Thoughts on the Body Positivity Movement?

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jennypenny
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Re: Thoughts on the Body Positivity Movement?

Post by jennypenny »

I'm not a fan of movements of this type, and I don't agree with normalizing unhealthy behavior. That said, I think there is a middle ground between accepting unhealthy body types and shaming. When it comes to appearance, particularly weight, shaming and prejudice are a real problem. You don't see the same level of shaming/blaming with people who are addicts or smoke or gamble too much or rack up too much debt. Those behaviors aren't condoned, but people who suffer with those issues aren't ridiculed or derided with the same level of gusto as fat shaming. They are also more likely to receive sympathy or be seen as people who need treatment or education compared with overweight people who are more likely to be viewed as just lazy. It's preposterous to espouse obese as healthy, but I'm ok with them shining a light on the ugliness of socially acceptable fat shaming.

Dragline
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Re: Thoughts on the Body Positivity Movement?

Post by Dragline »

Ego wrote: This normalization is at least partially responsible for fact that obesity is contagious. We have now reached a critical mass in many social circles where non-overweight people are viewed with suspicion.
A "critical mass" of obese people, eh? :lol:

MZMpac
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Re: Thoughts on the Body Positivity Movement?

Post by MZMpac »

Policing "fat shaming" or any other type of social shaming for that matter, is ridiculous. You're telling people what they can and cannot say.

So if we as a society are going to police fat shaming, then let's also police with the same fervor:

Unemployment shaming
Public breastfeeding shaming
Alcoholism shaming
Slut shaming
Religious shaming
Political shaming
Sexual orientation shaming
White male shaming
etc.

It gets (or has gotten, rather) to the point where it's absurd. No one has the right to go through their whole life without being offended. We shouldn't allow abject hate, but there's a difference between having one's feelings hurt and being threatened or persecuted. This country is so soft.

ThisDinosaur
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Re: Thoughts on the Body Positivity Movement?

Post by ThisDinosaur »

Noone is "policing" shame or restricting what you can and can't say. Just pointing out that shaming people is often an ineffective way to alter behavior. There's ample evidence that its about equally effective as telling them its okay to be fat, diets don't work, etc.

bryan
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Re: Thoughts on the Body Positivity Movement?

Post by bryan »

ThisDinosaur wrote:I've never had a weight problem, so my opinion is dismissible. But I submit that overweight people don't need to be shamed in order to know they are overweight. They have eyes. They know where they stand.
Maybe if they are really obese, but otherwise many people carry extra mass in different parts of their body and it may not be apparent, even to them. Classic case is the middle-aged male that hasn't done anything athletic since high school: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/1 ... 80007.html

Obviously not obese but.. not healthy looking, imo (see France for contrast).

Amusingly, found these links as well: ideal man, ideal woman

BRUTE wrote:
Scott 2 wrote:I think most people have a pretty good idea of how physically fit they are, the likely health impact...
brute isn't so sure. humans evaluate themselves relative to what they know. if all their peers are unhealthy and fat, they'll think that's normal, and if they're normal, they're fine.
+1, see above. And to add the modern US human is hardly faced with any physical activities, so never know. Ask an average person to go run up 10 stories and observe how they do and if they are surprised by their performance. Granted, they may "know" they haven't exercised in 20 years, but they don't know what that really translates to; they still feel rather healthier than average.

MZMpac
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Re: Thoughts on the Body Positivity Movement?

Post by MZMpac »

If one is subject to disciplinary measures or legal reprisal by expressing a negative opinion on one of the hot topics, then by definition it is policing.

So at my job if a patient doesn't like my delicate delivery of the "you're too fat" talk, they can file a complaint and I can be disciplined for it. Similarly if one even remotely suggests that they dont support someone's sexual or gender orientation (mainly in the workplace), then that is subject to discipline and even termination.

