After stumbling across the 4 part series on BBC2, 'The Men Who Made Us Thin', I finally felt like I could breath a sigh of relief that someone has exposed the diet industry. I am aware that this program is not going to change anything drastically but I honestly feel that the more we can make light of what is really happening within the food & diet industry the more people will start to wake up and listen.
The program investigates the connections between obesity and weightloss, and confronts some of the men making a fortune from our desire to become thin. But it goes much deeper than that. He interviews people such as Slimfast billionaire to the former director of Weight Watchers who admits that customer failure was a significant factor in the company’s profits: people have to keep coming back and that only 12% of their customers keep the weight off after 4 years. Pierre Dukan says that only 25% of people that buy his book and attempt his diet actually succeed but then they put the weight back on - that is only 1 in 4! Scientists say that if you loose a considerable amount of weight, after 2 years you will put that weight back on again and possibly more.
Many people have been victims of these fad diets. Trying everything from the Maple syrup diet, protein only diet, citrus diet, fish diet, juice fasts, cabbage soup diet, having blood tests and trying metabolic balance dieting where you have to measure and weigh every meal out. This can only do one thing, make you yo-yo which can in turn have a massively negative impact on one's mind and how you would approach food, which is anything but healthy. Actually bordering on obsessive.
Quick fixes do not work and the sooner people catch on to this the better, not only for their health but their sanity.
If we can have more education on what is healthy and what we can eat in moderation we should never have to diet ever again. If there was a diet that worked there would only be one.
Let me talk about the newest fad - The 5:2, scientifically it makes perfect sense for your health on a long term basis only if you eat a healthy balanced diet. However, the way media portrays it is that you can eat what ever you like for 5 days and then starve yourself for the remaining 2 – this I think encourages binge eating on a rather drastic level.
The power of the media and our utter obsession with celebratories and being just like them has a profound effect on our eating habits, causing children as young as 10 years old to adopt eating disorders. This is not healthy. The louder we can shout that #dietsdontwork and promote living and eating a healthy lifestyle the better. I might just put some billionaires' noses out of joint but perhaps then they might think about a healthier way to make their money.