For several years I had been writing "Fat Science," the column, for our local paper, The Portsmouth Daily Times. Those articles are small, easily digested items that convey a lot of news but skip around from topic to topic.

Basal Metabolism Is The Same

Basal metabolism is the energy requirement of doing nothing. It is the metabolism that must be maintained at all times to stay alive. It is the rate at which you burn calories when you are a complete rest in a comfortable environment several hours after eating anything. Basal metabolism maintains the processes and integrity and readiness of your body. It keeps your brain doing whatever it does.


There is a lot of sound and fury about the BMI (body mass index). On the one hand, opinion leading doctors say we all should know our BMI and act accordingly. Other pundits point out that it's an inaccurate way to condem people. Both of these points of view arise from misuse of the BMI. The BMI is simply a way to account for the fact that your weight varies according to your height.

Clues from the Hadza people

The cover story in February's issue of Scientific American is titled "Workouts and Weight loss. Learn the surprising evolutionary reason why exercise alone won't shed pounds - and what to do about it." (1) The evolutionary reason might be surprising but for readers of my column, that exercise, alone or otherwise for that matter, does not help you lose weight is not a new news flash. "What to do about it" is a teaser to make you want to buy this issue of Scientific American and find out how to lose weight.

Contradicting The Set-Point Theory

Weinsier and al. purport to have contradicted the set-point theory of weight control. The findings of their study are that resting metabolic rate and thyroid levels are proportional to fat free body mass (FFM) and energy intake. Obese individuals who have lost weight are not different in this regard from individuals who were never overweight.