Sing it from the rooftops!

To everyone who says that weight loss is the answer to "overweight" and "obesity," I recommend reading this research article:

Comparing the health burden of eating disordered behaviors and overweight in women

The researchers interviewed a community-based sample of Australian women to determine the effects of overweight and ED behaviors on quality of life, psychosocial functioning, and physical well-being. The researchers found that overweight led to increased physical problems but relatively little impairment in normal day-to-day functioning. However, those women with eating disorders showed some increases in physical problems but a large impairment in psychosocial functioning and quality of life.

Conclude the researchers:

Further, impairment in psychosocial functioning associated with eating-disordered behavior was greater than impairment in physical health functioning associated with overweight, and impairment in physical health functioning associated with eating-disordered behavior was greater than impairment in psychosocial functioning associated with overweight. Overweight and eating-disordered behavior were associated with similarly elevated rates of primary care consultations during the past 6 months and of lifetime treatment from a health professional for an eating or weight problem.

Conclusions: In young adult women, the health burden of eating-disordered behavior may be more substantial than previously recognized. Better information concerning the spectrum of disordered eating that exists at the population level needs to be made available. Eating-disordered behavior warrants greater attention when considering the public health burden of obesity and in developing programs to reduce this burden.

Even if overweight and obesity are associated with health problems, we don't know how to reliably get people to lose weight and keep it off. Furthermore, many extreme diet measures can very well be the beginnings of an eating disorder--or at least really unhealthy. And if "obesity prevention" results in higher rates of eating disorders, the "cure" may very well prove to be worse than the "disease."

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Anonymous said...


I agree with everything.
The last paragraph is just perfect. Thank you!

Special K said...

I am SO sick of hearing about new reality shows showing people who are obese get thin without a balance of showing too-thin people gain weight. The Cure is to stop measuring self worth by SIZE or HOW MUCH WE EAT/BURN.

Jenny said...

I can actually relate to every one of your thoughts and confusion! HUGS!

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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nour·ish: (v); to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth; to cherish, foster, keep alive; to strengthen, build up, or promote


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