If you are going on a diet, accountability is indeed a huge factor in terms of being a success. If everyone you know knows that you intend to lose weight, you will be less likely to slam in five slices of pizza when you are all out to dinner. More than once, I've had a friend who knew I was watching my weight say - oh, but you're on a diet - when helping me debate whether to order the tuna salad or that yummy looking pasta.
In terms of the media, check out what accountability has done for Kirstie Allie and, on the other end of the spectrum, Nicole Ritchie. Although Nicole may be carrying around food that she's not really eating, at least she's still sending some sort of a message to impressionable girls that might be learning from her. And Kirstie certainly can't jaunt up to the counter at ColdStone's anymore - it would be all over the news.
So, if you're serious about making changes in your diet, ask your friends and family to help. Just make sure you're calling on people you trust, so that your self esteem is never put into question.
This is very true. If those around you know you are trying to lose weight, they will support you (well hopefully if you have good friends) and not let you fall off track. I know with my friends, if they "allow" me to slip and enjoy a pizza slice or ice cream, they make me go to the gym with them or on a bike ride. In other words, I pay for indulging. Losing weight can also be fun if you make a little competition out of it. I'm very competitive, so this works for me.