Nurses as a group have an obesity rate over 50 percent. How can you possibly explain such a statistic? I’m a nurse and I think I can.
Nurses, especially those who work as hospital nurses at some time in their careers, are caretakers and caregivers. I have worked as a charge nurse in several hospitals and I have witnessed how nurses eat—and don’t eat. The needs of patients and demands of managing medical care often come first. For nurses, this means their patients come before their breaks, which they may not have time to take at all. This means their lunch or dinner breaks may not be priorities either. Nurses’ stations and conference rooms tend to harbor cakes, donuts and other treats to offer them some quick fuel between their duties. Usually, the most afflicted are women. You’d think, with all the missed meals and walking around they do, they’d all be thin, wouldn’t you?
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Going for It
You have to admire very overweight people who show a super commitment to working out at the gym. I mean, aren’t they amazing? And their bodies are often amazing examples of how far adaptation will go. Think about it. These struggling people often sweat through one, two, even three hours of working out. Most put themselves under very restricted food allowances because they believe they have to lose it fast or they’ll never get there. I’m afraid to calculate the calories burned during their regular visits to the gym.
If there’s a trainer involved, the super low calorie regimen should never be allowed, but it often is because trainers can be out of touch with reality too. They may want fast results almost as badly as their charge, and push them along the fast weight loss track. Quick, dramatic weight loss is exciting and rewarding. It’s a tangible accomplishment—as long as it lasts. So, an ambitious trainer who gets a hold of somebody 80 pounds overweight might see an opportunity for personal pride and an enhanced reputation. I’ve recently witnessed a reputable fitness club advertising their 90-day program by telling the story of a member who lost 90 pounds in 90 days. People want this.
Here’s a question to help you understand the effect of an extreme exercise program on an obese person. Would you need more calories to hike for 5 hours if you weighed 200 pounds or if you weighed 300 pounds? You’d burn considerably more calories if you weighed 300 pounds. Just think of carrying a 100-pound backpack around all day, whatever your weight. That’s essentially what such an obese person is doing all the time. So when he goes on an extreme diet, say 1,500 calories a day, he might as well eat less than nothing. This is what enables people on a low-intake, high-output regimen to drop weight so fast. They soon get into the deficit range and trigger their body’s survival defenses.
Obese and morbidly obese people usually go on extreme rapid weight-loss programs that are sometimes medically supervised and sometimes not. If medically supervised, these individuals must be very obese in order to qualify. Whether on a medical regimen or just choosing from the many “quack” weight loss programs out there, very overweight people start by restricting their intake to liquids only. Most liquid diets supply 500 calories a day at the beginning. This is inadequate food for even a child in grade school. But, these people are desperate and admit they have tried everything else. Judging from the list of rapid weight-loss programs that are”medically supervised” on the Internet, a strong element in the medical profession is still committed to, and profiting from, the starvation formula. Some in the medical profession are right there to collect the fees for their “support,” without any accountability for long-term results. Would the American Medical Association sanction any serious intervention with a documented failure rate of 95 percent?