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ABC article on Weight Loss Experts

Thanks to Marilyn Wann for sending me this article, here is the response we sent in:

This article illustrates how challenging and complex the fields of eating disorders and body image are. What is frequently omitted in these types of articles is that a person in today’s society is not just battling weight and possible disordered eating patterns, but the concurrent addiction to being thin enough to please the eyes of society. The quote I found intriguing from the article was, “it’s an interesting thing to be both a person who assists others with weight loss while battling weight demons of your own.”  A registered nutritionist’s treatment objectives frequently do NOT focus on weight loss, but on healthy eating.  An individualized treatment plan, means just that.  Each plan is designed for the needs of the patient.  But the cruelty and rigid demands of our culture to be a size 4-6 as an acceptable size often eclipses the goal of establishing and maintaining an individualized healthy lifestyle. This narrow measurement of success results in extreme yo yo dieting as a person has difficulty accepting that what they look like while following healthy menus and activity levels does not coincide with what they are told they should and  will look like. Blame is placed on the person by implying that if they could only slay the food demon that is controlling their actions they will be beautiful, healthy and successful.  Until the demons of size discrimination and skinny tyranny are exorcised from our culture, RD’s and therapists, like myself, will be challenged to find ways to steer our patients/clients onto the road of self-acceptance and health as a way of life and not just temporary fixes that allow them to visit the world of thinness once in a while. Dr. Deah Schwartz, Co-Author: Leftovers, The Ups and Downs of a Compulsive Eater.


This is an excellent

This is an excellent response. It underlines my feelings about the need to influence an "individual's" eating patterns and that "one size fits all" approaches are not possible.

I was particularly displeased to watch the 1st episode of the Oprah Network's new show "Addicted To Food." On this show they assemble a group of people with various eating problems (bulimia to compulsive eating to anorexia) and treat them TOGETHER. The group's therapist even goes so far as to say that "All eating disorders are the same, just on different parts of the spectrum."

This is non-sense. Each person has their own disease; even 2 anorexics can have different anorexias - and for different reasons. I sincerely hope the "individual tailoring" model spreads and the "all in one" model fades. I'll be writing more about Oprah on my website soon.