An open letter to OUT magazine

On Jul 20, 2010 In

Dear OUT Magazine,

In reference to Joshua Stein’s “Corporeal Downsizing” article (May 2010), the misinformation in such a short paragraph was overwhelming. However, briefly: 1) It is physically impossible for muscle to turn into fat. People may accumulate fat if their daily caloric needs go down while their caloric intake stays the same, but muscle cells do not transform into fat cells even with disuse. They simply get smaller. 2) While circuit training and whole-body workouts are in vogue currently, what determines muscle growth has more to do with consistent increases in workload than it does with which muscles a person uses on which day. You can, in fact, build muscle on a circuit program. And 3) The calories a person burns with “cardio” is quite negligible; you can achieve the same weight-loss effect by reducing your calorie intake. It is misinformation such as that in your article that perpetuates long-disproven fitness myths and propagates ongoing ignorance about effective methods for weight (or muscle) loss. A magazine of your calibre should have higher standards for its sources.


Bryan Chung MD, PhD

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