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Fun Health Facts about our Weight

Tim Boyer's picture
Weight loss

Here are some fun facts about weight loss that we bet you have never heard about. For instance, how fat can you get before the body succumbs, does fasting really help with weight loss and what is the weight loss record?


Have you ever wondered just how fat a person can possibly get or how long someone can survive without food? Then look no further as the answers to these questions and a couple of other fun health facts about your weight gleaned from the September issue of Popular Science provides you with some food for thought.

Fun Health Fact #1: The bitter truth of sugar—while everyone knows that sugar is the number one culprit behind the obesity epidemic in America, especially in sodas and other beverages where many drink a full meal’s worth of calories each day, sugar may also cut our lives short by interfering with reported “longevity genes.” According to Popular Science, one researcher decided it was time to cut out sweets after she discovered that sugar turns off a discovered longevity gene in roundworms that reduced life expectancy by 20 percent. Interestingly, one sugar-sweetened soda per day increases a person’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 22 percent.

Fun Health Fact #2: Gargling Gatorade may aid weight loss—a 2008 study found that when cyclists gargled a sugar-water solution and then spat it out, that it tricked their brain into thinking that it was taking in carbohydrates. This suggests that gargling Gatorade or other sugar/carb-filled drinks may aid weight loss via the mechanism of the sugary drink stimulating the taste-bud receptors, which in turn cranks up the body’s metabolism.

However, before you turn to sports drinks, here’s some sound nutritional warnings about what’s actually in many of those popular beverages.

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Fun Health Fact #3: Record number of days without food—382 according to the medical case of a 27-year-old patient at the University of Dundee in 1973 who began a monitored fast at a starting weight of 456 pounds. Just shortly after one year he stopped fasting when his weight reached 180 pounds. For someone who is more average in weight, surviving a prolonged fast can go at least as far as 36 days as demonstrated by one monk who decided to end his fast after 36 days once dizziness set in, convincing him that further fasting was putting his health at risk.

In addition, for those dieters who consider fasting as a way to lose weight, research shows that intermittent fasting actually leads to overall weight gain rather than weight loss.

Fun Health Fact #4: The fattest a person can get—the record for heaviest man alive goes to John Brower Minnoch who in 1978 was estimated to weigh 1,400 pounds. His exact top weight is unknown because he could not get on a scale. He is also the man credited for having lost the most weight. After 16 months on a 1,200 calorie per day diet, he lost a total of 924 pounds. Unfortunately, he regained approximately double his weight in just only a year after the diet.

Mr. Minnoch’s weight record is the exception as the average person can typically only reach a maximum weight of about 750 pounds before succumbing to the stress imposed on the human body.

For more fun facts about health, check out how you can impress your date tonight with these 4 fun health facts about the mouth.

Image Source: Courtesy of PhotoBucket.com

Reference: “Pushing our Limits” by Judy Dutton, Sept. 2014 issue of Popular Science