Imagine if your physician received no university or post graduate school training in his or her specific field. This is precisely the case that applies to most health and fitness professionals who dispense weight management advice, says Ron Brown, author of The Body Fat Guide.
"As of today, few universities and post graduate schools offer a health science degree with a major in weight management," claims Brown. "The implications of this are staggering! Next to cigarette smoking, obesity is the leading preventable cause of death in our society. Yet, most of our educational institutions are not training professionals to specifically deal with this monumental health problem. As a result, the weight management field is filled with a variety of professionals delivering inconsistent, ineffective and unreliable advice and services."
Brown explains, "Many health care providers educated in universities and post graduate schools only specialize in various aspects associated with weight management, such as nutrition, psychology, public health and medical dietetics. However, I believe the education of a weight management expert requires an interdisciplinary curriculum linking expertise in a wide variety of fields ranging from dietetics and nutrition, to exercise physiology, anatomy and behavior modification."
"Fitness trainers, nutritionists and dietitians all have limitations as weight management experts," says Brown. "Most of their client's success rates for long-term weight loss are abysmal, proving that few of these professionals have the expertise to deal with all aspects of weight management. For example, as a fitness trainer, people would come to me expecting to lose 10 pounds. But as their weight rebounded after putting them on diets, I quickly realized the limitations of my expertise in this area. So I researched and specialized in teaching weight management, which led to writing The Body Fat Guide."
Brown also says few medical professionals are weight management experts. He says medical intervention is not an effective long-term substitute for weight management skills. He points out that, "Patients are often told the health risks of obesity are greater than the risks associated with drug therapy and surgical procedures. But, these medical risks are never justified as long as the patient has access to effective weight management training."
"However, without a qualified expert to teach people weight management skills," says Brown, "the physicians and surgeons feel justified to rush in and fill the gap with their drugs and procedures. Likewise, the dietitians rush in with their diets, the nutritionists rush in with their supplements, the fitness trainers rush in with their exercise programs and equipment, and the psychologists and councillors rush in with their advice. Of course, all the commercial diet centers and diet-book authors also rush in with their quick fixes."
"Maybe someday schools like the Harvard School of Public
Health will graduate whole classes of Ph.D.s in Weight Management," says
Brown. "Until then, dieter beware when following the advice of health and