Stop Dieting Part 4
Why am I so absolutely Frustrated with Dieting, Losing Weight? Why am I begging you to Stop Dieting?
The answer here is beyond the scope of one post. I will need many more to flesh it out. Suffice it to say that I am so peeved that a country that knows how to get to the moon, cannot teach their citizens how to live a normal healthy lifestyle! I am so pissed off that there are thousands, millions of Americans are suffering physically and emotionally from being overweight. Do you know how many? Do you have an idea of how widespread this insanity is?
Overweight and Obesity in the U.S.
- 68.8% of adults are overweight or obese; 35.7% are obese. Almost 70% of people are overweight! Hello? This is crazy!
- 31.8% of children and adolescents are overweight or obese; 16.9% are obese. Could there be a correlation between the type of food that we eat and why we find it so hard to ‘lose weight’? Is it possible that losing weight is such rocket science that we need experts over and over telling us how to eat?! Do we really need a PHd to figure this stuff out?!
- 30.4% of low-income preschoolers are overweight or obese.
- Disparities exist based on race-ethnicity, gender, age, geographic region, and socioeconomic status.
Obesity rates have more than doubled in adults and children since the 1970’s (National Center for Health Statistics, 2009). While recent estimates suggest that the overall rates of obesity have plateaued or even declined, obesity is widespread and continues to be a leading public health problem in the U.S. (Flegal et al., 2012; Ogden et al., 2012; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2012; Wen et al., 2012). Plus, substantial disparities exist based on demographics (e.g., race-ethnicity, gender), geographic region, and socioeconomic status (SES). See the section on the Relationship Between Poverty and Overweight or Obesity for more information on SES disparities.
How ironic this is, that obesity rates have doubled since the 1970’s. What about all the new diet books, thousand of diets and ideas of how to lose weight, why is it still a leading public health issue in the USA?
Source: Flegal, K. M., Carroll, M. D., Kit, B.K., & Ogden, C. L. (2012). Prevalence of obesity and trends in the distribution of body mass index among U.S. adults, 1999-2010. Journal of the American Medical Association, 307(5), 491-497.
Childhood Overweight and Obesity in the U.S.
About a quarter of 2-5 year olds and one-third of school-age children (including adolescents) are overweight or obese in the U.S. (Ogden et al., 2012). About 30 percent of low-income preschoolers are overweight or obese (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011). Overweight and obesity rates tend to be higher and have increased more rapidly over time among African-American and Hispanic children than Caucasian children (Freedman et al., 2006; Ogden et al., 2012). The prevalence is also higher among children living in the Southern region of the U.S. (e.g., Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky) (Singh et al., 2008).
Based on recent national figures, 25.6 percent of White girls are overweight or obese compared to 41.3 percent of Black and 38.6 percent of Hispanic girls (Ogden et al., 2012). About 40 percent of Hispanic boys are overweight or obese, compared to 36.9 percent and 30.1 percent of Black and White boys, respectively (Ogden et al., 2012). Rates are the highest, and very alarming, for 12-19 year old Hispanic boys (42.9 percent are overweight or obese) and 12-19 year old Black girls (45.1 percent are overweight or obese) (Ogden et al., 2012).
While little national data are available on Native American children, several studies have found substantially higher obesity rates compared to the national average and other racial-ethnic groups (Gordon & Oddo, 2012; Smith et al., 2009; Zephier et al., 2006). For example, obesity rates are twice as high for Native American preschoolers than for White or Asian preschoolers (Anderson & Whitaker, 2009). In addition, while obesity risk tends to rise among adult immigrants as they become more acculturated to the American diet and health behaviors (Singh et al., 2011), there is evidence that children of the least acculturated immigrants have a greater risk of obesity than children of natives or settled immigrants, especially among boys, Whites, and Hispanics (Van Hook et al., 2009).
This must be a joke, something as natural as eating, and we cannot figure it out.
Even worse, how many Americans are suffering with Bulimia and Anorexia?
