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  1. #1
    Registered User TonyM78's Avatar
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    Are we really more fit than average?

    We've all heard the statistics that something like 40 percent of Americans are either overweight or obese, and I've heard even higher than that. It's probably a nice ego boost for many of us, thinking we're more fit than the majority of men and women. But is this misleading? Technically anyone with a higher amount of muscle would fall into the higher BMI category and be classified as being overweight. I'm going to go out on a limb and say the statistics we see don't account for this. And I know, for one, that when I go out in public, I see plenty of fat people but also see a good amount of fit people. Thoughts?
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    ☠ ☠ ☠ ☠ ☠ 401Delta's Avatar
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    I actually feel bad for people who don't have the genetics to stay fit.

    Yes, calories in, calories out, but the desire and discipline to manage your diet and activity is in the genes.
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    Zealot from the housetops PaulJerome's Avatar
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    Clothes on or clothes off - big difference. I live near the beach in Florida and regularly see obesity shamelessly strutting around in swimwear that shouldn't be worn. Almost as if they've given up and don't care.

    It's only a handful of people who would be defined as fit at the beach. The norm is overweight to obese and that percentage increases with age.

    Yes, we are in a select group.
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    Banned supramax's Avatar
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    Fitness is specific.
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    ☠ ☠ ☠ ☠ ☠ 401Delta's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by PaulJerome View Post
    Clothes on or clothes off - big difference. I live near the beach in Florida and regularly see obesity shamelessly strutting around in swimwear that shouldn't be worn. Almost as if they've given up and don't care.

    It's only a handful of people who would be defined as fit at the beach. The norm is overweight to obese and that percentage increases with age.

    Yes, we are in a select group.
    Fat girls in a 2-piece is hnnngg, tho.
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    Zealot from the housetops PaulJerome's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 401Delta View Post
    Fat girls in a 2-piece is hnnngg, tho.
    Personal preference of course. Look at the female models in art from yesteryear and you will see fat women. I think being fat at the time was associated with being successful or rich which was attractive. But now we know that obesity is unhealthy.

    Think about this. You will see a lot of really, really old people smoking cigarettes, but what you never see are really, really old people who are obese.
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    ☠ ☠ ☠ ☠ ☠ 401Delta's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by PaulJerome View Post
    Personal preference of course. Look at the female models in art from yesteryear and you will see fat women. I think being fat at the time was associated with being successful or rich which was attractive. But now we know that obesity is unhealthy.

    Think about this. You will see a lot of really, really old people smoking cigarettes, but what you never see are really, really old people who are obese.
    Even though being associated with higher health risks, I understand the trade off that fat people are willing to make...years off their life for years more of addictive eating.

    I get it because I will wreck my body working it, just because I enjoy it. Physical down time makes me excruciatingly restless, even when my body could use the rest.
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    Originally Posted by PaulJerome View Post
    ... Think about this. You will see a lot of really, really old people smoking cigarettes, but what you never see are really, really old people who are obese.
    Do you know why that is?
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    Zealot from the housetops PaulJerome's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by supramax View Post
    Do you know why that is?
    Just saying that as bad as cigarettes are for your mortality, obesity is worse. My guess is that it puts too much work on your heart, but enlighten me if you will.

    I had a brother who a year ago I would ask "hey Phil, how much do you weigh?"

    Phil would answer: "I don't know, the scale only goes to 400"

    Phil was 56 years old six months ago when they carried his 430 pound body out. They charged extra for the cremation.
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  10. #10
    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    I don't feel good about myself because someone else is out of shape.
    Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?
    Galatians 4:16

    You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep others warm.
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  11. #11
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    Originally Posted by PaulJerome View Post
    Just saying that as bad as cigarettes are for your mortality, obesity is worse. My guess is that it puts too much work on your heart, but enlighten me if you will.

    I had a brother who a year ago I would ask "hey Phil, how much do you weigh?"

