This is such a fantastic article from Prevention, I wanted to share with all of you:
ow-fat, low-carb, Paleo, keto, South Beach, intermittent fasting—the list goes on. Given that our culture idealizes thinness and shuns larger bodies, it’s not surprising that nearly one in five midlife women has dieted in the past few years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And many have regained the weight and see themselves as having failed. Less than 1% of very large people got to a “normal” weight at all in a study that included almost 100,000 women, and most who did regained the pounds they had lost within five years.
Some medical experts are now saying what many of us have been desperate to hear: It’s extremely tough to drop weight long-term, for reasons that have nothing to do with willpower—and it may not even be necessary.
“The dominant message people get from government, health organizations, and the media is that weight and health are connected. But really, there is no strong evidence to suggest that higher weight automatically leads to poorer health,” says Jeffrey Hunger, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychology at Miami University of Ohio and a longtime weight-stigma researcher (and yes, that’s his real name!).
If you’re extremely large-bodied, dropping some pounds can protect your joints from arthritis and make it easier to exercise. But for most women over the “ideal” weight, focusing on other health measures may be much more important than what the scale says.
So why isn’t that a message you’re likely to hear from your health care provider? “The evidence has been piling up for years, but experts are so stuck in their beliefs, they don’t accept anything to the contrary,” Hunger says. Add to this all the people and companies with financial interests in pumping out anti-fat messages, from diet purveyors to drug companies to book authors. Plus, the message that body fat is bad and needs to be diminished as much as possible is such gospel in our society that it’s hard to believe it may not be true.