Diets Are Not the Answer
Do you know that almost everybody in the world is sick with obesity? Cries have been heard all over the world over the invading monster. Children, young women and men, elderly women and men have been attacked by this strange ailment. However, it is an ailment of their own making and in the real sense no one should be crying out of its consequences.
Perhaps children have a right to let out a wild wail. Their blood is innocent and parents are to blame. Eating of fatty and sweet fast foods has been the main cause of obesity.
Fast foods might be sweet in taste and good in eating but they have a long-lasting negative effect to the body. The additional calories in the fatty and sugary food lead to the addition of a couple of pounds in the weight of an individual. Studies have been made to find a solution to obesity. Without much thought, dieting has in the past been found to be that solution long sort for. Does it help in curing obesity? This research paper seeks to prove the earlier studies wrong and support the statement that ‘Diets are not the answer’. Reason that researchers had for conducting this study
For the past two or more decades, obesity cases have been on the increase bringing the attention to the researchers. All around the world, obesity has been on the increase. In the United States for instance, obesity related health problems are the main causes of the high mortality. It is the second after issues related smoking. According to researches carried out in the years of 1980, more than 15% of the American population suffered from obesity. In a period of two decades, the percentage of those suffering from obesity rose drastically to 34% of the total US population (Mann, Tomiyama, Westling, Lew, Samuels & Chatman, 2007).
Because of the rapid increase of obesity, Medicare has in the recent years made alterations in its policy covering the treatments of obesity. One of the areas that the Canters for Medicare and Medicaid Services worked upon is the removal of the phrase that quoted that obesity was not an illness from the coverage manual. It was a new dawn for people suffering from obesity as well as Medicare. Obesity treatments could be given rather than the initial treatments for the specific conditions that were thought to result to obesity such as hypertension and diabetes (Mann, Tomiyama, Westling, Lew, Samuels & Chatman, 2007).
Long-term outcomes of the calorie-restricting diets have been of major concerns to researchers. The question that these researchers seek to answer is ‘Is dieting an effective obesity treatment? The truth of the matter is that dieting does more harm than good (Mann, Tomiyama, Westling, Lew, Samuels & Chatman, 2007). According to earlier researches made, it has been found out that 1/3 or 2/3 of people who diet gain more weight than losing it. The studies however are more likely to underestimate the counter-productivity of dieting as a result of methodological problems.
All the methodologies applied in these studies are bias and show a successful loss of weight through dieting. More so the previous studies do not give a clear explanation and evidence to show that in the real sense dieting leads to health improvements irrespective of the changes in weight. Little or no support is given in support of dieting as a lasting solution to weight loss or in the fight against obesity. Similarly, previous researches do not give enough support on the relationship between dieting and the accruing health benefits.
These and many more limitations of the previous studies lead researchers in a study to prove that “Diets are not the answer” as far as obesity and the related health problems are concerned” (Mann, Tomiyama, Westling, Lew, Samuels & Chatman, 2007). Diet studies were therefore was carried out to evaluate the truth about dieting and its relationship with weight loss. Several hypotheses were therefore made (Mann, Tomiyama, Westling, Lew, Samuels & Chatman, 2007). Main Hypothesis of the research • Starvation or eating less than normal food quantities leads to a short term loss of weight. • In the long-term, starvation encourages weight gain.
Individual who have stopped dieting or starvation gain much weight than they had lost as time goes by. • Eating less as well as specified types of foods as prescribed by the doctor do not have any positive health benefits to an individual who is dieting. • Dieting is not the absolute solution to obesity. Type of study Experimentation was used in this study in an effort to look at the effects of dieting on weight loss. Some of the individuals who were suffering from obesity were put under the medication or the dieting where by they were starved for 38 days. They formed the experimental group or the dependant variable.
The others were not starved and they formed the control group or the independent variable. The application of dieting procedures included the manipulation to the experimental group. Experimental method was the best method in carrying out this study. This type of study makes it possible for casual conclusions to be made on the diet effect on weight. It was as Mann, Tomiyama, Westling, Lew, Samuels & Chatman point out in their study “The most rigorous designs in studies…that randomly assign individuals to a diet condition or to a no-diet condition and then follow them over time” (Mann, Tomiyama, Westling, Lew, Samuels & Chatman, 2007).
Summary of main findings The reviews done on dieting scientific literature drew two conclusions concerning the diets. To begin with, diets have a short-term effect as far as weight loss is concerned. According to research studies carried out in the years of 1970-mid 90’s, participants in dieting lost a considerable amount of weight. Each individual lost an average weight of between 5-10% of their total body weight (Mann, Tomiyama, Westling, Lew, Samuels & Chatman, 2007). Secondly, the researches found out that the weight loss cannot be maintained. In one of the reviews, the rates of weight regain opened many debates.