It's not a question of what's effective in changing behavior, it's a matter of people's hypersensitive feel-o-meter and the threat of real, monetary reprisal for what amounts to hurting someone's feelings. :shock:

BRUTE
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Re: Thoughts on the Body Positivity Movement?

Post by BRUTE »

is MZMpac a doctor/dietitian? then it makes sense to tell clients they're fat. is he just randomly informing coworkers about their fatness? then it's maybe not the same as persecution, but highly likely not why they showed up for work that day.

it's a bit like flirting. if in a club, humans want to flirt. if at work and subordinated, maybe not so much looking for the flirting.

of course there's tons of grey scale between acceptable and actually harmful, and brute would agree that in general, society seems to be sliding in the way-too-soft category.

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C40
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Re: Thoughts on the Body Positivity Movement?

Post by C40 »

BRUTE wrote:
C40 wrote:How is advice on making choices not useful just because it's coming from someone who is better at making those choices? I've never been that most people would call fat, but I have intentionally lost probably 200 lbs or so in many different 10-30lb phases over my life. Would I really have to be grossly fat once to give advice on how to lose fat?
the thing is that if C40 has never been grossly overweight, his techniques and ideas will most likely be completely useless to a human who is grossly overweight. it's really a difference in kind. to lose 10-30lbs, any little old technique, done for a few weeks, will give results. if a human is really fat, their metabolism is trashed and has been for likely decades. they will require completely different, and extremely drastic, techniques to see ANY results. at some point, it might just be too late.
.

I'll expand on my personal experiences:
- My weight has varied in my adult life from 130-190lbs
- I've gotten my bodyfat very low - well under 10% and maybe as low as 5. (veins visible on my abdomen and upper legs). I did that while managing intentional atrophy of certain muscle groups and preventing atrophy of other muscle groups, and while making significant improvements in athletic performance.

Accomplishing the second bullet point above is exponentially more complex than losing fat while grossly obese. The techniques needed for a grossly obese person to lose fat are incredibly simple in comparison.

--------

What is it that you're proposing I would learn by being obese? And how could this knowledge be impossible for someone to know without actually being fat themselves? Are you saying my brain would work better if I get fat? (I'm not just being argumentative, I'm asking for someone to actually explain this supposed phenomenon of healthy people not being able to understand what it takes to be healthy)

(Yeah, a person's metabolism does indeed change. Also, "metabolism" is also a one-word excuse used by millions of people who simply don't prioritize being healthy high enough to actually do so. A metabolism that has been messed up can be fixed. It's simple to do so. If we're talking about people who have severe health issues (actual and real hormal/gland problems, actual mental illness) then yes, the help/changes they need are more complex. Aside from those, please enlighten me or point me in the right direction to learn about what makes losing fat so magically difficult once you get a certain amount of fat)

ThisDinosaur
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Re: Thoughts on the Body Positivity Movement?

Post by ThisDinosaur »

@MZMpac, That's a very different situation than the Body Positive meeting we were discussing. And if your patients aren't responding appropriately to the message, it just proves my point that shaming people doesn't work. There are tons of very different diet programs with similar marketing that includes a formerly-fat person in a testimonial. That's because formerly fat people are a better source of information about what works than never-fat people. Their physiology and life history are comparable. They have personally verifiable advice. The appropriate response to a doctor saying "you're fat, its bad for you," is "no shit, Sherlock."

I can't tell you what the best way to deal with every overweight patient is, because I've never been fat. But I'm sure making them feel judged is nearly universally counterproductive.

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C40
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Re: Thoughts on the Body Positivity Movement?

Post by C40 »

ThisDinosaur wrote: I can't tell you what the best way to deal with every overweight patient is...
This reminds me of a book and coaching method that may help any of you who have jobs helping or influencing people: it's described fairly well in this book Coaching for Performance by John Whitmore.
Last edited by C40 on Thu Oct 06, 2016 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jacob
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Re: Thoughts on the Body Positivity Movement?

