Skip to Content

Losing the Battle

If, for some reason, you missed the fact that we recently celebrated a new year, you surely cannot miss the barrage of weight-loss advertising appearing in our media this week.  By now, you've probably viewed commercials from our nation's power players, each starring its own celeb:  Jennifer Hudson for Weight Watchers, Janet Jackson for Nutri-System, and Mariah Carey for Jenny Craig (can someone please help me identify exactly what Mariah is doing in this commercial?)  

Upping the ante in cyberspace is a new site that allows dieters to gamble on how much weight they lose.

What I know is that if I had $100 riding on my weight loss, I'd somehow make it happen. What might happen after, though, is likely what happens to most dieters after the fact, highlighted by a recent study among adolescents, which appeared in the Journal of Adolescent Health and which concludes in its abstract, “Findings clearly indicate that dieting and unhealthy weight control behaviors, as reported by adolescents, predict significant weight gain over time.”

If you begin a diet, chances are that you'll lose weight.  Chance are also that if you end the diet (which you may do after a pre-specified time or earlier, due to difficulty in adhering to the diet), you will gain the weight back.  In many cases, you will gain even more.  The statistics have spoken loud and clear, and not one product, plan, or gimmick has shown the ability to compete successfully with them.