Is Dieting Dead?

posted by Dr. Fitness -

An increasing number of overweight Americans have lost the motivation to diet, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.  This just confirms the trend I have been seeing of people feeling less willing to deprive themselves from foods that are responsible for the current overweight status.  

Back in 1990, when researchers asked overweight Americans if they were trying to lose weight, 56 percent said yes.

But this has changed!  According to the latest data, just 49 percent say they're trying.  This may not seem like a big decline.  But given that about 2 out of every 3 Americans is either overweight or obese, a decline of 7 percent means millions of more people may have given up on dieting.


"The trend is particularly evident among black women," say study author Jian Zhang, an epidemiologist at Georgia Southern University-- though the trend is seen across the population.  

It seems our perceptions about dieting and our attitudes about overweight people are shifting.  I think it's great that we are being more accepting of those that are overweight, but I worry about people losing the motivation to maintain a healthy body fat percent.

Based on my informal observations, women seem to be leading the anti-dieting decline.  The growing acceptance of bigger body sizes, has reduced the negative feelings associated with obesity by friends and loved ones. The authors of the new study suggest another reason overweight people may have given up on trying to lose weight is primary care doctors not discussing weight issues with patients.

The paper also noted that the longer adults live with obesity, the less they may be willing to attempt weight loss.  It is a big concern, obesity increases the risk of a whole range of diseases, and there's a concern that people who are overweight and obese may be ignoring or overlooking the risks. 



 

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