Post by jacob »

@C40 - It's a lack of capital issue similar to how poverty is mostly caused by having no/little idea of how/where to properly handle money. If you have an idea of what absolute performance is; what enough exercise feels like; the experience of exercise performance; knowing what good food looks like; how much food is reasonable; etc. then going from 40% BF to 20% if so easy/automatic that it probably never becomes an issue in the first place. Lacking all of these, it's easy to place one's locus of control far outside and blame it on society.

Compare to an ex-athlete who let themselves go and suddenly had an epiphany. One year later, they're back at full tilt. A lot of the programs and apps are aimed at this crowd. E.g. a progressive level of training tempered by experience; a diet plan that aims at losing 1 pound for fat per week for 75 weeks straight.

Then compare to someone who's never really been active. Any school related activity was strictly mandatory and they did the absolute minimum. Someone who's just been eating whatever is in front of them resulting in steadily putting on the pounds at a regular rate since their metabolism caught up with them at age 25. Someone who thinks ice cream is a treat or a reward. Someone who can't tell soreness from injury. Who has no concept of what pushing themselves or what their limits really are. Where running 5k is considered an event that requires multi-month programs just to complete in under an hour and bestows bragging rights and congratulations from everybody around them.

That's a ton of bad habits to unlearn + thousands of hours of experiental knowledge to acquire.

It's probably easier to take an amateur/intramural athlete at the 90% percentile and make them semi-pro/varsity at the 98% level than it is to take someone at the 20% level and take them to healthy levels around the 75% level.

It's all relative.

Scott 2
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Re: Thoughts on the Body Positivity Movement?

Post by Scott 2 »

C40 - I think you're underestimating the advantages you started with - life circumstances, baseline health levels, and raw ability to affect change. Sub ten percent body fat is an extreme achievement.

It's tough to raise caloric expenditure when five minutes of walking gasses you out. If your bmr is 1600 calories a week, dropping 500 a day is exhausting. Giving up that energy while holding down a full time and caring for kids might be impossible. Add on an office environment where multiple treats are provided daily, along with meals/drinks as the primary social outlet. Tack on a childhood that taught you to use food as both an expression of love and a coping mechanism. Oh and maybe you're over forty so your hormonal profile has shifted, making it extremely difficult to add or even retain muscle mass...

It's not even a little surprising to me that the diet industry is worth billions, yet people are fatter than ever.

From what I've seen, the people who do successfully make dramatic change, literally have to change their entire life. Cut social ties, change jobs into the fitness industry, adopt disordered eating patterns, etc.

Shaming people who don't, it's like calling you a manlet for failing to break two hundred pounds. Bro, do you even :D

I do think it'd be interesting if threads like this required everyone to post a picture with their points. I am happily walking around with a BMI in the low-mid 30's these days, and comfortably move between here and the mid 20's, depending on my interests. Both lifestyles have pros and cons.

BRUTE
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Re: Thoughts on the Body Positivity Movement?

Post by BRUTE »

C40 wrote:What is it that you're proposing I would learn by being obese? And how could this knowledge be impossible for someone to know without actually being fat themselves? Are you saying my brain would work better if I get fat?
C40 is correct that there is no advantage in smartness and little insight gained from being very obese. so theoretically, C40 could have all the knowledge needed. but the techniques that worked for C40 are unlikely to work for a 400lbs sedentary human.

some examples:
- in obese humans, exercise is a TERRIBLE idea for fat loss. it'll make them hungry, it'll fuck up their joints, and it'll contribute almost nothing to fat loss. even the most intense activity imaginable done for an hour per day barely makes up for a single serving of ice cream. strength training is nice but almost useless for fat loss, and increases hunger also due to increased protein requirements.

- the dynamics of obese human bodies can be quite different from those of leaner ones. fat is metabolically active.

