Is all the talk about weight loss just talk? Can a person really keep weight off?
A recent feature article in the New York Times chronicles the unfortunate fate of participants in The Biggest Loser after the spotlights dim, the TV cameras stop speeding, and time goes by. They regain the weight. Some of it, most of it, all of it, or even all of it plus some.
What the New York Times tells us, no surprise to those of us who have worked directly with severely obese patients over the years, is that failure overtakes the show participants.
Those of us in these trenches have known all along that though challenging, losing weight for these people is not the problem. Sustaining the weight loss is where most efforts fall down.
Preventing the Problem
I think the Times neglects the principal implication. Severe obesity can almost always, and should almost always, be prevented in the first place. If ever an ounce of prevention was worth many pounds of cure, this is the time.
Participants on The Biggest Loser have severe obesity. Severe obesity is the fastest growing segment of the modern epidemic. A TV show can make a spectator sport of a problem, but it cannot fix it. Why? Because in our culture, food literally is addictive.
Let’s not mince words here: marketing obesity is big business, and a wide array of businesses are feeding on it. They include, but are not limited to, Big Food which profits from causing the problem; Big Pharma, which profits from treating the problem; Big Tech, which profits both from causing and combating the problem; and Big Media/Publishing, which profit from telling us about the problem in the customary manner: afflicting us when comfortable and comforting us when afflicted.
We know that obesity can be prevented because most of history prevented it. We have seen history in fast forward in places like China, where obesity was rare until just a matter of years ago and is skyrocketing with the adoption of all the cultural practices we are so adept at exporting.
As I see it, the only way to eliminate obesity is through education. Start in the primary schools and stay with those kids all through school. We have to make sure they understand that good health is something you have to do every day. What we should eat and what we shouldn’t, how to exercise and stay fit. How to maintain your body and what we should never do to our body.
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“How Bad Do You Want To Lose Weight?”, is available at all the online bookstores selling for $1.99. Go to any of the websites and search the title to find my Ebook. This book gives you all you need to lose weight without spending money on gym memberships, diet plans or meal plans. Look for my book. at Amazon.com, B&N.com, iBooks, Kobo.com, Scribd.com, or Gardner Books in the U.K.