Jewish Journal

Culture of Dieting

by Rebecca Cooper

August 31, 2011 | 10:23 am

The Destructive Culture of Dieting

Weight problems and food addictions have become a national epidemic.  At any given time, twenty five million Americans are seriously dieting.  Only 1 out of every 200 dieters lose their weight and keep it off for a year or more.  Although there are more diet programs and weight loss products than any other time in history, recent studies show that roughly sixty percent of adult Americans are overweight and one third are obese. America’s obsession and preoccupation with food and body image is often a precursor to the development of an eating disorder.  Statistics show that thirty-five percent of normal dieters progress into an eating disorder.  Approximately eight million people in America have an eating disorder and eighty-six percent started by age twenty.

When you diet, you set yourself up to overeat because you subconsciously rebel over restricting your food. You are discounting your appetite, your internal guidance system. You no longer eat when you are hungry or stop when you are full. You let the external source, the diet, determine when, what, and how much to eat. You may no longer know what it feels like to be hungry or full.
Due to the food restrictions of the diet, your metabolism slows down. Your body thinks it is experiencing a famine; it is in starvation alert mode and is trying to store every calorie. Then you “slip” or eat normally. Your body then stores as much fat as it can because it thinks there may be another famine just around the corner. The result is that you gain weight with a vengeance, faster than before dieting.

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Rebecca Cooper is a California licensed therapist, Certified Eating Disorder Specialist and the Founder of Rebecca’s House Eating Disorder Treatment Programs™. She is the...

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