Thursday, February 9, 2012

Health: 23 1/2 Hours

This is just so great!

Watch this engaging, fact-packed and persuasive lecture by a Toronto physician, Dr. Mike Evans and it's just under 10 minutes.

I enjoy his style so much that I spent an enlightening (sedentary, I admit) hour on his web site, which is a trove of well-researched health information. Evidence rules! Go, Mike!




What do you think?

27 comments:

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

Thank you for this...I just started to attempt to walk every day and this really gave me the support and encouragement that I need to continue!! Great post and video!

Pamela said...

That was the quickest 9 min I ever spent! Thanks for sharing.
Now I'm off to take a walk. :)

Chicatanyage said...

Wonderful. Brilliantly presented. Think I have done my half hr for today 30 mins cycling in - degrees + 1 hr yoga.

kathy peck said...

Thank you - it was brilliantly presented and so much fun to watch. I already go to a gym and do plenty of cardio, but I'm going to add more plain outdoor walking to my routine.

materfamilias said...

I've seen this before as it's been circulating on FB for a while, and I agree that it's very motivating and convincing -- especially for those who think they need to commit to an onerous gym program to get fit.
As for me, I'm leaving the car home this morning and walking to work.

Tish Jett said...

Wow!!!

Fantastic. Brilliant presentation, such fun.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

xo,
Tish

Tabitha said...

Great video. I really hate walking, it bores me rigid and I hate the cold but I exercise every day bar Saturday to compensate. I didn't start till I was 35 but it's a habit now and makes me feel better about life in general.

Carolyn from Oregon said...

Excellent presentation - a good and understandable message for everyone.

And a great opportunity to commend Canada for its excellent, pioneering work in evidence based medicine and wellness.

Rubiatonta said...

I was in the flat all day yesterday with a combo of too much work and tummy flu, and it was an absolute joy to get out and run errands on foot for most of the morning.

diverchic said...

Terrific! Thanks for sharing.

Rubiatonta said...

I also wanted to say that I was happy to see "obese people + exercise = healthy" in there. It's important for those of us who are categorized as obese (often because of the dubious BMI system, but that's a rant for another day) to understand that the goal of exercise is health before weight loss. Otherwise many of us view the whole thing as a dodgy prospect and give up before we start.

With the exception of the B-thingie up there, all of my numbers are exactly where my doc likes them to be -- probably moreso now that I'm fitter than I used to be.

Anonymous said...

What a charming (in what strikes me as a particularly Canadian way) doctor and educator. His advice is just right, too. I find it depressing that so many people arrive at middle age and are immediately placed on drugs for "chronic conditions" when they could be prescribed a daily walk instead. My husband works for a French (pharmaceutical!) company. At his workplace the parking lot is a 15-minute walk from the office building. Not only does every employee get a daily half-hour of exercise, but the landscape around the building remains beautiful and serene--lawns, trees, and a stream--unmarred by rows of parked cars. A perfect example, it seems to me, of how businesses can help.

For me, being a non-driver has had a protective effect: I walk everywhere with a pretty little French wicker shopping cart. Not only do I avoid traffic and parking headaches and get more than the recommended 30 minutes of activity most days, I see things that drivers miss: a hawk swooping close to the ground, the first snowdrops in a sunny corner, the barber standing outside his shop who smiles and says "Hi, Doll." Good for my health in more ways than one.

Thanks for sharing this little film.

C.

lagatta said...

That was great. Since I don't own either a car or a television, the main SITTING problem is the computer, of course, as I work on it and am also a bit addicted to it. Sitting too much is bad even for active people.

I certainly walk at least half an hour every day, usually more if I have time, and certainly when I can ride my bicycle (soon, I hope) it is very rare that I don't get in an hour - only when I have a HUGE rush of work.

I loved the dog bark and bicycle bell... Cats are less effective at getting us to exercise, once they are out of kittenhood. They are constantly doing so, but very much on their own, being cats.

Duchesse, I hope you are satisfied with the walkability of our neighbourhood.

Cokie said...

Duchesse - thank you for the link to Dr Evans. It encouraged me to get up and go for a walk. I also emailed it to friends to inspire them. I love your blog and check it almost every day. Cokie

Terri said...

I love illustrated lectures like this!

Anonymous said...

Yup, I'm a believer! I found out some of this myself when I moved from being almost totally sedentary to walking 15 min to work every day. I then started walking 15 min during lunchtimes, got into yoga and Zumba and felt SO much better (and looked better too).

Thanks for this.

Eleanorjane

Kafka said...

