Testing sheds light on Pinjarra’s weighty issue

A recent obesity study in Pinjarra – labelled Australia’s fattest town – has shown the community’s diet to be the main cause of obesity, not a lack of exercise.

Exercise physiologist Kirsty Woods recently undertook metabolism testing on a selection of overweight and obese residents, and found while only 25 per cent of the case studies recorded a slow metabolism, 75 per cent of those tested were not sufficient amounts of fat for weight loss.

The testing was done using the ECAL energy testing system, which gives physiologists an accurate picture of the metabolism and weight of patients.

Provided over a five-minute breath test, the information is invaluable in gauging someone’s ability to burn fat.

Ms Woods, who has spent the last six years building the state’s first metabolic and weight management clinic, said the results showed when it comes to weight loss it’s not just about the energy your burning, but also the types and amount of fuels your using.

“I think if weight loss was really as simple as eating less and moving more we wouldn't have the obesity problem we have today,” she said. 

“We need to have look at an individuals physiology - particularly metabolism. After all, you can't manage what you don't measure."

Ms Woods said there was a relative lack of information on how metabolism and fuel control can affect weight, which was the impetus for her starting the clinic in the first place.

She said the importance of understanding the balance between glucose and fat was key.

“When we talk about weight loss, we really mean fat loss, so we need to be able to access and burn fat - a term known as metabolic flexibility,” she said.

“The good news is that metabolic flexibility can be improved by addressing appropriate lifestyle factors and physiological factors. It's also important to remember that even a 5 per cent weight loss has shown to reduce the risk of diabetes and improve fertility, blood pressure and sleep apnea.”

Ms Woods said anyone who is looking for more information on their metabolism should contact their local GP. You can also contact Ms Woods clinic, METS, on 9523 0523 or through mymets.com.au.