You didn't fail the diet; the diet failed you

I came across this (rather disturbing) article yesterday and want to clarify one thing:

You didn't fail the diet. The diet failed you.

Thirty Years Of Data Show That People Are Giving Up On Weight Loss.

Researchers gathered data from an ongoing survey of American's eating and lifestyle.
The number of people who answered "yes" to the question asking whether they've attempted weight loss in the last 12 months has declined over the last 30 years.

They claim that the drop in weight loss attempting persons is due to social comparison, which leads the so-called "obese" and "overweight" people to "believe their weight is healthier than it actually may be, which then reduces the motivation to lose any".


For one, this decline in weight-loss attempts should be a target of celebration, not criticisation.



I do appreciate the fact that the article points out that weight-loss is futile.

But the whole article is full of contradictions.

Despite the wise words from Deb Burgard on the importance of the HAES approach, the study author completely misses the point.

“My definition of a healthy lifestyle is very simply — eat less and keep moving, period.” (study author).

Eating less in an attempt to restrict caloric intake and lose weight is a form of disordered eating, which is a risk for developing eating disorders.

Moving regularly is great, but again, moving constantly and compulsively in an attempt to lose weight is a form of exercise obsession.



"Obesity" isn't a disease that needs to be 'fixed'.

It is futile as weight loss to classify someone's health based on their BMI which is really nothing more than a weight-to-height ratio.

We know that only 5% of diets will last long-term.
The other 95% of people who attempt weight-loss diets will, despite the short term losses, regain back to (or more than) their pre-dieting weight.

It is ignorant and irresponsible to advocate for weight loss when the most likely outcomes are weight regain, weight cycling and disordered eating.

If a person holds the belief that '"obesity" is unhealthy and is a problem that needs to be fixed', then any lifestyle/behaviour changes the person advocates will be in pursuit of weight loss. And that is called dieting. And that is a problem.



Letting go of thin-ideal and pursuit of weight manipulation is the best approach to long-term health.

Health comes in all shapes and sizes.


(image credit: Five Hundred Pound Peep)


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Puhl, R. M., & Heuer, C. A. (2010). Obesity Stigma: Important Considerations for Public Health. American Journal of Public Health100(6), 1019–1028. http://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2009.159491Kabat, G. (2013). Obesity Is Not a Disease. The Breakthrough. [online access here]
Brown, H. (2015). The Weight of the Evidence. It's time to stop telling fat people to become thin. [online access here]Brown, H. (2015). The Obesity Paradox. [online access here]











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