Monday, January 2, 2012

"The Fat Trap"

The Health editor of the NY Times admitted that she is approximately 60 pounds overweight; the result of yo-yo dieting.  She then proceeded to review research to shed light on why this happens.  To date there are approximately 900 postings; it generated tremendous interest.  Many posts were about not giving up on weight loss despite the futility, and others were about how they lost weight.  Here is the link to “The Fat Trap”  What follows are my responses, followed by attacks from my detractors.

“Why might our biology fight so hard to regain lost weight?  Because losing weight is not in your best interest?  Why, in the face of scientific and anecdotal evidence do people think that losing weight is still a healthy and admirable goal?  Yo-yo dieting has been proven to be harmful, and people who have kept weight off generally meet the criteria for eating disorders, and obsessive-compulsive neurosis!

People are obviously meant to come in a variety of shapes and sizes.  The process of living healthfully, not the outcome of weight loss counts most, and the “evils” of obesity can be easily managed with modern medicine and healthy lifestyles.  Furthermore, insulin resistance, hypertension, and lousy cholesterol have also been found to result from yo-you dieting.  They also occur in thin people.

There is no research suggesting that people who lose weight live longer.  The NY Times recently reported that New Yorkers are living longer than ever before, despite increased obesity! (This was also found by the CDC for all of America.) 

The “obesity crisis” seems like a scam to sell diet products and make discrimination against people of size acceptable.

Let’s strive to live a relatively healthy lifestyle, and accept our resultant size with grace and dignity. No more putting ourselves or others down; discrimination begins with us.”

Thank you.

Abby Aronowitz, Ph.D.

Expert psychologist for

“A Ph.D. working as an expert psychologist for believes the "obesity crisis" is a "scam." Really? Diabetes, heart disease, loss of mobility, loss of sexual attractiveness, social disapprobation--all are figments of our imagination, implanted in our minds by the folks who sell diet products? If people are "meant to come in all shapes and sizes" what explains the phenomenon of the dominant shape and size changing very significantly over the last 50 years. "Meant" by whom? I am suspicious of any post which ends with a link to a for-profit website designed to sell the poster's book. ($12.99 shipping and handling). Does not this make the poster a person who "sells diet products" herself?”


“Why, in the face of scientific and anecdotal evidence do people think that losing weight is still a healthy and admirable goal?"

Apparently, you haven't read the conclusive epidemiological evidence that obesity, (BMI >30), doubles one's risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Moreover, type 2 diabetes, a disease exclusive to obesity, is not only the primary cause of blindness, renal failure and amputations, but typically shortens one's lifespan by a decade or more. Obesity can further affect one's quality of life, increasing the risk of asthma, arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. The scam of the obesity crisis is that the obese are not made to pay the significantly higher medical costs they impose on the rest of us.”

Here’s my next post:

“Keeping weight off is damn near impossible for the average mortal, But living a healthy lifestyle regardless of the scale, is a more achievable goal for many.  Thin people should live healthfully too, but many believe that because they are thin, they can eat crap and sit on the couch…

The focus on “fat” per se, does everyone a disservice.  Healthful living should be everyone’s goal, but many fat people have learned to hate their bodies, because they’re considered ugly, unattractive and worthless.  This absolutely demolishes self-esteem, and represents the malignancy of discrimination.

We take better care of that which we love, than that which we hate, so a cultural and personal attitude adjustment is in order.

Here is a link for a free download of my book,” Your Final Diet.” 

It offers a path to healthful living by making peace with food and body image, while accepting the resulting size with grace and dignity.

 It was endorsed by Hillary Clinton, because it’s particularly empowering to girls and women.   Hey, it’s worth it, just for the chapter on self-acceptance!

BTW, I am an expert psychologist for Diet .com, writing a “Health At Every Size, Naturally” column, entitled “Where Science Meets Sin!”.  I am very grateful to my editor be being so open-minded.”

Here is another detractor:

"Keeping weight off is damn near impossible for the average mortal ..."

Not a great attitude, Dr. Abby. I also am tired or reading about supposedly fit fat people and broken down thin people all of whom are eating badly when most unfit people are fat.

The reason the focus is on extreme overweight and obesity is because they are associated or cause many obvious, serious problems. Yes, everyone should eat well and exercise, in our economy, good luck with that. But the costs of the obesity epidemic prompt the most attention.”

My final post:

“Our bodies are programmed for survival – at least living long enough to have and raise children.  So why won’t our bodies help us to maintain weight loss, if it’s so healthy??? Why does it fight like the dickens to put weight back on?  And why does every population study around the world find highest survival rates for overweight people?  (Our own government found 86,000 FEWER deaths in the overweight range,and 33,000 more deaths in the thin range.) Are we living longer than ever before despite our increase in weight or because of it?   Fat stores energy, which aids survival during illness, but researchers are also investigating the role fat plays within the immune system.  Can anyone cite research finding that weight loss extends life? All I’ve seen is that most biological improvements are quickly reversed with weight gain and yo-yo dieting - which happens in nearly 100% of cases.  The “obesity crisis” correlates with an increase in DIETING!

Many thanks for the overwhelming requests for the free download of my book, in a previous post.  If anyone else would like to learn how to finally make peace with food and body image, and learn what a healthy lifestyle means – regardless of weight loss, I will reprint the offer here.  Once we stop hating our fat, and loving ourselves, we can find a relaxed, enjoyable truce with food and movement, as opposed to the obsessions reported by those in the Weight Registry.”

Thank you.

Dr. Abby!