Sarah Dussault, a name you may recognize as Senior Video Producer here at Diet.com, brings the Diet Diva character to life with her sometimes biting, sometimes funny, always interesting takes on life and our passion for celebrities and their weight loss methods. The Diet Diva never shies away from a fight, but is always fair with her commentary.

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Celebrities and Diet

by Sarah Dussault, Celebrities & Weight Loss blogger
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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?

@ 3:34pm ET on April 30, 2007
I believe genetics plays a huge role in what is your "natural" weight. However, I think this is a lame excuse for those people who truely need to loose weight! The problem with most people is that the "diet" is a temporary way to fix the problem, then when they stop "dieting" they quit extersizeing and regain! I refuse to think that someone who is obese has no control over it as they put cookie after cookie in their mouth and tell me that they bought those ones because they were lower in fat! Not to mention that undermines those people who are overweight and do something about it!! Yes certian people naturally carry more weight and will never be stick thin, with that I agree. But being stick thin is not what being healthy is about and being obease is not healthy! Sorry about my small rant ...

@ 6:45pm ET on April 30, 2007
Yeah, about that genetics thing...you're right, being skinny does come easier to some. But we're also genetically programmed to lose weight when we do the right things. Check out this article for a good perspective on having "fat genes" and why that's mostly a cop-out: http://www.stumptuous.com/cms/displayarticle.php?aid=36

@ 5:47pm ET on May 1, 2007
I did my research paper for one of my college classes on genetics and obesity and found some interestic facts. Right now they have singled out 6 genes that when they are mutated you are going to be obese no matter what you do. However, this happens in less than 1% of the population of overweight people. There are over 300 other genes that may produce this effect as well but they haven't been able to single them out. So if your immediate family is heavy then it is quite possible it is genetic, but environment, good nutrition and exercise habits can reduce the likelihood that you will continue the cycle.

@ 7:52pm ET on May 1, 2007
Genetics aside, if you apply a daily calorie allowance, people will lose and maintain their weight. This ONLY fails when people stop recording accurately, or eating to their required calories to either lose or maintain....

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