As a medical research specializing in metabolic syndrome, I was happy to check out the interactive website (not yet the video, since I was at work). I was a bit shocked at how outdated the advice was, and would never recommend lots of fruit , dairy, or low/zero fat. All three are well-established to cause significant weight *gain*, not loss. The only diet that I have seen work consistently for patients, particularly women, is to eliminate dairy (which causes huge spikes in insulin, and therefore fat production), treat berries as a dessert (definitely no tropical fruit, citrus, etc., which are loaded with fructose), embrace whole fat (blunts insulin response) proteins and lots of low-carb vegetables (broccoli and cauliflower, not butternut squash!), and watch total caloric intake to ensure a deficit.

Duchesse said...

Kafka: There is dissent in the area of weight management, with many different approaches and biases, but it seems to me that a diet that works is a diet the person can stick with.

In the audio clip "New Year's Diets and Exercise", Evans cites studies that show one diet is no better than another *for weight loss*, so he disagrees with your "only diet" view, but adds that some diets such as the Mediterranean, are *healthier* than others, and agrees with you re total caloric deficit. He also discusses genetic vulnerability to body shape and obesity, which is another factor.

Re the effectiveness of any one diet versus another in terms of weight loss, see also: http://www.aafp.org/afp/2003/0201/p507.html
though as a medical research (sic) you might know this.

Lilly said...

That article primarily compared low-fat diets to low-calorie diets, and concluded that neither was very effective. First, what I'm arguing against is both of these approaches in favor of a low-carb (including fructose), dairy-free, grain-free, high-fat diet with plenty of protein and vegetables. Second, the problem with solely evidence-based medicine (as per the article) is that it tends to ignore the underlying physiology in favor of simple outcome measures. The physiology (which isn't fundamentally different between people) indicates that insulin is critical for fat production; therefore, diets that blunt insulin response will deposit less fat. Diets that spike insulin (as with dairy, particularly low-fat dairy) will deposit more fat. Third, almost all of these studies look at weight gain and loss, rather that fat gain and loss. This is important because some diets (such as moderate to severe calorie restriction) cause weight loss, but do so by muscle wasting. This is a particular issue for those who are female, sedentary, and older, since they tend to have less muscle mass and are engaged in less intense weight-bearing exercises. Finally, the argument that a little bit of regular exercise is going to improve health is reasonable, but that it will most likely not improve fat-loss without significant dietary changes. Walking for an hour burns about 170 calories for a 150 lb person (less for someone lighter). That's less than two cans of soda. I guessing most people will find it much easier to cut out the soda that to make a commitment to walk an entire hour each day.

Duchesse said...

Lilly: Do you want to promote your idea of the best fat loss diet to a wide audience? In that case, why not write a blog? I'm serious.

Evans does not say that 30 minutes of walking will *cause* significant weight loss; in the lecture, he is aggregating evidence for an assortment of issues.

Evidence-based medicine is where I firmly continue to sit, or should I say, walk.

Lilly said...

I promise this is my last comment on this topic.

1. Kind of you to recommend the blog. However, I'm the director of a large medical research laboratory, professor in a medical school, and interact extensively with the NIH, NSF, and DoD in the US, as well as--to a lesser extent--the print and television media. Given how I spend my day, maintaining a blog dedicated to the same area would hardly be a good idea in terms of relaxation :)

2. These ideas aren't my own, and I can't take credit for them. Unfortunately, there's a significant disconnect between scientific knowledge (basic research) and it's trickle down to clinical research, and then even more so, the medical practitioner. A good presentation of the growing consensus in scientific circles that our common knowledge about diet is based upon some pretty fundamentally flawed and misrepresented experiments (including the Framingham Study that Evans referenced), can be found in Gary Taubes' well-researched book: "Good Calories Bad Calories." I recommend it strongly.

3. "Evidence-based Medicine" is, like "Pro-Life" and "Pro-Choice," a loaded name for an idea that is often anything by empirically reliable. Evidence based is short-hand for "we try two things and see which one gives us our outcome measure." The contrary view is "hypothesis-based," which suggests that not only do you need to see which one is better, but just as importantly--you need to understand *why* it works. The reason has to do with statistics. EB medical research seems to be often performed by physicians who lack a profound understanding of either basic physiology, experimental design, or data analysis. Finding a correlation between X and Y variables may allow you to publish (and get picked up by the media), but spurious correlations due to errors in data fitting, biased sampling, and common causes are easily found, particularly in large and complex data sets. That's why the NIH is putting so much emphasis on identification of *mechanism*, because otherwise you just have a bunch of meaningless correlations, with results that change every week.

Anyway, sorry for the interruption. From now on I'll just enjoy your posts on scarves and cashmere, and keep quiet :)

Lilly said...

I promise this is my last comment on this topic.

