Weight loss myths and facts, the NY Times explores.
For any of you who has ever tried dieting, or perhaps was heavy at one time and has found it a lifetime struggle to keep it off, there are many programs that offer you the promise of weight loss, but still the weight returns. In the new year, many people have again made resolutions to lose weight and get in shape.
Which diet is best, which doesn’t work. If I was heavy as a child, am I going to be heavy as an adult? Is this my destiny? What do I have to do to lose the weight and keep it off. The NY Times has an excellent article on weight loss myths and facts.
Myths of Weight Loss Are Plentiful, Researcher SaysBy GINA KOLATA
If schools reinstated physical education classes, a lot of fat children would lose weight. And they might never have gotten fat in the first place if their mothers had just breast fed them when they were babies. But be warned: obese people should definitely steer clear of crash diets. And they can lose more than 50 pounds in five years simply by walking a mile a day.
Those are among the myths and unproven assumptions about obesity and weight loss that have been repeated so often and with such conviction that even scientists like David B. Allison, who directs the Nutrition Obesity Research Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, have fallen for some of them.
Now, he is trying to set the record straight. In an article published online today in The New England Journal of Medicine, he and his colleagues lay out seven myths and six unsubstantiated presumptions about obesity. They also list nine facts that, unfortunately, promise little in the way of quick fixes for the weight-obsessed. Example: “Trying to go on a diet or recommending that someone go on a diet does not generally work well in the long term.”
Obesity experts applauded this plain-spoken effort to dispel widespread confusion about obesity. The field, they say, has become something of a quagmire.
“In my view,” said Dr. Jeffrey M. Friedman, a Rockefeller University obesity researcher, “there is more misinformation pretending to be fact in this field than in any other I can think of.”
Others agreed, saying it was about time someone tried to set the record straight.
“I feel like cheering,” said Madelyn Fernstrom, founding director of the University of Pittsburgh Weight Management Center. When it comes to obesity beliefs, she said, “We are spinning out of control.”