I’m sitting here with my mouth hanging open in shock. Good shock. All because I’ve read the report from the Body Image Inquiry. I knew it was released this week but I wasn’t expecting much as truth is more often than not bypassed when profits are involved. But Reflections on Body Image, co-authored by MPs and the Central YMCA, is incredibly enlightened and if the recommendations made in the document are taken seriously this will be the biggest step forward in public health since the smoking ban.
The report, published by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Body Image after a three-month public inquiry, makes some powerful recommendations and the biggest stride forward lies in the report’s acknowledgement that overeating is as much an eating disorder as anorexia and that eating too much and its effects , including obesity, are not a lifestyle choice and overeating can be the result of dieting.
The Body Image report concludes:
- According to experts there is no evidence available that diets work in the long term.
- Girls who diet are 12 times more likely to binge eat (a direct acknowledgement that dieting is a contributor to obesity not a solution to it).
- More than 95% of dieters regain the weight they lost (a result of the binge eating I’d expect).
- Getting rid of dieting could wipe out 70% of eating disorders (including the binge eating mentioned above, a side effect of which is often obesity.)
So here they’re saying getting rid of dieting could largely reduce obesity. If this is the case, then wouldn’t it be rational to conclude also that dieting has been a big contributor towards obesity?
Isn’t this amazing? To have this even nodded to in an official report is great news. The damage done by dieting can no longer be totally ignored.
Yes, there will now be an enormous effort from the weight-loss industry to counteract this report (keep your eye out for the coming crowd of news stories on the dangers of obesity and the glamorous after shots of women who have lost half their body weight by sticking to ‘not a diet but a lifestyle plan’), but there’s no stopping the slow dawning on the public that dieting is likely to give them the opposite to what it promises.
Read the rest at the Huffington Post here (H/T to Jaclyn for this one)
Trigger warning: Eating Disorders/Dieting/Binge eating