- there are tons of psychological/routine/entrainment factors like jacob mentions. if a human is wired to reward themselves with sugar, they won't make progress before they rewire that reward system. developing new tastes takes time. it's unlikely a human will reach >30% bf for men or 40% bf for women in the absence of either hormonal or psychological problems.

- there are many factors than can make traditional fat loss tips completely useless if present. many of them hormonal. this includes choice of foods vs. genetic makeup (some humans can not handle carbs, period), prior dieting experience (it's possible to fuck up the human metabolism through months or years of dieting badly, it might be reversible, it might not). sleep quality or quantity. work or relationship stress. the pill. periods. menopause. low T for men.


brute likes to use that japanese "5 why" approach. why is a human fat? because they store more fat than they burn. true, but that's not the solution. that's as helpful as saying "he's an alcoholic because he drinks too much alcohol". trivially true, but what now? another why. why do they store more than they burn? because their body isn't oxidizing fat. why isn't it oxidizing the ample fat reserves? maybe insulin is chronically elevated. why? maybe because sleep is disturbed regularly, and the body clock is off, releasing glucagon/insulin at the "wrong" times relative to when the human is active/eats. why? maybe they sleep with a snoring spouse or have to wake up at 5am despite being a night owl.

so it's a bit of a tree structure of possible reasons, and they all end in "body stores more fat than it can oxidize on average". but that's not something one can directly take action on. one can take action on diet, exercise (sometimes exercise is great, just not for the obese in brutes opinion), habit forming/system building, work/life balance, circle of friends, peers, family, reprogramming reward and pain centers..
C40 wrote:Accomplishing the second bullet point above is exponentially more complex than losing fat while grossly obese. The techniques needed for a grossly obese person to lose fat are incredibly simple in comparison.
brute would say that those are 2 very different things. it's not necessarily more complex to do IF + HIIT + take yohimbe + caffeine + EC stack to get to 5% bf. but it's a strategy for a completely different human being with completely different goals. that's the whole point of brute's argument: the strategy for getting from 50% bf to 20% bf is completely different than the one going from 15% to 5%. thus, C40s experience is unlikely to be relevant to an obese human trying to become chubby.

edit:

also not trying to be a dick, but just so brute can get an idea, what strategy would C40 give a 45 year old mother of 3, full time job, who weighs 300lbs?
Last edited by BRUTE on Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MZMpac
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Re: Thoughts on the Body Positivity Movement?

Post by MZMpac »

ThisDinosaur wrote:@MZMpac, That's a very different situation than the Body Positive meeting we were discussing. And if your patients aren't responding appropriately to the message, it just proves my point that shaming people doesn't work. There are tons of very different diet programs with similar marketing that includes a formerly-fat person in a testimonial. That's because formerly fat people are a better source of information about what works than never-fat people. Their physiology and life history are comparable. They have personally verifiable advice. The appropriate response to a doctor saying "you're fat, its bad for you," is "no shit, Sherlock."

I can't tell you what the best way to deal with every overweight patient is, because I've never been fat. But I'm sure making them feel judged is nearly universally counterproductive.
I dont shame fat patients, or anyone else for that matter. Just illustrating how, in the workplace and social arenas, there is punitive consequence for hurting someone's feelings. Obesity is one example. The whole gender-identity fiasco is another. In a corporate environment it is unbelievable what HR can come down on people for. Guilty until proven innocent.

As to what the most effective way to get people to lose weight? Ultimately weight loss is all self-driven, wherever their motivation ends upcoming from. The science is clear enough and the pathway to weight loss is remarkably simple. Not easy, but straightforward. Some people respond to 'hard' coaching and some respond to 'soft' coaching and hand-holding. But it's all self-driven, just like piling on those pounds was in the first place. The same can be said for bodybuilding or achieving very high levels of fitness.

Laura Ingalls
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Re: Thoughts on the Body Positivity Movement?

