As I was reading this article on the "global obesity epidemic," I couldn't help thinking that it was in fact a blueprint for creating an eating disorder.
Let's take a closer look.
Wherever we read the words weight gain let's substitute the words weight loss. Wherever we read the word obesity, let's substitute the word anorexia. Instead of weight maintenance, let's go with weight loss. For prevent we'll say cause. For less, more.
Now let's look at the section of the article that talks about strategies for weight maintenance--I mean weight loss.
[The researcher] will argue that small daily changes, say using the stairs, are enough to cause incremental weight loss that can lead to anorexia. [The researcher], however, will make the case that much larger life-style changes - say exercising 60 to 90 minutes a day - are needed to cause weight loss.
"Our data from the National Weight Control Registry suggests strategies associated with successful weight loss include high levels of physical activity and conscious control of eating habits," said [the researcher]. "Dieters who remain diligent about diet and exercise are much more likely to gain weight back."
Examples of conscious control include frequent weighing, following a consistent dietary regimen across the weekdays and weekends, and taking fast action if small weight gains are observed. . . .
Actually you don't even have to change a lot of the language here, because the basic idea in maintaining weight loss is the same in inspiring weight loss. You've got to make changes in your life--in other words, you've got to behave in eating-disordered ways--in order to lose weight.
Frequent weighing, rigid eating behaviors, obsessive attention to dietary details. Yup. Sounds like an eating disorder to me.
And since this is, after all, a week when we are supposed to become more aware of eating disorders, I encourage you to go out and eat something and then not write it down. Have a second helping. Don't weigh yourself. Eat what you feel like. Stop when you're done.
In other words, eat normally--if we can even remember what that means.