Step away from the keyboard!

As a former j-schooler I feel qualified to criticize those who were actually good enough to take up the craft. It helps me feel better about my college roommate being the Toronto correspondent for the New York Times.

So when, once in a while, I come accross a story where the reporter hasn't done his homework I call them on myself. Like years ago, on CTV, there was a story about this study that showed that putting dogs in retirement homes cheered up old people. I can just imagine the meeting where they decided to cover this:

Reporter: "Breaking news boss, people like animals and we've got the science to prove it.

Editor: "My God! I'll warm up the chopper!"

Hey, kudos to the scientist who managed to get a big fat research grant to study this crap. But shame on the journalist for reporting it without a critical eye.

With that in mind take a look at this garbage. Allow me to pull out the most shocking revelations:

Yup, it's true. You can lie on the couch all day long, graze on snacks and still lose weight. That's right — no exercise required... Thing is, you'll have to reduce the calories you consume to lose that weight. And the less active you are, the more calories you'll have to cut.
This just in: your body burns a certain number of calories per day. If you burn more than you eat, you lose weight. If you eat more than you burn, you gain weight. You can increase what you burn with exercise or cut what you eat with diet. This is not news people. We've known this crap for decades, and the fact that this would surprise anyone is a sad reflection of the state of health education in our country. It gets worse further on:
Oh and don't bother doing specific exercises to target fat in certain parts of your body, either. Study says that doesn't work. You may get very good at doing sit-ups, for instance, but if you're taking in more calories than you're burning, those rock hard abs will still be covered by a layer of fat, if that's where it tends to gather on your body.
Wow, stop the presses. Of course you don't burn tummy fat by doing situps. Your body isn't like "oooh, he's using his stomach muscles, better use that tummy fat." Your arms would run out of energy pretty fast if they had to get it all from arm fat, wouldn't they? It's called the spot reduction myth and I can't believe people are still falling for it. Let's not even get into the fact that situps burn fewer calories than walking.

This whole obesity epidemic thing has caught my eye for a while. For me, it's hard to understand how that can happen to someone. But really, if people don't know these very basic facts about maintaining a healthy weight, whose fault is that? We have an education system for a reason, you know.

It reminds me of a scene from Super Size Me. This obese girl is attending a talk by Jared, the dude who lost a ton of weight thanks to Subway. She says she wants to lose weight, but can't afford to buy all those sandwiches. Because, you know, you can't make a sandwich at home or anything. It's not like they keep the ingredients a secret, you can see them all through the glass.

Anyways, if this "journalist" is anything like I was in j-school, he had a deadline coming, put it off too long, and had to come up with this lame crap to fill the space. But at least I wasn't getting paid.


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