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7 obesity myths shattered

Many widely held beliefs about weight loss don't stand up to scientific scrutiny, say doctors who want to set the public health record straight on myths like the calorie-burning benefits of sex or the value of eating breakfast. In Wednesday's online issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, U.S. doctors tackle seven obesity-related myths commonly found in the media and material from government agencies as well as six presumptions thought to be true despite a lack of convincing evidence. The myths were: Small sustained changes in energy intake or expenditure will produce large, long-term weight changes. Setting realistic goals in obesity treatment is important, because otherwise patients will become frustrated and lose less weight. Large, rapid weight loss is associated with poorer long-term weight outcomes than is slow, gradual weight loss. Assessing the stage of change of diet readiness is important in helping patients who seek weight-loss treatment. Physical-education classes in their current format play an important role in preventing or reducing childhood obesity. Breastfeeding is protective against obesity. A bout of sexual activity burns 100 to 300 calories for each person involved.


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