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Is exercise addictive?

Here is a thoughtful and worthy essay, from Nautilus, about exercise addiction. The topic certainly deserves attention. However, as a skeptic of lumping strong habits under the rubric of addiction, I was not convinced by this author that the phenomenon is accurately described by the term (as opposed to compulsion, another term brought up here). She acknowledges that no agreed-upon definition of exercise addiction exists but pushes on without trying to convince us that people who work out too much are in fact addicts. Are people who study too much addicts? Who worry too much? Who are neat freaks? Is the definition of addiction simply overdoing it? Still, making the connection between eating disorders and exercise addiction seems to me astute and cries out for of more study.

More weight-loss madness

I wasn’t going to post this week because I have some other things I need to attend to, but then this bit of empty clickbait popped up, a Vox article claiming “The science is in: exercise won’t help you lose much weight”. This is yet another example of people making money by misleading the public on the subject of weight loss. To say that exercise won’t help you lose much weight is like saying that guns don’t kill people, people kill people: there’s just enough fact (as opposed to truth) to dupe the public into buying a falsehood. So let’s look—very quickly–at some of the assumptions this article makes and why they are incorrect, and ultimately destructive. First and most important: Why are we talking about weight at all? Without context–meaning a broader set of data points—it is a meaningless abstraction. If you tell me you’re a woman who weighs…