You will not believe this. Check out the statistics provided by the National Association of Anorexia and related Disorders:
Eating Disorders Statistics
• Almost 50% of people with eating disorders meet the criteria for depression.1
• Only 1 in 10 men and women with eating disorders receive treatment. Only 35% of people that receive treatment for eating disorders get treatment at a specialized facility for eating disorders.2
• Up to 24 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder (anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder) in the U.S.3
• Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.4
• 91% of women surveyed on a college campus had attempted to control their weight through dieting. 22% dieted “often” or “always.”5
• 86% report onset of eating disorder by age 20; 43% report onset between ages of 16 and 20.6
• Anorexia is the third most common chronic illness among adolescents.7
• 95% of those who have eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25.8
• 25% of college-aged women engage in bingeing and purging as a weight-management technique.3
• The mortality rate associated with anorexia nervosa is 12 times higher than the death rate associated with all causes of death for females 15-24 years old.4
• Over one-half of teenage girls and nearly one-third of teenage boys use unhealthy weight control behaviors such as skipping meals, fasting, smoking cigarettes, vomiting, and taking laxatives.17
• In a survey of 185 female students on a college campus, 58% felt pressure to be a certain weight, and of the 83% that dieted for weight loss, 44% were of normal weight.16
• An estimated 10-15% of people with anorexia or bulimia are male.9
• Men are less likely to seek treatment for eating disorders because of the perception that they are “woman’s diseases.”10
• Among gay men, nearly 14% appeared to suffer from bulimia and over 20% appeared to be anorexic.11
Media, Perception, Dieting:
• 95% of all dieters will regain their lost weight within 5 years.3
• 35% of “normal dieters” progress to pathological dieting. Of those, 20-25% progress to partial or full-syndrome eating disorders.5
• The body type portrayed in advertising as the ideal is possessed naturally by only 5% of American females.3
• 47% of girls in 5th-12th grade reported wanting to lose weight because of magazine pictures.12
• 69% of girls in 5th-12th grade reported that magazine pictures influenced their idea of a perfect body shape.13
• 42% of 1st-3rd grade girls want to be thinner (Collins, 1991).
• 81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat (Mellin et al., 1991).
Collins, M.E. (1991). Body figure perceptions and preferences among pre-adolescent children. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 199-208.
Mellin, L., McNutt, S., Hu, Y., Schreiber, G.B., Crawford, P., & Obarzanek, E. (1991). A longitudinal study of the dietary practices of black and white girls 9 and 10 years old at enrollment: The NHLBI growth and health study. Journal of Adolescent Health, 23-37.
• Women are much more likely than men to develop an eating disorder. Only an estimated 5 to 15 percent of people with anorexia or bulimia are male.14
• An estimated 0.5 to 3.7 percent of women suffer from anorexia nervosa in their lifetime.14 Research suggests that about 1 percent of female adolescents have anorexia.15
• An estimated 1.1 to 4.2 percent of women have bulimia nervosa in their lifetime.14
• An estimated 2 to 5 percent of Americans experience binge-eating disorder in a 6-month period.14
• About 50 percent of people who have had anorexia develop bulimia or bulimic patterns.15
• 20% of people suffering from anorexia will prematurely die from complications related to their eating disorder, including suicide and heart problems.18
Although eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental disorder, the mortality rates reported on those who suffer from eating disorders can vary considerably between studies and sources. Part of the reason why there is a large variance in the reported number of deaths caused by eating disorders is because those who suffer from an eating disorder may ultimately die of heart failure, organ failure, malnutrition or suicide. Often, the medical complications of death are reported instead of the eating disorder that compromised a person’s health.
According to a study done by colleagues at the American Journal of Psychiatry (2009), crude mortality rates were:
• 4% for anorexia nervosa
• 3.9% for bulimia nervosa
• 5.2% for eating disorder not otherwise specified
Crow, S.J., Peterson, C.B., Swanson, S.A., Raymond, N.C., Specker, S., Eckert, E.D., Mitchell, J.E. (2009) Increased mortality in bulimia nervosa and other eating disorders. American Journal of Psychiatry 166, 1342-1346.
What, people are actually dying from obesity, overweight, anorexia, bulimia? Yes! This madness has to stop!
