I recently finished Kate Harding‘s and Marianne Kirby‘s phenomenal book, Lessons from the Fat-o-Sphere: Quit Dieting and Declare a Truce with Your Body. Not a lot of the information in this book was new to me, but their spunky writing and comprehensive take on the body and the myriad issues that arise in our relationships to our bodies was useful.
Perhaps most useful was a reference to a scholarly article that I will henceforth be sending to my team of doctors (particularly my GP), as well as taking with me to future doctor appointments. It’s not news to those of us living in larger bodies, but it’s certainly not what the mainstream messages of our culture promulgate. Here’s the abstract:
The prevalence of obesity and its associated health problems have increased sharply in the past 2 decades. New revisions to Medicare policy will allow funding for obesity treatments of proven efficacy. The authors review studies of the long-term outcomes of calorie-restricting diets to assess whether dieting is an effective treatment for obesity. These studies show that one third to two thirds of dieters regain more weight than they lost on their diets, and these studies likely underestimate the extent to which dieting is counterproductive because of several methodological problems, all of which bias the studies toward showing successful weight loss maintenance. In addition, the studies do not provide consistent evidence that dieting results in significant health improvements, regardless of weight change. In sum, there is little support for the notion that diets lead to lasting weight loss or health benefits.
One of the authors of this paper, Traci Mann, runs a groundbreaking lab at the University of Minnesota (Traci’s lab site is here). She wrote a fantastic book that I listened to on a drive not TOO long ago, Secrets from the Eating Lab: The Science of Weight Loss, the Myth of Willpower, and Why You Should Never Diet Again.
In short, this woman (Traci Mann) does amazing work that merits more attention. Please check her out … and spread her science far and wide, my friends. So many of our sisters (and brothers) need to hear what Traci’s research has found.