1. Kind of you to recommend the blog. However, I'm the director of a large medical research laboratory, professor in a medical school, and interact extensively with the NIH, NSF, and DoD in the US, as well as--to a lesser extent--the print and television media. Given how I spend my day, maintaining a blog dedicated to the same area would hardly be a good idea in terms of relaxation :)

2. These ideas aren't my own, and I can't take credit for them. Unfortunately, there's a significant disconnect between scientific knowledge (basic research) and it's trickle down to clinical research, and then even more so, the medical practitioner. A good presentation of the growing consensus in scientific circles that our common knowledge about diet is based upon some pretty fundamentally flawed and misrepresented experiments (including the Framingham Study that Evans referenced), can be found in Gary Taubes' well-researched book: "Good Calories Bad Calories." I recommend it strongly.

3. "Evidence-based Medicine" is, like "Pro-Life" and "Pro-Choice," a loaded name for an idea that is often anything by empirically reliable. Evidence based is short-hand for "we try two things and see which one gives us our outcome measure." The contrary view is "hypothesis-based," which suggests that not only do you need to see which one is better, but just as importantly--you need to understand *why* it works. The reason has to do with statistics. EB medical research seems to be often performed by physicians who lack a profound understanding of either basic physiology, experimental design, or data analysis. Finding a correlation between X and Y variables may allow you to publish (and get picked up by the media), but spurious correlations due to errors in data fitting, biased sampling, and common causes are easily found, particularly in large and complex data sets. That's why the NIH is putting so much emphasis on identification of *mechanism*, because otherwise you just have a bunch of meaningless correlations, with results that change every week.

Anyway, sorry for the interruption. From now on I'll just enjoy your posts on scarves and cashmere, and keep quiet :)

Lilly said...

I promise this is my last comment on this topic.

1. Kind of you to recommend the blog. However, I'm the director of a large medical research laboratory, professor in a medical school, and interact extensively with the NIH, NSF, and DoD in the US, as well as--to a lesser extent--the print and television media. Given how I spend my day, maintaining a blog dedicated to the same area would hardly be a good idea in terms of relaxation :)

2. These ideas aren't my own, and I can't take credit for them. Unfortunately, there's a significant disconnect between scientific knowledge (basic research) and it's trickle down to clinical research, and then even more so, the medical practitioner. A good presentation of the growing consensus in scientific circles that our common knowledge about diet is based upon some pretty fundamentally flawed and misrepresented experiments (including the Framingham Study that Evans referenced), can be found in Gary Taubes' well-researched book: "Good Calories Bad Calories." I recommend it strongly.

3. "Evidence-based Medicine" is, like "Pro-Life" and "Pro-Choice," a loaded name for an idea that is often anything by empirically reliable. Evidence based is short-hand for "we try two things and see which one gives us our outcome measure." The contrary view is "hypothesis-based," which suggests that not only do you need to see which one is better, but just as importantly--you need to understand *why* it works. The reason has to do with statistics. EB medical research seems to be often performed by physicians who lack a profound understanding of either basic physiology, experimental design, or data analysis. Finding a correlation between X and Y variables may allow you to publish (and get picked up by the media), but spurious correlations due to errors in data fitting, biased sampling, and common causes are easily found, particularly in large and complex data sets. That's why the NIH is putting so much emphasis on identification of *mechanism*, because otherwise you just have a bunch of meaningless correlations, with results that change every week.

Anyway, sorry for the interruption. From now on I'll just enjoy your posts on scarves and cashmere, and keep quiet :)

Duchesse said...

Lily: Evans knows what people want to achieve, balanced against the magnetic pull of habits (and muffins) and the fragility of the will. So while your credentials are extensive, your approach may not be as helpful to the computer-potato as some straightforward first steps that a person can take without a visit to a health-care provider.

I have worked for years in the field of health promotion, in two major teaching hospitals and with the Faculty of Family Medicine, where Evans now works. I know good public health education when I see it, which is not always the same as good research. Get people to cut the empty calories first, then fiddle with the diets, and read all the books they want. It's what the person does that counts.

Mardel said...

Beautifully done.

I like your last comment too. Change starts with small steps. Research and knowledge are great, but overwhelming to most people. The true sign of success is to get someone to start with something.

Anonymous said...

Late to the party, but thanks for the informative post. After reading and experiencing how bad sitting at the computer is, I took away my chair and put the monitor up on a stack of books. I now stand (and move, sway and balance) to compute. It was awkward and tiring at first, but now that I have became used to it, I prefer it.
~skye

Duchesse said...

Skye: Great idea! Have also heard of companies who hold standing meetings. (It shortens the time, too.)