    Phil would answer: "I don't know, the scale only goes to 400"

    Phil was 56 years old six months ago when they carried his 430 pound body out. They charged extra for the cremation.
    Condolences on your brother. Life can be a real ****ing bitch. Many years ago, I saw a video on Cirque du Soleil. There was a section that zeroed in on one guy that did amazing acrobatics. The video followed him off stage into a room that had a stone staircase going down two flights. He hopped over the railing, landed two flights down and walked over to a table, picked up a pack of cigarettes, took one out, lit it and took a giant drag. You can smoke and be active, but you can't be active if you're obese. Activity, particularly extreme physical exertion, is the fountain of youth.
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    Registered User MilkforBrains's Avatar
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    No one here is super fat, so yes. I've gained a bit of fluff, maybe 5lbs.
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    PaulJerome,

    I'll tell you about another documentary that I saw (on television). I don't remember if it was in the 80's or 90's or even earlier. A group of gerontologists travelled all over the world looking for the commonalities of people that lived to extreme old age (a minimum of centenarian), while remaining compos mentis and independently mobile. Some of the people that fit the category were meat eaters and some were vegetarian; some smoked cigarettes and some had never smoked; some drank alcohol and some had never drank alcohol; some bathed every day and some had never had a bath, etc.

    The one thing everyone had in common was that every day or almost every day they did some kind of relatively short duration extreme physical exertion. The only one I remember was some guy that lived on a hill or a mountain and walked down every morning with two buckets to get his days supply of water at a well at the bottom of the hill/mountain. Ipso facto.
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  14. #14
    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    Originally Posted by supramax View Post
    Do you know why that is?
    Lol because they live solely on Social Security and can't afford food.
    If you don't get what you want you didn't want it bad enough
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    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    "Fit" is relative and being muscular doesn't necessarily mean fit. I've trained with guys that were big and muscular that people would consider fit just on appearance but got winded climbing stairs.
    If you don't get what you want you didn't want it bad enough
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  16. #16
    Old Man Lifting PhDPepper1111's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Tommy W. View Post
    Lol because they live solely on Social Security and can't afford food.
    He was suggesting their obeisity leads to increased mortality.
    To MTP's comment - exercise can counteract the deleterious effects of obeisity, but being fat is still bad for you; those centenarians that survive despite obeisity are definitely statistical outliers! Agree exercise is the highest correlated factor to longevity... but there are others to do have some good evidence (such as fighting spirit in the literature).
    It's never too late!

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    Hip Hop Strongman FLChamp's Avatar
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    Extra weight, be it fat or muscle, is going to bring your cardiovascular health and endurance down if you don't perform your cardio with a similar or greater frequency than your strength training.

    Additionally, your lifestyle habits outside of the gym are a better overall predictor of your health and wellness than the time you spend in it.
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    Originally Posted by Tommy W. View Post
    Lol because they live solely on Social Security and can't afford food.
    Social Security for most of the worlds' population is have lots of children.
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    Registered User TonyM78's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies, guys. Still wondering your thoughts on the accuracy of the statistics though. So most of you seem to think fit people are more rare and that the numbers we're seeing are not counting those with extra muscle but lower body fat as obese, if I understand correctly?
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    Originally Posted by TonyM78 View Post
    Thanks for all the replies, guys. Still wondering your thoughts on the accuracy of the statistics though. So most of you seem to think fit people are more rare and that the numbers we're seeing are not counting those with extra muscle but lower body fat as obese, if I understand correctly?
    nice
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    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TonyM78 View Post
    Thanks for all the replies, guys. Still wondering your thoughts on the accuracy of the statistics though. So most of you seem to think fit people are more rare and that the numbers we're seeing are not counting those with extra muscle but lower body fat as obese, if I understand correctly?
    You're using "we" as if all of us base being overweight solely on BMI, which isn't a very useful index except for making gross generalizations. By definition BMI doesn't take into account whether weight is composed of muscle, fat, etc.

    You also equate being leaner as being more fit, which isn't wholly accurate either.
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    Originally Posted by TonyM78 View Post
    We've all heard the statistics that something like 40 percent of Americans are either overweight or obese, and I've heard even higher than that. It's probably a nice ego boost for many of us, thinking we're more fit than the majority of men and women. But is this misleading? Technically anyone with a higher amount of muscle would fall into the higher BMI category and be classified as being overweight. I'm going to go out on a limb and say the statistics we see don't account for this. And I know, for one, that when I go out in public, I see plenty of fat people but also see a good amount of fit people. Thoughts?
    I think this question is slightly flawed. I don't mean that in an insulting way, but rather a "consider the question itself because it may not be answerable in the exact way it was asked" way.

