A special New Year’s “thanks” is in order to Tara Parker-Pope, health writer for the New York Times Magazine, for setting us on the right track as we begin 2012. While the television stations blast us with dieting ads and the magazine covers are plastered with tips for taking off pounds, Tara’s lead article in the January 1st magazine focused on how dieting leaves people “feeling far more hungry and preoccupied with food than before they lost the weight,” setting up a “sort of ‘post-dieting syndrome’ directed toward making us put on weight.”
Finally a start-to-the year article that does not promote the benefits of dieting but actually tells the raw truth about its impact. “After you’ve lost weight, your brain has a greater emotional response to food,” says Michael Rosenbaum, an obesity researcher at Columbia University. “You want it more, but the areas of the brain involved in restraint are less active.” That’s exactly what the diet companies are banking on. The more they get people hooked on dieting, the more they assure that the body will slow down its ability to burn calories and will create a “perfect storm for weight regain.” These are the conditions necessary for getting people to pledge their dollars toward the next weight loss gimmick and remain stuck in the process of losing and gaining all over again.
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