Post by Laura Ingalls »

jacob wrote:
A curios factor here is that one's body is a highly visible demonstration of one's "shape" (eating, exercise, ...), especially when naked. It is therefore easy to judge and be judged. Conversely, it's not immediately visible just from looking at them that someone is abusing drugs, really bad at math, a jerk, ...
That is why broke accountants are probably more common than fat personal trainers.

My body is less attractive than the one I had 20 years ago, but I love the current one more. It can hike just as far. It bore and nourished two babies. So what if "the girls" are less perky.

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C40
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Re: Thoughts on the Body Positivity Movement?

Post by C40 »

BRUTE wrote:
C40 is correct that there is no advantage in smartness and little insight gained from being very obese. so theoretically, C40 could have all the knowledge needed. but the techniques that worked for C40 are unlikely to work for a 400lbs sedentary human.
ughh.... ok.. I'm not going to spend much time on this because I have some very important California coast hiking and landscape photography to do :-)

The techniques needed for what I did required having MANY MORE things right than it takes to go from obese to overweight or overweight to "normal". I'm talking very good control over a TON of different factors. Let's take just one - sleep. I made sure I was sleeping in very good environment, had regular routines before bed, meditation, going to sleep at the same time every night, good enough sleep habits to wake up nearly every day literally 2-3 minutes before the alarm clock goes off, checking prone and standing pulse immediately after waking, rating sleep quality, rating overall feeling of recovery/readiness for various training intensities, weighing myself and considering hydration level, documenting those things and using the data along with others to manage exercise intensity and recovery factors).

Ok. That's just some of the sleep routines. Do you think it's necessary to control rest quality to that point to go from overweight to normal? No, it's not. Same thing with how well diet needs to be controlled (well, more the type of foods.. of course calorie intake needs to be a deficit). Same thing with general health. Same thing with exercise (especially for very overweight people - for many of whom exercise should not even be bothered with yet)

An obese but non-diabetic person doesn't have to know all the details about fat metabolism and oxidation differences or exactly what's happening with their insulin. They only need to get things fairly close to right. When you do things right, the body takes care of the details and improves. A person can read less than 5 books and know enough to go from obese to normal weight. Knowledge of techniques is NOT the limiting factor. It's something before that: it's priorities.
BRUTE wrote:
also not trying to be a dick, but just so brute can get an idea, what strategy would C40 give a 45 year old mother of 3, full time job, who weighs 300lbs?
I'm starting to feel like this is going a very trollish or boiler-plate internet argument direction, but anyways: (again, typing this very quickly so I can go hiking)

If I had to just give a strategy: an overall strategy of health and nutrition.

In reality, she likely could use more specific help either reassessing her life priorities or figuring out what to change and/or how to change it. I don't know enough details about her, and she likely doesn't either. The strategy would be to meet with me for regular discussions: 1-2 hours to start, then weekly followup of 10-30 minutes, plus whatever time is needed for education (me to explain things to her or for her to read books). I'd start out that first session mostly discussing her own life priorities. What she wants and how much she wants it. (If she has a long list of other things that are more important than her health, I'd either try to convince her to change the order, or wish her luck on her own). Next is a discussion of how things are currently going - her current state of health fitness, weight vs. what she wants. And so on, basically using the GROW method to coach her along, develop her own awareness of health and nutrition, facilitate her developing plans of what to change and following up on those, and giving small bits of advice here and there, likely focused mostly on how to remember her goals and align her daily actions, and how to change her habits (but of course, it depends on what she herself needs...)

BRUTE
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Re: Thoughts on the Body Positivity Movement?

