Ok Shakespeare I’m not, but in fairness he was a poet and I’m talking science.
I was having a conversation with someone recently and we started talking about the show “Heavy”. I mentioned that my issue with the show is that I wish they would focus on increasing health through healthy habits rather than weight loss because the success rate of intentional weight loss is less than 5%. One person at the table said “that’s why diets don’t work – you have to make a lifestyle change.”
No. No No No No No NO NO NO NO.
First, to be clear, I am totally cool with people who want to diet and lose weight. I’m not trying to tell anyone how to live. However, since in their multi-billion dollar a year marketing campaign the diet industry works hard to cover the fact that they have a less than 5% success rate, I think that many people might not know that. And since it stands to reason that a big part of the why the diet industry keeps making so much money is that 95% of people fail and a lot of those people blame themselves and turn around and start another diet, the industry has a vested interest in making us believe that the blame lies in the 95% of people who aren’t able to change their size over the long-term. And so a lot of people don’t realize that the diet they are embarking upon is an endeavor that:
- has a greater than 95% chance of failing
- hasn’t been proven to make them any healthier
- has serious health risks.
So I thought I’d just put it out there.
For the record this isn’t just a fat girl thing. I would be just as angry if 95% of people who took antiobiotics still had strep throat and they were being told that it was their fault. Or if Viagara only worked 5% of the time and doctors were blaming the other 95% of guys for not trying hard enough.
Bottom line, if you attempt to make your body smaller on a long-term basis, then you have a less than 5% chance of success. You could call it a diet, an eating plan, a lifestyle change, a health plan, or a whizzywoo, you are still trying to decrease the size of your body over the long term and therefore you still have a greater than 95% chance of failure based on the best science available.
Again, I’m not trying to tell people whether to diet or not, I absolutely respect anyone’s choice, but I do think that dieting deserves a disclaimer.