Thursday, May 1, 2008

So Diets Don't Work...

An interesting article from last year about a study that concluded that diets don’t work. You can read the whole thing here.

Here are some things that stood out for me:

"You can initially lose 5 to 10 percent of your weight on any number of diets, but then the weight comes back," said Traci Mann, UCLA associate professor of psychology and lead author of the study. "We found that the majority of people regained all the weight, plus more. Sustained weight loss was found only in a small minority of participants, while complete weight regain was found in the majority. Diets do not lead to sustained weight loss or health benefits for the majority of people."

"What happens to people on diets in the long run?" Mann asked. "Would they have been better off to not go on a diet at all? We decided to dig up and analyze every study that followed people on diets for two to five years. We concluded most of them would have been better off not going on the diet at all.

"Several studies indicate that dieting is actually a consistent predictor of future weight gain," said Janet Tomiyama, a UCLA graduate student of psychology and co-author of the study. One study found that both men and women who participated in formal weight-loss programs gained significantly more weight over a two-year period than those who had not participated in a weight-loss program, she said.

Another study, which examined a variety of lifestyle factors and their relationship to changes in weight in more than 19,000 healthy older men over a four-year period, found that "one of the best predictors of weight gain over the four years was having lost weight on a diet at some point during the years before the study started," Tomiyama said.

Sounds pretty bleak, doesn't it? So where does that leave us? Certainly not Kimkins. Heidi Diaz is precisely a model of exactly what this study says. I'm really not sure where that leaves us, but I'm going to work hard to find out. The article says eating in moderation and exercise are key, but I haven't seen any studies that shows that works, either! What next? The food pyramid? It has to come down to addressing the cause!


BamaGal said...

Non-dieters more successful at boosting health than dieters, study finds

Major Disconnect: Intuitive Eating, Practically Speaking, Part 1

Major Disconnect: Intuitive Eating, Practically Speaking, Part 2

that's 3 great places to start....

theTRUTH said...

The answer probably lies in that you can't go on a diet, you have to fundamentally change the way you eat, for life. Replace carb calories with fat calories. Taubes book points to a lot of historical population evidence that this is the way to go, long term.

OhYeahBabe said...

Thanks for the great links, Bama.

Truth, I think you're right about the food, but I think the complex part comes in when you apply emotions, stress, hormones and negative self talk to the mix. That makes the lifestyle change hard to embrace, and even sometimes interferes with it working. We need to get to the point where women/people don't get so screwed up to begin with. A good start would be confronting predators who push crash diets and screw with people's heads, magazines who promote those diets, etc. That's why we blog!