300,000 American lives could be saved each year if the public followed the advice of The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, says Ron Brown, author of The Body Fat Guide.
Brown points out that the Council's Guidelines for Personal Exercise Programs lists "an optimal ratio of fat to lean mass" as one of the essential components of fitness. Brown, a certified fitness trainer, claims his book can help people improve their ratio of fat to lean mass.
"An improved body fat to lean mass ratio not only offers fitness benefits to the general population," says Brown, "it would significantly impact the loss of 300,000 lives each year due to obesity."
But The National Association for the Advancement of Fat Acceptance (NAAFA) disagrees. They are actively working to have the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports remove body fat ratios as a component of fitness. The group claims that fat people can get fit while still remaining fat.
Brown responds, "People should be encouraged to work at improving their fitness level even if it doesn't involve losing weight. However, improved work efficiency is a major objective of getting fit, and moving around excess body fat reduces work efficiency."
"I agree with NAAFA's position on issues such as discrimination and prejudice against overweight people," says Brown. "I do not believe that being overweight is primarily due to character flaws any more than it is primarily due to other causes like social, psychological and physiological factors. As important as these factors are, they all play secondary roles. Obesity is primarily an energy imbalance problem. What is needed is the proper weight management skills to modify one's calorie intake and energy expenditures."
Brown further states, "Although I agree with NAAFA that the amount of fat on your body is not an indication of the kind of person you are, nevertheless, I feel excess fat is an indication of how long you have been mismanaging your weight."
Brown believes that resolving weight issues and developing
proper weight management skills is within reach of most