The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

News from the ACSM Conference

I am attending the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). There are many hundreds of studies, seminars, clinics, workshops, lectures of all sorts, running concurrently. It is like drinking candy from a fire hose.

Dashing from one lecture to another in the enormous conference center trying to learn as much as possible from simultaneous sessions is exercise in itself.

Some of the "studies" predictably show glowing results. Studies funded or conducted by candy bar manufacturers show athletic gains from eating their candy bar. A study funded by the US Poultry Association concluded that dietary cholesterol may have a modest role in muscle mass and strength increases (and an "uncertain role on cardiovascular risk factors.") Studies from sugar water manufacturers, who are also major sponsors of this sports medicine conference, show high results in athletic events drinking their product. There is no doubt that hydration and blood sugar are enhanced from refined sugar products to complete athletic events with good results. Commenting professionally, I am not sold on these products for long-term health. Moreover, you can get the same results in most cases with healthier food. The post Is Your Health Food Unhealthful? gives some healthy food choice ideas. Click the label "nutrition" accompanying that post for all Fitness Fixer posts that give ideas for healthier sports nutrition.

One nice little study from University of Pittsburgh researchers showed that overweight adults who achieved higher levels of physical activity during a weight loss program also reported "adoption of eating behaviors recommended to improve weight loss." They also found that, "Failure to sustain physical activity reflects the failure to sustain recommended eating behaviors." The bottom line is still, "Stay active and eat right."

Another nice study from the Nutritional Interventions sessions found that, "Individuals at risk for developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) can reduce risk factors through diet and exercise before resorting to drug treatment," that, 'Ingesting vegetable versus animal protein has also been shown to have beneficial effects on various risk factors" and that "Participation in a 12 week resistance exercise training program significantly increased strength and decreased CVD risk factors in overweight, hypercholesterolemic men with no added benefit of protein supplementation." The bottom line is still, "Stay active and eat right."

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About the Author


Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.