Top 10 Biggest Health Fitness Losers Of 2008 Part 2

Yesterday, we took a look at number 10 through 6 of the Top 10 Biggest Health & Fitness Losers of 2008. Today we’ll see who made the top 5! So here we go!

5. Richard Simmons

Sorry chief, I had to do it. I think that you’ve dedicated your life to helping other people which is awesome and I commend you, but we’ve entered into a new world where being a health and fitness expert REQUIRES you to walk the walk and talk the talk. This is something that one of my personal favorite bloggers, Rusty Moore of The Fitness Black Book harps on. He doesn’t like taking advice from people that aren’t in shape, and frankly neither do I.

You wouldn’t take stock tips from a bum, so why would you take health and fitness advice from Richard Simmons. I’d like to take a second to offer a personal invitation to Richard to get in shape with me. I will help you refine your diet, shape your body and get you to be a force in the gym, on the field or anywhere else where physical competition is paramount. Really bud, I want to help! We know you’ve got the dedication and determination, now how about some vascularity and muscles to go with that?

4. Bread, Grains and Other Processed Carbs

It’s no secret that I’m officially a caveman these days, having gone Paleo cold turkey. And let me tell you, it’s so easy! (that was really corny, couldn’t help myself) But I really want to show people the health risks that you run when you eat bread, grains, etc. So here are my favorite articles this year that help explain why you should abstain from these types of foods:

Here’s a great article by Rusty Moore on how High Insulin Levels Stop Fat Loss and Cause Weight Gain, and specifically how breads, grains and the like lead to those levels.

Check out Mark Sisson’s Definitive Guide To Grains… enough said!

Scott Kustes of The Modern Forager wrote a great article about how breads and grains greatly increase the bodies inflammation, which can increase diseases like heart disease, diabetes, cancer, Crohn’s disease etc.

3. Ab Exercises

Ok, ok… hold your horses and hear me out. What I’m trying to say is that people have placed WAY too much focus on ab exercises at the expense of a healthy diet. As we’ve shown before, there are some great examples of people who have an eight pack that do not do ab exercises. Take my post on gaining definition in your abs, which shows Mark Sisson, a perfect example of a man who has perfected sustainable fitness… and he doesn’t do ab exercises!

I’m not knocking on ab exercises themselves. I’ll be the first to admit that I personally do planks, crunches and all the other good ones. But I just want people to understand that their diet is 95% of the battle when it comes to seeing your abs, that’s all. Here are a few people that agree with me:

Divine Caroline put up a really cool post titled Fitness Myths Debunked where they discuss how getting definition in your abs is all about lowering your body fat percentage.

When you have your diet under control, make sure you do significant ab workouts, like what Chris of Zen To Fitness subscribes in A Simple Guide To Rockstar Abs!

2. Diet Pills

I’m not gonna lie, this one almost made the number one spot. I am so anti-diet pills that it’s not even funny. Diet pills represent the mentality that keeps America the number one obese country in the world. It’s the idea of taking a short cut, trying to cheat yourself out of responsibilities, responsibilities which oddly enough will end up making your life better, in my opinion.

Diet pills have become extremely prevalent this year, and it’s a shame. Because of the prevalence, people are beginning to view these as the first option to losing weight. I hope that we all know by now that this not healthy, smart or sustainable any way you slice it! This years big time offenders are The Alli System, Hydroxycut, Trimspa, Leptoprin, Relacore, Hoodia, Dexatrim and most recently, Zylotrim and the worst thing is I could go on and on and on. Here are some links about diet pills and just what they do to your body:

Here’s 10 Outrageous Diet Scams from Mark’s Daily Apple.

Chris from Zen To Fitness wrote a fantastic article taking a look at Why Fat Burners Are Bad News… great article!

Rusty Moore discussed the Terribly Embarrassing Side Effects of The Alli Diet Pill. Careful, it’s smelly gross!

The IF Life, courtesy of Mike O’Donnell, explains Why “Fad” Detox Diets/Supplements Are Useless… and he’s right about that!

Diet Blog wrote a very straight to the point article titled Are Any Diet Pills Safe?

1. Statins

You heard it here. Statins are officially the number one LOSER of 2008. Let’s talk about why they’re such losers.

They lower cholesterol, but that doesn’t accomplish anything positive, especially in already healthy individuals!

Dr. Michael Eades put it best:

“There is no evidence that decreasing cholesterol in adults reduces the risk of heart disease or death… And there is no evidence that statin drugs prevent early death in adults except for one small subset.”

Want a second opinion? Allow me to introduce Dr. Briffa:

“…there is no significant evidence that reduction in LDL cholesterol level explains the clinical benefits seen with statin therapy on cardiovascular disease risk…”

I really should do a post about statistics and just how misleading they can be. In the case of statins, it’s practically the example in the encyclopedia entry for why statistics can be misleading! Mark Sisson knows it!

“The study found after two years that there were fewer cardiac and stroke “incidents” in the group taking rosuvastatin than in the placebo group. Fair enough, I guess. But in terms of serious cardiac and stroke events, the reduction went from 1.7 percent in the placebo population to .9 percent in the statin group – a total reduction of .8 percent (zero point eight percent).”

Given no generic exists, they are extremely expensive!

I will again turn to Dr. Eades to help put into perspective the cost of statins:

“Statin drugs cost, depending upon the brand, somewhere between $2.66 and $4.86 a day, so let’s average it out to $3.75 per day. If we multiply $3.75 per day times 365 days per year times 34 million people we end up with $46.537 Billion per year”

I’ve taken a look at the amount of people on statins, and this 34 million people estimate is an extremely conservative number! So how about another look at the cost, provided by Dr. Mirkin:

“About 7 million people in the US have normal cholesterol and high CRP. Treating them with a brand-name statin would cost each $116 a month or $9.7 billion a year, and prevent about 28,000 heart attacks, strokes and cardiovascular deaths each year.”

Those are some really big numbers, but like I said above, beware of statistics. I would recommend that you look into the matter yourself, it will help it make sense. So with that, here are some most reads on the biggest LOSER of 2008, statins (Yeah statins, you suck!):

Dr. Michael Eades wrote two posts in particular that you should check out, one titled Statin Panic and the other Nominees For The Reckless Award.

Mark Sisson wrote about statins (one of many posts) called Statin Insanity!

Dr. Gabe Mirkin wrote a great article on why statins are misleading because Inflammation is more important than cholesterol when discussing heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular deaths.

Dr. Briffa wrote an article whose title tells it all: Statins Reduce Cardiovascular Disease In Healthy People, And Why This Study Is A Poke In The Eye For The For The Cholesterol Hypothesis.

A big thank you to all who have made it this far!! I’m really curious to hear your comments on this list. Did I miss any really big losers? What about these losers, what’s your take? I’ll see you in the comments section!