WIN Wyoming and WIN the Rockies
American College of Preventive Medicine takes stand against
I congratulate Dena Goldberg and her students, of the University of Wyomingís
Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, for sponsoring a regional workshop
on eating disorders and body image, March 7, 2003. Monika Woolsey, the featured
speaker for the workshop, shared a quote from one of her clients who had
struggled with negative body image for decades. After over 20 years of therapy
and counseling, the client made this profound statement to Monika, "I
finally realized if I donít respect and care for my body, I donít have any
place to live."
For this monthís thought bullets, I wanted to share with you some of the
highlights from a recently released position paper on fad diets by the American
College of Preventive Medicine.
- The primary mission of the College is to promote good health in the
general population. Members of the College felt it was their responsibility
to address the issue of fad diets because they see fad diets as a
"dangerous distraction" from achieving healthy lifestyle habits.
The College also views fad diets as a "genuine threat to public
- The position paper states that fad diets achieve weight loss by
restricting calories and this is often accomplished by eliminating an entire
food category from the diet. The paper goes on to state that rapid weight
loss should not be confused with good health. "Serious illnesses such
as AIDS and cancer tend to cause weight to plummet, but clearly these are
not desirable for health."
- "We live in an environment that makes it easy, if not irresistible,
to be sedentary and to overeat." To address the growing epidemic of
obesity, the College believes we either need to change the environment, or
empower people with skills and strategies to overcome the challenges of an
environment that promotes overeating and inactivity. The College admits that
both approaches are far from easy, but they are achievable. The College also
believes a focus on healthy lifestyle will protect and promote the publicís
- The College defines a healthy diet as a diet rich in whole grains,
vegetables, and fruit and low in calories from saturated and trans fats. The
position paper states fad diets should be discouraged because they generally
emphasize short-term weight loss while neglecting considerations of
Source: Katz DL. Public news release, American College of
Preventive Medicine, February 24, 2003. To view the complete policy
statement, go to www.acpm.org/2002-057(F).htm.
Compiled by Betty Holmes, MS, RD
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