Study: Dieting Does More Harm Than Good

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UCLA researchers recently examined 31 long-term diet studies and came to the conclusion that the majority of people who go on diets regain all the weight, plus more. The study, reported in the American Psychologist, not only shows that dieting does not work for the long-term, but that dieting has no health benefits for the majority of people.

One finding was that at least one-third to two-thirds of people on diets regain more weight than they lost within four or five years. Another study, which examined a variety of lifestyle factors and their relationship to changes in weight, found that “one of the best predictors of weight gain was having lost weight on a diet at some point.” One study found that 50 percent of dieters weight more than 11 pounds over their starting weight five years later.

Evidence suggests that repeatedly losing and gaining weight is linked to cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, and altered immune function. Scientists do not fully understand how such weight cycling leads to adverse health effects. In most studies people in control groups who did not diet were in better health than those who did diet.

Reprinted with permission from Eating Disorders Recovery Today 
Spring 2007 Volume 5, Number 2
©2007 Gürze Books

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