    First, the opening sentence doesn't actually provide any real statistics, which are important to provide here. What statistics are we talking about? How were they measured?

    Second, I understand your personal account of going outside and seeing others, and in fact I have pondered the same before too. But "when I go out in public, I see plenty of fat people but also see a good amount of fit people", there is really no way to confirm or deny a statement like this.

    I can tell you from personal experience that all of these things you would need to consider:

    1. WHERE do you live? WHERE are you making these observations? I thought practically the majority of people were fit, and couldn't believe the statements made about so many overweight Americans, because I lived in a California beach city. When I started to travel to other States and country areas, I quickly saw that my perception of "normal" was not actually "normal" across the USA.

    2. How are you classifying "fit?" Simply appearing non-overweight or non-obese? Someone who appears to be lean? Observing some type of physical performance such as lifting, sprinting, etc???

    3. What are the nationally accepted definitions of "overweight" and "obese"? Are these congruent with your defintion of "unfit" or "fit?" For example, one can be "overweight" in a general sense, but due to muscle, or they could be overweight due to excess fat. Perhaps the health problems you are trying to avoid would be avoided even when overweight, because they are caused by excessive fat, etc...

    This may sound pedantic, but all of these small details matter when we're trying to answer a question like this. Frankly, I think when you just start considering and thinking about these questions, the answer may become more apparent to you.
    Last edited by GoGoGo; 06-06-2022 at 11:26 AM.
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    Originally Posted by GoGoGo View Post
    I think this question is slightly flawed. I don't mean that in an insulting way, but rather a "consider the question itself because it may not be answerable in the exact way it was asked" way.

    First, the opening sentence doesn't actually provide any real statistics, which are important to provide here. What statistics are we talking about? How were they measured?

    Second, I understand your personal account of going outside and seeing others, and in fact I have pondered the same before too. But "when I go out in public, I see plenty of fat people but also see a good amount of fit people", there is really no way to confirm or deny a statement like this.

    I can tell you from personal experience that all of these things you would need to consider:

    1. WHERE do you live? WHERE are you making these observations? I thought practically the majority of people were fit, and couldn't believe the statements made about so many overweight Americans, because I lived in a California beach city. When I started to travel to other States and country areas, I quickly saw that my perception of "normal" was not actually "normal" across the USA.

    2. How are you classifying "fit?" Simply appearing non-overweight or non-obese? Someone who appears to be lean? Observing some type of physical performance such as lifting, sprinting, etc???

    3. What are the nationally accepted definitions of "overweight" and "obese"? Are these congruent with your defintion of "unfit" or "fit?" For example, one can be "overweight" in a general sense, but due to muscle, or they could be overweight due to excess fat. Perhaps the health problems you are trying to avoid would be avoided even when overweight, because they are caused by excessive fat, etc...

    This may sound pedantic, but all of these small details matter when we're trying to answer a question like this. Frankly, I think when you just start considering and thinking about these questions, the answer may become more apparent to you.
    These are some of the questions I was wondering myself. I was basically questioning how accurate these statistics are because I don't know if they are figuring bodyfat level into obesity statistics or if it goes strictly by BMI. I would say there is a healthy range of body fat levels and that being within that range would be one good indicator of fitness, though not empirical. Obviously one could make the argument that having a higher than normal amount of muscle mass can place more stress on the heart. But I think most sane people would rather carry extra muscle than extra body fat. Cardiovascular capacity is also a strong indicator if we're talking overall fitness. My main question though was if these statistics we hear about obesity are misleading, though. I will never consider a 250 lb. man with 12 percent body fat to be obese, however technically depending on their height it may place someone like that into this category.
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    TonyM78 is offline
    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    You're using "we" as if all of us base being overweight solely on BMI, which isn't a very useful index except for making gross generalizations. By definition BMI doesn't take into account whether weight is composed of muscle, fat, etc.

    You also equate being leaner as being more fit, which isn't wholly accurate either.
    The question was about if the statistics take this into consideration. I assume most of us here know that going solely on BMI can be misleading. And yes being leaner isn't the only indicator of being fit, but all other factors being the same it's something that I feel should be taken into account.
    New 1RM's for me 6/30/22

    Flat Bench 220
    Squat 250 w/ belt
    Lat Pull-down 270
    OHP 150
    Rack Pull 490 w/ belt & straps
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