Post by BRUTE »

C40 wrote:An obese but non-diabetic person doesn't have to know all the details about fat metabolism and oxidation differences or exactly what's happening with their insulin. They only need to get things fairly close to right. When you do things right, the body takes care of the details and improves. A person can read less than 5 books and know enough to go from obese to normal weight. Knowledge of techniques is NOT the limiting factor. It's something before that: it's priorities.
"do things right" is pretty vague, and might be different for different humans. for brute and others he knows, getting things fairly right made no difference whatsoever. only full-out frontal assault on fat metabolism and oxidation even started slowing down fat gain. and sleep was a huge part of it. now it could be argued that, obviously, the things weren't "fairly close to right" if it didn't work, but then it's a tautology. the difficulty becomes figuring out what "fairly close to right" means for the individual in question.

5 books is probably right, but what are the 5 books? might be different books for each individual, or at least various different types.

and one can always say it's priorities, not techniques, unless it's physically (or rather technically) impossible to do.

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C40
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Re: Thoughts on the Body Positivity Movement?

Post by C40 »

BRUTE wrote: "do things right" is pretty vague, and might be different for different humans. for brute and others he knows, getting things fairly right made no difference whatsoever. only full-out frontal assault on fat metabolism and oxidation even started slowing down fat gain. and sleep was a huge part of it. now it could be argued that, obviously, the things weren't "fairly close to right" if it didn't work, but then it's a tautology. the difficulty becomes figuring out what "fairly close to right" means for the individual in question.

5 books is probably right, but what are the 5 books? might be different books for each individual, or at least various different types.

and one can always say it's priorities, not techniques, unless it's physically (or rather technically) impossible to do.
I do believe "doing things right" - or getting them close enough, is quite simple, but I don't want to get into those specifics.

I've seen anecdotal cases (off the top of my head, 3 people I personally know) who completely transformed their health by getting things only close to right. The said, I did have one coworker who was probably 250lbs and continually trying something new. She wasn't stupid, and she didn't seem to have a lot of stress or business in her life, but she never made progress. She was always trying some ridiculous new fad diet. I suppose in her case, even though she is smart, she still hasn't learned the basics of how to eat right.

Anyways... While diet/nutrition is still, frustratingly, an area with a huge variety of claims of what is healthy, I still believe that for losing weight, the direct actions required are very simple. Changing these actions is the more complicated part, as here we get into priorities, habits, stress, unhealthy or strange views on food, and more. I do agree that for people who are extremely overweight and and who have poor habits, little understanding of health/diet/fitness, who don't prioritize or adhere to their priorities, etc. - fixing those things can take a lot of work.

The 5 books question is an interesting one. I don't know enough of these kind of books well enough to make a list. First, the list would depend on whether it's only covering the direct diet/health factors or whether it's also covering all the secondary things. If it's just the direct stuff (which is what I meant in my post), 5 books would very easily cover the basics. Really - just 1 book on diet could. If we're also talking about all the things a person might need to learn/change, then the 5 book question gets more interesting.

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C40
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Re: Thoughts on the Body Positivity Movement?

Post by C40 »

Also, on the Priorities thing. What I mean there is that given #1 below, #2 is true

#1 - learning how to lose weight -- at least the direct factors, is very simple. Nearly every human alive can learn this.
#2 - Most people that want to lose weight AND who prioritize it high enough to spend time learning, doing, and monitoring are fully capable of getting back to normal weight - and they will.

If we were talking about something like brain surgery, rocket science, or some other skill that only a small portion of humans are currently capable of learning, then obviously there are many people who just can't do it, no matter their priorities.

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C40
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Re: Thoughts on the Body Positivity Movement?

Post by C40 »

Oh on books....

(Let's not derail into a diet discussion)

I just read most of this book, and on food choice, it's good. It covers enough (direct technique) information in the first ~100 pages to fix obesity for the majority of people:
https://www.amazon.com/Paleo-Diet-Weigh ... 0470913029

plus, Since the book above doesn't cover it, some other book (it could be like 20 pages long) explaining the basics of caloric balance.

Some people who are literally starting from zero on health understanding might need a book as simple as this: (although I think this book is a poor example.. I just mean some book on the very basics of health habits)
https://www.amazon.com/Weeks-Optimum-He ... 034549802X

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