Eating—In the News
A recent Tufts University Health and Nutrition Newsletter (10/07) had a few illuminating stories that relate to eating and weight. The first maintained that because food cravings are natural, we should stop feeling guilty about them. The study on cravings was part of the Comprehensive Assessment of Long-term Effects of Reducing Intake of Energy trial conducted at the Energy Metabolism Laboratory at Tufts’ Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center (boy, was that a mouthful). It said that when we restrict calories, our cravings may increase for the foods we avoid, so that when we think we are yearning for carbohydrates, we’re really craving calorie-density. Makes sense.
Another story highlighted a “nutritional” supplement called CLA that is supposed to help people lose weight. The report said that CLA or conjugated linoleic acid—called a miracle pill that helps shed pounds and build muscle—may aid weight loss but also has serious side effects, including increasing the risk for cardiovascular disease. It may also boost insulin resistance which is a precursor to Type 2 diabetes. So beware of yet another diet pill promising weight loss and endangering your health.
The third story validates research that has been around since the late 1970s about the failure of diets. Writing in the Annals of Internal Medicine, Dr. Michael Dansinger and his colleagues at Tufts-New England Medical Center based their conclusions on reviewing results from 46 weight-loss diet studies that included almost 12,000 participants. They reported that average weight loss was about 6%, or 10 to 15 pounds, and that—hey, we know this—“most dieters regained all the weight they’d lost within five years.” They concluded that no particular diet or weight-loss drug bettered was better than another.
Sometimes when I read health and nutrition newsletters and magazines, I get pretty bored because they say the same old thing over and over, which is usually nutritional advice. I’m tired of being scolded to eat more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables and cut back on fat and sugar. Is there really anyone in this country who doesn’t know this information? On the other hand, I’m delighted to read the far too few articles about diets and diet drugs failing long-term. It’s important for those of us who refuse to diet and who rely on intuitive eating to feed ourselves to get validation from the experts because it’s tough swimming against the diet current.
So, remember, we are on the cutting edge of the eating movement, but, for now, we may be the only ones who know it!