Friday, July 25, 2008

Rethinking Diets, Weight Loss and Health

“The latest study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, compared three diets. Some participants cut fat, others counted carbohydrates in a version of the Atkins diet, while others adopted Mediterranean-style eating habits. Some people declared the research a vindication for Atkins, others criticized my view of the study as more evidence that diets don’t really work. For some needed perspective, I turned to Gina Kolata, a New York Times reporter and author of the wonderful book, ‘Rethinking Thin: The New Science of Weight Loss — and the Myths and Realities of Dieting.’ ‘Every study that has ever been done, and this one included, shows that it’s absolutely unbelievably difficult,'’ she said. ‘When people beat themselves up and say, ‘I should be thin, it’s my own fault,’ maybe it’s not your own fault. How much harder can somebody try than people in this study and look what happened. They didn’t lose much weight.'’ ‘Don’t always blame yourself, and don’t beat up on yourself,' she said. ‘It’s obviously really, really hard. Don’t say, ‘I’m a weak person and it’s my own fault.’
Instead, Gina says some people who have tried unsuccessfully to lose weight may decide to say to themselves, ‘I can be attractive. I can buy clothes. I can be fit. I can be healthy. I can have a good life, and I may not be skinny, but so what.’”

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