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More Skinny on Fat Cells | The Nation

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More Skinny on Fat Cells

Here are two more interesting articles on the bane of our collective existence: body weight. First up is this New York magazine article, titled "The Scientist and the Stairmaster," which makes the provocative argument that there is very little correlation between weight loss and exercise. That's exceptionally bad news for someone who is pregnant, and required to gain at least 25 pounds.

The article is adapted from a new book, "Good Calories, Bad Calories: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom on Diet, Weight Control, and Disease" by Gary Taubes, who writes:

"This is not to say that there aren't excellent reasons to be physically active, as these reports invariably point out. We might just enjoy exercise. We may increase our overall fitness; we may live longer, perhaps by reducing our risk of heart disease or diabetes; we'll probably feel better about ourselves. (Of course, this may be purely a cultural phenomenon. It's hard to imagine that the French, for instance, would improve their self-esteem by spending more time at the gym.) But there's no reason to think that we will lose any significant amount of weight, and little reason to think we will prevent ourselves from gaining it."

Next is a new ad campaign by the Italian label Nolita. It features a severely anorexic actress posing naked, accompanied by the slogan, "No Anorexia." French actress Isabelle Caro weighs a little over 68 pounds, and looks simply hideous, at least to the untutored eye, though Italian medical experts claim the ad will actually encourage young girls to look more like Caro. I find that hard to believe, but take a look and decide for yourself.

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