Diet fads seem to come and go as quickly as the wind – the grapefruit diet, the baby food diet and the Israeli army diet have all had their moments. People pick them up and drop them quickly, so it’s no surprise that they’re ineffective. What is surprising is new research that suggests more serious diet attempts aren’t likely to be effective either.
Attempts to lose weight are at a 30 year low among overweight Americans, says a new study co-authored by Dr. Jian Zhang, professor of epidemiology at Georgia Southern University.
Zhang says there are a few possible explanations for this trend away from dieting to lose weight. The first, he says, is simply that it’s not easy.
“There are a lot of people who try, fail and eventually just give up,” Zhang says. “The second reason is fat has been accepted in some ways… [The] last couple of years we have done a lot of work trying to correct stigmatization of obesity.”
Although Zhang says the body positivity movement isn’t necessarily a bad thing when it comes to health, he says he wants to remind people that they should still lead a healthy lifestyle in order to avoid disease as a consequence of obesity.
“Diabetes follows obesity like night follows the day,” Zhang says. “We remind people: forget the bad word… Just try to engage in a healthy lifestyle.”
What you’ll hear in this segment:
– Why people’s attempts to diet haven’t been as successful as in years past
– Whether or not the body-positivity movement has had an effect on this trend
– How people can reconcile body positivity with healthy lifestyle choices