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Researcher: Losing Weight Doesn’t Improve Health Because People Can’t Lose Weight

Posted Jan 30 2011 7:21am

Maybe it’s me.

Maybe I’m the dope.

I’m not a researcher, but I simply don’t know how to grasp the following report out of Australia :

Losing weight is often touted as a way to improve health, but many weight-loss programs may not help stave off disease since people tend to gain the weight back, Australian researchers say.

What’s better is the methodology our researchers used:

To test the potential impact of different diets, the researchers ran two computer simulations: One included a low-fat diet, the other a diet rich in whole grains and vegetables plus 180 minutes of exercise per week.

According to the models, people lost an average of 8 to 12 pounds on the diets and kept the weight off for an average of 6 months. But the pounds slowly crept back on, and after less than 6 years, the dieters were back where they started negating any improvement in health from the weight loss.

In addition, the researchers estimate that only about 3 percent of Australia’s population would participate in weight-loss programs.

That’s right. They sat in front of a computer the whole time and based their data on 2 diets – low fat and low calorie – that we know quite well don’t work in the long run.

I work with data all the time, and know how easy it is to feed in a bunch of numbers, run an analysis against it, and have it spit out beautiful, detailed results – which are completely and entirely wrong. It just takes one bad number or one erroneous assumption and it all falls to pieces.

And besides all that – what is the point? To come to a conclusion that people can’t improve their health losing weight if they can’t keep it off is so obvious that I can’t conceive why it would take more than 5 minutes sitting in an armchair to figure this one out.

And yet it gets printed in a respected journal on obesity.

Is it any wonder that modern science is essentially useless in helping us fat folks get thinner?

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