More weight is regained after the individuals stopped their dieting. As Mann, Tomiyama, Westling, Lew, Samuels & Chatman point out in their research study on Medicare’s search for effective obesity treatments: diets are not the answer “The more time that elapsed between the end of a diet and the follow-up, the more weight is regained” (Mann, Tomiyama, Westling, Lew, Samuels & Chatman, 2007). For instance, according to the study of the research in which patients suffering from obesity in hospital were starved for 38 days, they lost a lot of weight.
However follow-ups that were carried out for varying time lengths showed that in less than two years 23% of the patients regained even more weight than they actually lost during the starvation period. Within a span of two years or more, 83% of the patients had regained more weight than they had lost. Studies whose follow-ups took a lengthy time of about 4-5 years after dieting gave negative results. There was no sign of weight reduction but participants continued to add several pounds of weight (Mann, Tomiyama, Westling, Lew, Samuels & Chatman, 2007).
Research findings and the hypothesis These finding completely supports the postulated hypothesis that eating less, starvation or dieting has little or no help in the fight against obesity. It actually leads to increases in weight when it is stopped. Weight loss is short lived and only occurs when the individual is under dieting. It has no long term weight loss and it is impossible to starve a person for the rest of his/her life. Therefore, obese they will remain even after dieting. Dieting is in fact not the answer! (Mann, Tomiyama, Westling, Lew, Samuels & Chatman, 2007).
Major limitations of the data On of the limitations of the study is that dieting does not lead to a life-time weight loss for obesity sufferers. Follow-ups that are given after dieting is stopped reveal that dieting results to additional weight gain. However, only few studies give long-term follow-ups to allow clear comparison between dieters’ weight and that of the control group because it is very difficult to make people who are obese to diet for a long period of time (Mann, Tomiyama, Westling, Lew, Samuels & Chatman, 2007).
This study however is not the best method as it is impossible to keep obesity people on diet for the rest of their lives (Mann, Tomiyama, Westling, Lew, Samuels & Chatman, 2007). More so, dieting in many studies is combined with lifestyle interventions such as exercise. Dieting therefore could hardly work alone without some physical exercises. There are diseases that are associated with obesity such as obesity and hypertension. In a study carried out on those dieters who also suffered from hypertension, there was no significant outcome in the improvement of systolic and diastolic pressure of blood.
However the participants in dieting showed less need for the antihypertensive drugs. In addition, dieting can only prevent diabetes but cannot actually cure it (Mann, Tomiyama, Westling, Lew, Samuels & Chatman, 2007). Research Agenda Individuals who have been put under dieting are gaining and maintaining their weight. According to the studies carried out, dieting becomes an ineffective way to stop obesity. Even in prospective nonrandomized studies, dieting does not result to once and for all loss of weight. It is not the answer to obesity. The benefits of dieting in obesity treatment are few.
Health problems associated with obesity are also not curbed by dieting. Short-term effects of dieting are considerable but long-term outcomes are minimal. There are also potential harms as a result of weight cycling. Dieting is not therefore a good recommendation for effective obesity treatment (Mann, Tomiyama, Westling, Lew, Samuels & Chatman, 2007). Further studies are therefore needed to address obesity related health problems. Rigorous diet studies have produced poor results. All that is needed now is a long term randomized study on dieting effects on health outcomes.
More studies should also be carried out to determine whether short term weight loss has any effect to the obesity health related problems after the weight is regained. Are there any consequences of weight regain? What are the health outcomes of weight cycling? Exercises have been linked to weight loss and reduced health problems. Is physical exercise a treatment for obesity? Future research should focus on the physical exercise as the obesity treatment. It is not known as to whether exercises alone can lead to weight loss or reduced heath problems and further studies are needed.
If Medicare is out to fund for the treatment of obesity, improvements need to be made as far as weight and health aspects are concerned. Majority of the individuals in the world need to be helped out of diabetes but dieting does not seem to work (Mann, Tomiyama, Westling, Lew, Samuels & Chatman, 2007). Conclusion Dieting is not the cure in the treatment of obesity. All the studies that have been made on diabetes have been disappointing. The study on the effect of reduced calories intake for people suffering from diabetes on weight loss has produced negative result.
Actually, the short-term effects are very promising as individual loose considerable amounts of weight during the starvation period. However, when the starvation is brought to an end, pounds and pounds of weight add to the already overweight. More weight is even gained than what was lost during dieting. Obesity, health related problems seem not to be affected by dieting and physical exercises when used together with dieting produce significant result. However, more research needs to be made on obesity health related problems in relation to dieting and physical exercises as a fight against obesity because dieting have proved not to be a cure.