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From a Paper in the AMA Journal: Let’s End the Diet Debates

Posted Sep 07 2013 8:43am

Right after I posted this last post , I read an article that makes it seem like I’m not alone in my thinking.   The authors of a paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Association  just last month seem to be thinking along the same lines as I am:

As the obesity epidemic persists, the time has come to end the pursuit of the “ideal” diet for weight loss and disease prevention. The dietary debate in the scientific community and reported in the media about the optimal macronutrient-focused weight loss diet sheds little light on the treatment of obesity and may mislead the public regarding proper weight management.

I find the ‘science wars’ on nutrition and weight loss tiring. Looking for the ‘best’ approach to weight loss is the wrong approach. ‘Best’ needs to be defined by the individual. Everyone who wants to lose weight should experiment with multiple approaches and find not only the approach that works for them, but also makes them happy. It’s a lifelong thing – and I hate the word ‘struggle’ – I’d rather call it a ‘practice’. Every day, show up for your diet, ‘punch the clock’, make the effort and then after giving an approach a chance, evaluate how you feel physically and psychologically.

If you gave it your best and it doesn’t seem to be working – try something different. Try a variation on what you are doing – or a different approach completely.

I respect other people’s beliefs even if I don’t agree with them. Science might point us in directions worth exploring but individuals need to take personal responsibility and find what works for them to lose weight, feel good and be happy. Also – ‘science’, being a human endeavor, is fraught with errors, false assumptions and personal biases. I am listening to lectures on how science knows what it knows and the lecturer makes the point that what science believed what the truth in the 18th century was entirely replaced in the 19th century and again in the 20th century. It stands to reason that what we think of as ‘truth’ today will again be replaced.

Vegan works for you? Go for it! Paleo? More power to you. Calorie restriction and exercise? All fine by me. I’d rather not argue but instead find common ground and learn from each other instead of calling people names and trying to be ‘right’.

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