Diets don’t work. It seems like such an obvious, undeniable statement. But if it is true, why does the diet industry continue to thrive? Well, because people always want to lose weight. So when one diet fails to achieve the desired results, it’s off to the next one. In some cases like with major commercial diet brands, they’ve created such a strong brand loyalty that people will often go back to their approach over and over again.
While pondering this simple but important question of why diets fail, I asked two health authors and advocates to chime in.
“In my experience, the key question isn’t ‘Why do diets fail?’, but instead ‘Why do experts keep telling us to eat in ways that we can’t keep up?’,” said Jonathan Bailor, author of The Smarter Science of Slim.
In simplest terms, it’s a matter of supply and demand. It’s just that in this case, the consumer continually goes back to a product that fails them. Could you imagine any other industry this logic would work for?
When New Jersey Governor Chris Christie revealed he underwent Lap-Band surgery last month, it instantly fueled speculation that it was at least in part about his 2016 presidential aspirations. True or not, there are valid reasons to consider that weight loss as a powerful tool in helping him to the highest office in the land.
All you have to do is look at the people who hold the highest positions in private companies. According to a 2009 study, just five percent of CEOs in the U.S. were obese (with a BMI over 30).
If you drop down to the overweight classification (a BMI between 25 and 29), there is a dramatic difference, but only for male CEOs. The 2009 study estimated between 45 and 61 percent of top male CEOs are overweight. Only five percent of overweight CEOs are women.
What would account for such a major gender gap? Women already fight an unfair uphill battle for wage equality, so one can probably safely assume a significant double standard in how men and women with weight issues are perceived.
“It appears that the glass ceiling effect on women’s advancement may reflect not only general negative stereotypes about the competencies of women, but also weight bias that results in the application of stricter appearance standards to women,” said study co-author Mark Roehling, Michigan State University associate professor of human resource management. (more…)
The Affordable Care Act, first disparagingly referred to as Obamacare and now adopted as its accepted moniker, is the most sweeping and dramatic health care legislation since Medicare. It’s also one of the more divisive.
Proponents say it will bring health care costs down through wider preventative care; opponents say it is intrusive and sets us up for a new bloated federal bureaucracy.
One of the most important tasks in preventative care and health care cost-reduction is addressing the obesity epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the direct and indirect medical care costs of obesity in the U.S. in 2008 was $147 billion. While obesity rates have leveled in recent years, long-term projections are still grim, with the possibility of nearly half of all Americans being obese by 2030. One report projects the majority of states will be over the 50 percent level.
While there are many myths about Obamacare, one of the better known facts about the legislation is that it will eliminate insurance companies’ ability to discriminate based on pre-existing conditions. But it’s not the utopian “health care for all” scenario some critics may think. Companies are able to more aggressively reward employees for achieving preset wellness goals, and conversely, saddling those who don’t make an effort to improve their health with higher premiums. (more…)
There are major changes coming to the food industry, or at least for those companies that want to stay economically viable. That’s because, according to various studies on consumer trends, there are significant lifestyle changes that are impacting the way we eat.
Dr. Elizabeth Sloan, contributing editor and consumer trends columnist for Food Technology Magazine, has put together a report illustrating what she feels are the top trends in the food industry. Here are some of the highlights:
Eating Out is Not On The Menu for Millennials
Restaurant dining is dominated by older generations, with the biggest spenders being in the 55- to 64-year-old age group. During the last five years, baby boomers and older have seen a six percent increase in restaurant visits while millennials’ visits dropped by six percent. (more…)
While many of us will probably get plenty of vitamin D in the summer sunshine, there’s some potentially welcoming news for those who prefer to get theirs from dietary sources (which is always a wise idea anyway). According to new research, mushrooms produce enough vitamin D without the need for supplementation.
There are many reasons vitamin D is important to our health. For instance, adequate vitamin D levels are necessary for promoting healthy bone development, muscle strength, and reducing the risk of bone fractures. Vitamin D is also essential in helping strengthen your immune system and reduces the risk of certain types of cancer, depression and diabetes.
Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine examined 30 healthy adults who were randomly given capsules of 2,000 International Units (IU) of vitamin D2, 2,000 IU of vitamin D3, or 2,000 IU of mushroom powder (with vitamin D2). They took these daily for 12 weeks in the winter months. (more…)