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marinelife's avatar

Diets Don't Work So What Does? Does Anything?

Asked by marinelife (62276points) July 17th, 2008

In a recent study posted in the New England Journal of Medicine that covered dieters on three methods who successfully stuck to their diets for two years, the results were as follows:

“Average weight loss for those in the low-carb group was 10.3 pounds after two years. Those in the Mediterranean diet lost 10 pounds, and those on the low-fat regimen dropped 6.5.”

Now, it you go to that link, you will see that my question is not the point of the article. It is,however, what struck me about it. Two years and no one on any diet lost more than 10 pounds? So, what to do about the country’s obesity epidemic?

Isn’t this a tremendous failure by all of the institutions in our culture? Government, Education, Medicine.

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23 Answers

Optimism101's avatar

Plastic surgery, it’s the only real solution. It’s funny cause it’s true.

wildflower's avatar

Well, I’m betting on more swimming and walking combined with less eating doing the trick…..I have 3 weeks to get as good as possible results (before going home for a visit!)

gooch's avatar

Exercise is key

rockstar's avatar

You have to watch what you eat and exercise. That is what works

Rosyblue's avatar

@ gooch Exercise is the Key for sure!

jrpowell's avatar

My mom tried the starve yourself diet. She didn’t lose any weight because she didn’t have the energy to get out of bed. She is active now (keeping my sisters house clean in exchange for rent) and is taking pills that suppress her appetite (actually pain pills). She has lost around 30 pounds in the last two months. She went from 240 to 210. And she is 5’2”.

jballou's avatar

Studies like that never prove anything to me because they don’t show how they know the people involved stuck to their diets. They don’t talk about the people’s daily routines or their previous health. Their lifestyles and activities. There are way to many variables involved to say that diets don’t work. And on top of that, weight loss isn’t the only good byproduct of a healthy diet. Who knows what their arteries looked like before/after. Or what their blood pressure was. Or their cholesterol levels. It’s so vague that it’s pointless.

There’s only one real way to lose weight in a healthy manner, and that is to eat well (not always less) and to consume fewer calories then you burn. That’s the bottom line. The reason there’s an obesity epidemic is because people are consuming more fat and calories than ever, and doing less exercise than ever.

marinelife's avatar

I agree, jballou. The question is what can be done to stem the tide? Also, people are not just eating more and exercising less consciously, but changes in technology, a diet with more processed foods and additives like corn syrup, less emphasis in schools on physical fitness, and in children’s schedules for play, and in our workplaces for vacations and relaxation are all contributing factors.

8lightminutesaway's avatar

you have to diet AND exercise. not only that, but you have to diet right, and exercise right. there’s wrong ways to do both, and many people think because they skipped a meal and lifted a barbell a couple times, they should lose weight.

ninjaxmarc's avatar

Low fat, low carb, low sugar, low everything, Seefood diet

sndfreQ's avatar

We have King Corn and Big Oil to thank for our diet and laziness…but don’t worry, because Big Pharma will have that amazing pill that will burn the fat right off…

Zaku's avatar

As 8lightminutesaway wrote, diet and exercise tend to work rather well. Or just more and more physical activity (and not eating excessively), assuming the person can do that. What also works is being aware of one’s body’s needs and only eating to match those. It all requires some level of education and self-control. So, yes, education and culture look like the problem and the potential solution, to me, at the level of America.

Trance24's avatar

Why doesn’t anyone try good old fashioned exercise and a healthy BALANCED diet. The “food pyramid” exists for a reason. Good proportional food, and good exercise does WORK! I’m not asking for the obese to run a marathon. But if you stop eating obsessively, and do minor exercise you will drop weight. And I assure you that you will lose more then 10 pounds in two years. Walking is great exercise, doing little things like taking the stairs, or not eating that last piece of cheesecake in the fridge in the middle of the night. They all help. No one seems to want to put any work into losing weight, but whine and complain all day long. I saw a woman who had been over 350 lbs.! She exercised and ate right and KEPT it up after wards. She now weighs 200lbs after only one year. over 150 lbs. lost in a year!! Because of diet and exercise. The most important thing to keep in mind is even when you do reach your goal weight, you have to stick to the healthy life style. Or you will just end up at square one all over again. Because believe me gaining the weight back is easier then losing it.

JH's avatar

It works if u believe it works. U have to change your mind first to change anything else. Once the mind is made up is when change happens

skfinkel's avatar

Like with so many things, if you want change, work with the kids. There is a correlation with soda pop and obesity, so that would be a good place to begin with children. Get the pop machines out of our schools. Put gym back into the curriculum. Start making great food for lunch, not just the dregs of the farm industry. We can do it, but we have to care. Perhaps there are other industries (medical, hospital, insurance) that need to keep us fat so they can stay in business. That sounds cynical, but perhaps there is a grain of truth there.

Poser's avatar

I question the validity of calling it an obesity epidemic. It’s not that much different than a smoking epidemic or a walking out in front of traffic epidemic. Sure, it’s unhealthy, but so is being old. Healthier lifestyles mean that people will live longer and require medical care for a longer length of time. Unhealthy lifestyles mean people will need more medical care in a shorter amount of time. It all balances out.

Of course, if people really want to make their time on this planet more pleasant and enjoyable, they’ll choose to live a healthy lifestyle. But for many people, it’s simply easier to be overweight. As the warden in Cool Hand Luke informed us, “Some men, you just can’t reach.”

aansuzek1's avatar

diets dont work…weight watchers does

La_chica_gomela's avatar

I hate the word “diet”. I have never gone on a diet in my life, and I have lost weight and kept it off plenty. The point that those stupid weight watchers commercials are trying to make (thanks aansuzek) is that you have to have a healthy lifestyle to change. lifestyle—as in for life. There is no temporary fix; there is no magic bullet. You have to change your lifestyle for good, with all the things that go with it—fresh fruit and vegetables, avoiding processed foods, fast food, all that crap, and balance, not low-fat, high-fat, low-carb or any of that other b.s. but the good old fashioned food pyramid, getting enough sleep, and exercise.

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8lightminutesaway's avatar

Thats what all the new diet pills say.

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Dutchess_III's avatar

The only thing that really works is to totally change your eating habits for the rest of your life.

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