Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
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Monday, May 02, 2016

I found this to be an interesting read

After 'The Biggest Loser,' Bodies Fight to Regain Weight

I never watched this show, partly because I thought it was terribly unhealthy in its approach to weight loss, and it reinforces the simplistic view that weight loss is just a matter of willpower, and there's the issue of fat shaming. Obesity and weight loss are actually quite complex issues. The study referenced by the Times was published online today in the journal Obesity: Persistent metabolic adaptation 6 years after “The Biggest Loser” competition. It's a little scary that six years after losing the weight, their metabolisms have slowed so much that to maintain their weight (and several have gained either part or all of the weight back, or even more), they have to significantly eat less than a person their size would need to. Strict dieting is not the answer, obviously. And I read something a year or two by one of the contestants (not sure who, or which season) about how the exercise had harmed her joints, going from inactive to major almost boot camp-style exercise hours per day in a short time. Why do people call this entertainment, anyway?

I'm not saying weight loss is inherently evil, or obesity is somehow good. What I am saying is that the factors involved are not entirely understood, the goal shouldn't be so much about weight loss as health and moderation in diet and exercise, and people shouldn't have horrible relationships with food--and should learn to embrace food as the staff of life, a basic necessity, enjoy flavours without gorging ourselves, and food should not be something that fulfills us emotionally, or causes us dread, or somehow makes us sick because of things we ascribe to it that aren't necessarily based in science. Food is not the adversary; our bodies are not the enemy. Making small changes, being mindful--those can help when they build up. Making good, healthy choices, can pay off. This doesn't say, 'just give up', it just says that the mindset we often have towards diet and exercise simply is not good for our bodies.

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