 PM
  • MUSIKMAN43
    1430
    1 thru 5 are all false as they are generalizations. - 12/28/2009   2:49:20 AM
  • 1429
    1. True
    2. True
    3. True
    4. True
    5. True - 12/26/2009   4:52:33 AM
  • 1428
    1- true
    2- true
    3- true
    4- true
    5- true - 12/21/2009   2:35:42 PM
  • 1427
    1- T Obesity is BAD
    2- T That's why it's NORM
    3- F Not if your under wieght to start with.
    4- F Not diet, but eating right & moving.
    5- F Most Obesity people only do it in fear of death.
    The people I know with obesity think they are ok.
    I think they would lose wieght if they stoped being happy about who they are. - 8/29/2009   7:30:19 PM
  • 1426
    1. True
    2. True
    3.True
    4.False
    5.False - 8/23/2009   2:10:44 PM
  • 1425
    1. True
    2. False
    3. True
    4. True
    5. True
    - 7/27/2009   8:56:59 AM
  • 1424
    1. True
    2. True
    3. True
    4. True
    5. True - 7/27/2009   5:59:45 AM
  • SERENEJOSEPHINE
    1423
    1. T
    2. T
    3. T
    4. T
    5. F - 7/27/2009   3:23:58 AM
  • 1422
    1. True
    2. True
    3. True
    4. True
    5. True - 7/26/2009   9:20:59 PM
  • 1421
    all true - 7/26/2009   5:26:40 PM
  • CATHY3@PTD.NET
    1420
    1 T
    2T
    3T
    4T
    5F - 6/16/2009   3:27:50 PM
  • 1FUZZYDUCK
    1419
    1. t
    2. f
    3. f
    4. f
    5. t - 4/7/2009   9:06:41 AM
  • JQATAR09
    1418
    They are all generalizations and the whole myth that only obese individuals have chornic disease such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease is a misconception.

    All are FALSE, everyone dies no matter what size or shape it is inevitable and the last time I checked they made caskets in all sizes.

    When these scientists do these studies they are only theories and when the stated that over 300,000 people die each year due to obesity I ponder if they took over factors into play with this number as how many smoked, consumed alcohol, too many sexual partners, high stress and the list of possiblities can go on and on.

    I got obese from a disease called Cushings and played College sports and could not figure out why I kept getting bigger and bigger without no reason, the whole calories in and out was not working with me, and it took seven years after seeing numerous doctors that just told me to put the fork down, which was really ignorance, because when my husbands job moved us to the Middle-East I had to go through a medical commision physical to get a visa residence permit to live there and ironically it took that doctor one look at me and I explained to him what had been going on the last seven years and he stated to me I believe that you have Cushings and I was like what is that? Well to make a long story short I was sent to Dubai for an MRI and there it was a micro-adenoma on the pituitary gland well since it has been removed I have effortlessly lost 58 pounds, well so much for putting the fork down, and it really saddens me that I had to find it out in a foreign Country and that my husband and I spent literally thousands of dollars in co-pays to doctors who did not listen to me, just wanted their blue corss blue shield check, and I recieved the lecture you are going to die and get this and that because you are obese, stop eating, What a joke but I guess that is why they call it practicing medicine!

    All I can say is believe in yourself, as for me I am sure glad I did not give up and kept exercising and eating right eventhough the disease did not allow me to have results but I am getting them now. - 3/31/2009   12:57:32 PM
  • TERESAL2
    1417
    I say they are all true based on an element of truth - 3/31/2009   12:35:16 PM
  • BABCOCJE
    1416
    1T
    2F
    3F
    4F
    5T
    - 3/30/2009   2:55:01 PM
  • KELLYA47
    1415
    All are true - 3/30/2009   2:32:11 PM

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