The Diet Industry Is Dumbing Us Down

It amazes me how great marketing can bring a society to its knees. We have counted on the 56 Billion Dollar diet industry to help us lose weight and what has happened? We are fatter than ever before.

You hear the words, “Diets Don’t Work” daily. There are many reasons they don’t, but one of the reasons is we have become so dumbed down by marketing.

  • Here’s your plastic carton of processed food
  • There are bad foods and good foods, low carb, high carb, no carb, for example.
  • This is what you need to eat and not eat – even if you hate the food.
  • Most programs offer 0 behavior change, valuable nutrition education or fitness advice. You receive a councilor that maybe has a high school diploma with a list of guidelines to follow. At least you get a personal cheer leader!

Infomercials

I can’t use a real one for risk of being sued, but there are so many infomercials that are flat out lying to the public. This tiny ball will melt away all your body fat. Just look at the results! And what does it say at the bottom corner of the screen? RESULTS NOT TYPICAL… Ahhh (That is me screaming, I just hate seeing people being taken advantage of). These infomercial products are making millions off of people who are up in the middle of the night dealing with depression over their weight.

Here are some tips to beat the gimmicks

  1. Stop buying things off of late night TV or even daytime TV to lose weight. That goes for equipment, pills, etc… If there was a magic product, no one in the world would be overweight. Please, I want you to know I am not judging. I think most of us have been duped by some type of marketing. Marketing makes the world go round.
  2. Stop with the diet programs that treat you like a drone. If you want you and your family to be successful with weight management for the duration of your lives you are going to have to stop eating out of tin trays and start having a healthy relationship with food.
  3. Study reputable advice, and I don’t mean the magazines at the supermarket. See what you can find from top notch providers of health, nutrition, and fitness information. Here are a few to get you started.
    1. American Dietetic Association http://www.eatright.org/cps/rde/xchg/ada/hs.xsl/index.html
    2. My Pyramid http://www.mypyramid.gov/
    3. The Weight Control Information Network http://win.niddk.nih.gov/

The American Psychological Association (APA) states parents can help stop the obesity epidemic

The American Psychological Association (APA) states parents can help stop the obesity epidemic.

Earlier this week the APA came out with some staggering statistics http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-08/apa-pch073009.php.

  • Childhood obesity has quadrupled in the last 40 years
  • In the last decade there has been a tenfold increase in Type-2 diabetes and psychological and social consequences, such as prejudice, rejection, discrimination and low self-esteem in children,” Abramson said at APA’s 117th Annual Convention
  • 65% of 11 year old girls think they are fat

According to the APA girls suffer with body image more than boys

I am sure most of us already knew that. In my lifetime there has always been more pressure on girls and women to maintain a certain weight. We are bombarded daily by marketing featuring size 1 and 2 super models. The toll it is taking on our girls saddens me. Starting at age 9, 30% of girls think they are fat, by 11, as stated above, 65% think they are fat.

The article mentioned that mothers often start reducing calories their daughters consume out of worry. These mothers do not want their child to suffer with a weight problem as they have. The problem with just cutting calories is that it can slow the metabolism and further teach the child an unhealthy relationship with food. This can contribute to a lifetime of obesity issues.

What parents can do to help stop the childhood obesity epidemic and protect their child’s’ health

Remember your child is more likely to eat right and become physically active if you are.

Start moving, including planning family activities, like walking, biking, swimming, Frisbee, miniature golf, anything to get your family moving. Remember baby steps will get you where you want to go. Yes, I realize miniature golf doesn’t seem very active to some, but if your family has not had any physical activity, walking around that mini golf course is a wonderful start and it is also a lot of fun! Peter Pan mini golf here I come (  :

Stop dieting! Dieting has created an unhealthy relationship with food in our country. Work on making healthier choices. Remember, a healthy lifestyle = a healthy weight.

Do not put your child on a diet or suddenly make a drastic restriction in the calories they consume. Find a professional Dietitian or Nutritionist for support.

Another new diet pill! Is this the answer to the obesity epidemic plaguing our families?

You may have heard about the newest controversial pill to fight obesity on the news recently. Contrave can help stop cravings and has already been used for treating alcohol and opiate addiction. I don’t think a pill is the answer we need to stop the obesity epidemic plaguing our families or sets a good example for children.

A physician on one of the early morning shows said that people can’t lose weight through diet and exercise alone. We need to find a step between diet/exercise and surgery. I could have a field day discussing weight loss surgery, especially weight loss surgery on children and teens, but I will save that for another post.

The truth is the public has been lied to for so long by shysters’ and charlatans’ wanting to make a quick buck off peoples pain and depression about being overweight, that includes the 56 billion dollar diet industry, including many well known companies the public trusts. A sad fact, only 3% of people who go on one of these diet programs keeps the weight off. The physician was correct on one point. The word “diet” no longer co notates a way of eating, but conjures thoughts of doing without, being hungry, eating foods that you don’t like. These so called diets have only added to the obesity epidemic. This is evident by the following statistics. The Surgeon General has now listed the childhood obesity crisis as a National epidemic. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2007, 16% of children (over 9 million) 6-19 years old were obese or overweight, a number that has tripled since 1980. Another 15% were at risk for becoming overweight. 67% of adults (200 Million) were overweight or obese. If you are among the 200 million and are dieting, your child is watching you and has a 70% chance to become an obese adult by mimicking this unhealthy behavior.  I am saddened to report my friends and colleagues children could very well die before their parents, due to this epidemic. This is the first generation this will become a reality, not a legacy I want to leave behind.

One of the reasons people cannot keep the weight off is because they turn to a diet to lose it fast. Before studying nutrition and exercise I dieted and watched family members diet, I know the feeling, you are depressed, unhappy with yourself and you want the weight off right now! Diet brain is not looking for long term health or weight management, diet brain wants immediate results. This results in multiple diets throughout ones life, an unhealthy relationship with food and a slow down in metabolism. As for exercise, doctors tell you to walk, while walking is important for cardiovascular health, the best way to speed up your metabolism is by increasing lean body mass, muscle. Diets that cause more than 1 ½ pounds of weight loss per week have a nasty side affect, Muscle loss. This is one of the reasons; you gain the weight back and typically a few extra pounds.

Parents, I know you love your child and want the best for them. That is why I want to get the truth out to parents. We can stop the obesity epidemic one family at a time. It will take educating people and urging an end to dieting. May the next generation never go on a diet in their lives, how great would that be!