Obesity. Is it more than one disease?

Obesity.  Is it more than one disease?

I recently had a patient ask me, "What is your approach to weight loss?".   To this I responded, "I do my best to help people isolate their individual drivers of weight gain."  Whenever I give this response, I am hoping that the person across from me smiles and says, "yes, that's what we need!", but instead what I usually get is a blank stare as a response.

Fat Stigma Fuels Weight Bullying - The New York Times

Fat Stigma Fuels Weight Bullying - The New York Times

It took me years to understand the nature of weight bias and to appreciate the widespread discrimination toward obese individuals.  This NYT article highlights the reason I become so passionate about helping obese patients.

When Should a Young Athlete Begin Strength Training?

When Should a Young Athlete Begin Strength Training?

This season with the Whistler Mountain Ski Club, we experienced challenges communicating with parents when the appropriate time for an athlete to begin strength training would be, and how this process was best undertaken.  I think the 6 points in this article can apply not only to ski racing athletes, but to all athletes, so I decided to blog it!

Dr. Ryan Oughtred, ND

F.D.A. to Require Calorie Count, Even for Popcorn at the Movies - NYTimes.com

F.D.A. to Require Calorie Count, Even for Popcorn at the Movies - NYTimes.com

This move by the FDA is a HUGE step forward in the battle against our unhealthy food environment.  Has anyone ever tried to find healthy food in the southern USA?  The obesity problem is everyone's problem and its not a will power problem as some arrogant and uneducated people might suggest. 

Sports Medicine and Conditioning Doctor at Whistler Ski Club (again!)

Sports Medicine and Conditioning Doctor at Whistler Ski Club (again!)

I will be working with the Whistler Mountain Ski Club this 2014/15 season to assist with physical assessments, fitness and dry-land programming, transitional support and other sports medicine related initiatives.  The first assessments have been completed and the athletes are ready to get to work on their fitness and workouts. 

Lose roughly 50 lbs and Change your Life - Next Vancouver Weight Loss Group Starts September 30

Lose roughly 50 lbs and Change your Life - Next Vancouver Weight Loss Group Starts September 30

We need 8-12 patients patients for our next Vancouver Weight Loss/ Weight Management Group starting September 30/2014.  Patients should require roughly 50 lbs of weight loss and/ or have medical reasons for losing weight. Book your free consult today to see if the program is for you.

Does Fitness Need to be so Complicated?

I wrote this comment in response to a CBC radio interview with a journalist Daniel Duane. http://www.cbc.ca/q/blog/2014/06/02/daniel-duane-beach-body-secret/

This interview was embarrassing - Daniel Duane has some reasonable arguments and grievances with the fitness industry, but unfortunately his reasonable statements are intertwined with many unreasonable ones.

The large body of science that supports the health benefits of exercise, refers to the types of exercise that get your heart rate up, and keep it up for extended periods. Lifting heavy weights with high risk exercises like deadlifts, bench press and overhead squats, not only puts people's joints at risk but also doesn't emphasize the component of fitness that matters the most - Cardiorespiratory fitness. And yes, you don't need a trainer to go for run and experience these benefits, fair enough. You do however need a good physio/ doctor/ trainer to make sure you are ready for exercise to begin with - someone to make sure your heart isn't at risk, and to help uncover limitations in flexibility, balance, joint stability and posture that also make a difference for your overall physical health.

Perhaps Duane chose poor advisors, or perhaps Duane just didn't 'get it'. Either way, I thought his arguments were weak and I didn't understand why the CBC aired him. My feeling was that he used his notoriety (NYT and Men's Journal Contributor) to simply complain about a bad fitness experience he had.

After thinking on it, I understand why Duane's ideas are popular - he is right that fitness professionals are often trying to be too fancy, and they are failing to keep their clients best interests in perspective.  However, his ideas that doing overhead presses and deadlifts in your basement is a better way to go is ludicrous, and his assessment of current scientific evidence for exercise was irresponsible and not at all helpful for promoting public health.

CON Mental Health and Obesity Conference

CON_OMH_program_2014_4 cover I just attended another great event put on the CON on mental heath and obesity.  Its great to see there is more study being done in this important area.  Rates of obesity and its related comorbidities are higher in people with mental illness, and yet many weight management programs deselect against people with mental health problems, for fear of destabilizing their mental illness or having poor outcomes in the program.  It looks like this worry is unjustified, and may even be discriminatory.