WIN Wyoming and WIN the Rockies

Thought Bullets
 November 2003

Want to gain weight? Go on a diet!

Iíve often reflected that a number of repetitive dieters Iíve known in my life usually gain weight as months turn into years and years into decades. These individuals can successfully lose weight, but often they gain the lost weight back, plus a few pounds. I specifically remember one female relative who ballooned in size over the years I knew her. She has passed away now, but her weight was a constant battle to her, and a battle she never won. She was a kind, warm-hearted, decent human being, with a hearty full-belly laugh. I often felt the battles with her weight would sometimes not only consume her, but would also distract her from her true passions in life. Although Iíve seen numerous studies that indicate a diet failure rate of over 90 percent, amazingly Iíve seen very little research documenting weight gain resulting from frequent dieting. That was why when I read this article in the October issue of Pediatrics, I knew the other ideas I had for the November thought bullets would have to wait. This study is one of the few Iíve seen that documents that self-imposed dieting not only fails at keeping weight off for most individuals, it actually appears to contribute to additional weight gain, at least in adolescents. This study should give WIN Wyoming members and others renewed vigor to promote healthy and pleasurable eating ó as well as healthy living.

Field A, Austin S, Taylor C, Malspeis S, Rosner B, Rockett H, Gillman M, Colditz G. Relation between dieting and weight change among preadolescents and adolescents. Pediatrics. 2003;112:900-906. Diets may have reverse effect in children - new study. News and Analysis Health and Nutrition, October 7, 2003. Available at Accessed October 7, 2003.

Compiled by Betty Holmes, MS, RD

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