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Health Messages Leading to Early Deaths

As rates of overweight and obesity continue to skyrocket, communities have been assailed by health messages from governments, nutritionists, scientists, and others anxious to stem the serious illnesses that are a direct result of overweight and inactivity.
The problem now seems to be that these very messages have added to the burden of disease by increasing the amount of unhealthy eating, particularly eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating. Death rates from these diseases are up to 60 times higher than those of the remaining population, outdoing the combined rates of all the cardio-vascular diseases, according to Doctor David Herzog, professor of psychiatry at Harvard Eating Disorders Centre.
Researchers over the last decade have strongly linked the diet message to increased overweight and increased deaths from eating disorders. Teenage deaths from anorexia have been strongly linked to dieting mothers.
Senior Research Scientist Dr Jonathan Mond, of James Cook University, has strongly stated that "There are conspicuous links between eating-disordered behaviour and obesity" explaining that obese people were much more likely to develop eating disorders, and people with eating disorders were much more likely to become obese.
Not only is there proof that dieting actually leads to obesity, but now we understand more precisely why the body reacts so badly to any diet program, even a healthy diet. World-renowned nutritionist Dr David L Watts claims that even thinking about depriving oneself of preferred food has a negative effect on the metabolic rate. Real or imagined food deprivation actually creates food cravings so strong that the dieter must sooner or later give in. The problem is that the metabolic rate has been compromised and the dieter now puts on more weight, faster.
The faster or more traumatically the weight is lost, the quicker it returns, and the harder it becomes to shift it in the future. The Australian Department of Health reports that nearly 100% of people who diet put the weight back on within 3 years, but that the same proportion of people who lose weight through an exercise program replace the weight within just 12 months.
Christine Sutherland, founder of, says that the health messages to date are "all wrong".
"It's essential to good health and wellbeing that we reject the diet message totally and uncategorically. Our whole focus must turn to the fun and pleasure involved in the preparation of healthy food, and the fun and pleasure involved in sporting activities. Every diet does harm, and exercise programs fail."
"If we keep getting people to focus on their bodies, giving them eating plans and exercise plans and scaring them about health, all we'll do is develop an unhealthy preoccupation or obsession with food, and we'll continue to see frightening death rates associated with dieting and eating disorders. The message we must send is that everyone deserves a good lifestyle, and we must teach people how to have fun in their lives again."
"We know that when we properly eliminate food cravings and emotional reasons for eating, and teach people to recognise and build great lives, weight quickly normalises and good health and wellbeing returns. When people lose weight in this fashion, they lose it for good because there's simply no way they could go back to the old way of life."