Stop Dieting, Eat Real Food
Why am I so determined to get the point across? Why do I think that this is just wrong that we in America have little clue how to live a normal healthy life with food. Do you think that in other countries people are wondering how to eat? How to stay slim? How to lose weight? Yes, perhaps in countries that serve American style foods, it is happening, but in countries which do not, it does not. Why? Because real food rarely turns a human being into a puffy balloon! Real food, fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, unprocessed grains like rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes, millions and millions of people around the globe eat real food, and guess what? They are not struggling with their weight! How pathetic is it for us, in America, with so much cutting edge technology, that we cannot admit the obvious? I was just lucky when I was sitting in the deli at midnight a couple of years ago having my second blueberry muffin in another day long binge of pizza, pasta, cookies, ice cream and muffins. I looked at my 48″ waist and cried inside at what has happened to me, why is it so hard to lose weight, why can I not stop eating, why do I have no control! I was so despondent and felt hopeless. But, I was lucky. I hit on the brilliant idea, not, that I should try to eat real food, let me just try it I thought, just every day, eat the most real unprocessed food possible. And lo and behold, in six months, I had taken off tons of pounds, over 50 pounds, fairly easily. I say fairly, because yes, I wanted my Oreos, especially at the beginning, but once I got in the groove, once I started to feel better from real food, I stopped craving the processed foods, and the weight kept coming off. Even when I was not starving, and I was not starving.
Starvation Diets, Dieting, Loss of Life and Happiness because we cannot figure out how to eat?
Let me just digress for a moment and totally go off on all of the pseudo doctors and nutritionists, people who suggest starvation diets, fasting, losing our pleasure in life, losing our ability to feel good. Did you ever hear someone say “I have been bad today, I had a cookie” or “Today I was so good, I had no junk food!”. We have mixed up morality with the type of food that we eat. You and I know, that if you eat a piece of cake for your birthday once a year, it is no big deal! But we eat like it is our birthday every day, and that makes it a big deal. And then we try to deal with the gastronomic overdoes by indulging in impossible to maintain diets! Starvation, grapefruit only, no bread ever, yea, I even included bread as a possibility that you might have now and then for a feast with your family. But just what is up with so many Americans starving themselves a couple of days a week or more and then pigging out the other days or when no one is looking. I blame the junk food. I blame the fact that junk food is not real. It does not fulfill the nutritional requirements that could be fulfilled by real food. Our bodies just do not recognize the junk food as true nutrition and our cravings persist and persist while we keep feeding our bodies with food that cannot satisfy these cravings! Around and around we go in a vicious circle, leaving in it’s wake many innocent children, young adults, older adults who just do not know how to eat. Let’s have some compassion on all of our friends and family out there who do not know how to eat, who keep getting fatter from all of the fake food that they are eating and let’s encourage them to try eating some real food. Do it for a day, a week, a month, I know that their life will change.
Real Food, Real Simple, Real Change
For people who might read this and have never had a weight problem, I say to you, you are so blessed. Perhaps it was the family you were raised in, perhaps it is your genetics, perhaps you came from another country where dieting was an unknown concept. To those reading it who have been struggling, for a year or thirty years, I say that there is a solution. Yes, I am not a doctor, nor a nutritionist, but I know this struggle intimately and wish that I never had. Losing weight has been a lifelong obsession which clouded out many other areas of life that went unnoticed because of the huge amount of attention that a simple task like eating took on. Being overweight, struggling with losing weight, affected everything in my life, my childhood, my adulthood, my children and my career. I have seen first hand the damage done by both obesity and anorexia, I have seen people whose lives have been overtaken by both or some level of either. It is time.
It is Time for a Change
No, I am not talking about taking this to the streets. I am not talking about protests in front of the white house. And I am not talking about preaching this to anyone else. I am just talking about us, me and you the reader, if any of my words resonate with you, if you understand what I am saying, where I am coming from, if you your self or you have a family member or friend who is in the throes of these artificial maladies that are inflicted upon us by industrial created foods, I plead with you today to give real food a chance. John Lennon said Give Peace a Chance. I am saying to you or your loved ones, give real food a chance. Try it out, my sole motivation here is to save you from a life wasted on diets, potions, elixirs, and false hope. The name Hashi Mashi was born with some laughs in a Cafe, the day after I decided to eat real food and frankly, did not know what to eat. But now, I am very serious, it is not a laughing matter, this is a vital matter, this can affect your life, your loved one’s life, we have to do everything that we can to improve our health and their health. We can only be a better person, better community, better nation for it.
So, for the last time, as my beloved, and she knows who she is, used to say to me, (but with much love then, and now she spins it to a much more sweet rendition 🙂
Sometimes you just need someone to tell you to Stop it, and as long as it is said from compassion and affection, from the heart, it can do wonders. So, I say to you now
Stop it, Stop Dieting ~ Start Eating Real Food Today, Please
I have seen first hand the miracles which can happen from eating real food, as real as possible, with as little processing as possible. Try it out, it might change your life, it might save your life
Please feel free to comment, I would love to hear your thoughts.