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Could it be true that weight loss is a battle against biology? A New York Times science writer is claiming that yes in fact it is in the new book, “Rethinking Thin: The New Science of Weight Loss- and the Myths and Realities of Dieting.” Author Gina Kolata questions why diets fail and how genetics may be the ruling factor in a person’s weight.
When I took my first nutrition class freshmen year of college I remember having a certain “Ah-ha” moment. I left class one day with the most discouraging news a pizza loving, beer guzzling freshmen could possibly hear. It’s pretty much impossible to lose weight and keep it off. If you’re one of the lucky ones to actually lose, you will inevitably gain it back thanks to biology. Now I know this is not entirely true but that is what my text books made it seem like. Now, Kolata’s new book is pretty much saying what I thought I read in my text book.
People magazine interviewed and reviewed the newest book in the battle against the bulge. She tells the magazine, “Studies have shown there is a range of weights people can have, and as you get too low beyond what your body wants to be, your metabolism slows and the weight comes back.”
She admits obese people shouldn’t give up and accept their size just yet, but that exercise and eating well to get to the lower end of a persons range is the best option. The book does not give you a diet or tell you how to exercise but Kolata hopes that it helps change people’s outlook on the high number of obese Americans. “I can’t change society, but I wish everyone would stop looking at obese people and saying, “don’t they care about themselves?’ Genes are hugely important to how heavy you’ll be. It’s unfair to assume obese people are lazy, they probably have really tried to lose weight. And if you have and you can’t look like a model, you shouldn’t feel like a failure.
Personally, as someone who monitors celebrity weight loss, it seems that most have a different genetic make up being able to squeeze down to a size zero. Of course we have our Ugly Bettys and Jennifer Hudsons who are confident and sexy in their bodies. They frequently admit to the press that they will never be stick thin, and maybe this is the type of attitude that needs to be embraced by society instead of focusing on the increasing numbers of obesity and what new diet works best. Who’s with me?