Researchers at Duke have put together a study to find out which diet (including drugs but excluding Weight loss surgery and Medifast, Optifast, and Slimfast) gives you more bang for the buck.
Finkelstein and research assistant Eliza Kruger first conducted a literature review to identify high-quality clinical trials of commercially available diet/lifestyle plans and medications with proven weight loss at one year or more. Weight loss was measured in terms of absolute change in kilograms lost compared to a control group in which patients underwent a low cost/low intensity intervention, or a placebo in the case of the pharmaceutical trials.
The results for diet programs found that Weight Watchers gives you the best weight loss for your money and the drug Qsymia was the best drug. Jenny Craig had the most weight loss but it was the most pricey.
Average weight loss at one year ranged from 2.4 kg (about 5 pounds) for Weight Watchers to 7.4 kg (16 pounds) for Jenny Craig. Those on Orlistat lost 2.8 kg (a little more than 6 pounds) whereas those on Vtrim and Lorcaserin both lost an average of 3.2 kg (about 7 pounds). Weight loss for those on Qsymia averaged 6.7kg (a little less than 15 pounds).
Essentially, weight loss on the diets they measured were about 5-16 pounds. Making Weight Watchers the cheapest at about $75 a pound. I gain and lose five pounds during my period. I don’t need to pay for the privilege.
The authors tried to save face by comparing it to quality adjust life year (essentially saying that the whole five pounds you lost is worth it because now you are “healthier” and that five pounds will save you for the horrible diseases to kill slowy) but really all it proves is you spent a lot of money and didn't lose a lot of weight. The study doesn’t examine weight cycling which I believe to be more dangerous than being fat or does it look at weight loss five years from now. Weight loss diets tend work in the short term. If you measure success in a year with a small amount of weight loss, than I’ve been successful on almost every diet I’ve been on.
The commercial diet industry is rapidly losing money to non-dieters and DIY diets and is desperate to make the money it formerly did. This is why it's focusing at pushing for coverage under the Affordable care Act and workplace wellness. No health insurance in its right mind would cover a program with a 95% failure rate that isn't even shown to be good at weight loss!
Oh and btw
Finkelstein (The author) has been a paid consultant for Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, Takeda, Orexigen, and Vivus, Inc
In two weeks I will be on my annual vacation in Vermont. I call it my week to live my life on my terms. I get in plenty of movement, eat whole local foods (i.e. local food co-op and farmer's markets), writing, read, and have significant alone time with my husband.
A few times I have attempted to climb Camel's Hump mountain which is a four mile trek going up. I'm not a big hiker and I don't have much practice. In previous years I've made it halfway which is a trek by itself.
My big exercise is swimming. I'll take the four mile swim over a four mile climb. However I feel it's necessary to make to get as far as I can on Camel's hump because I no longer want to be told I can't do it.
Fat people get a double standard when it comes to exercise. We are yelled at for not doing exercise and when we do, we’re told we are slow and clumsy. We essentially are told to lose weight before we dare exercise in public.
Julie Creffield, a UK blogger, wants to get more fat women running not to lose weight but to get fit but even she’s finding the double standard.
But after years of training, she still faces skepticism. She recently wrote for the Huffington Post about a visit to the doctor. She'd pulled a muscle, but he basically told her she was too fat to run. Now, medical pros generally advise working your way up to really intense exercise if you're heavier, but Creffield wasn't exactly a newbie. It's a handy illustration of how even somebody well-meaning can derail exercisers.
Of course no thin people ever suffer from sports injuries.
Weight loss drugs have a history of not working and/or causing dangerous and deadly side effects. This new one coming down the pipe doesn't look any better.
This new pill Gelesis100 (I kind of wonder what happened to Gelesis1-99) temporarily expands in your stomach, in theory making you eat less. Results have been disappointing. The pill caused a people to lose 6.1% of their body weight compared to the placebo of 4.1%. The makers, of course, call it a huge victory over the fatties!
Oh and they also had to diet while using it.
The study involved 128 overweight or obese Europeans who swallowed a capsule before lunch and dinner along with half a liter, or about 17 fluid ounces, of water. They were also put on a reduced-calorie diet.
And 24% of people who took the higher dose (Is this like a bigger balloon?)
Gelesis executives said that was probably because 24 percent of patients on the higher dose stopped taking the capsules...
...could cause bloating, flatulence, abdominal pain and diarrhea.
But Dr. Daniel H. Bessesen, an endocrinologist at the University of Colorado who was not involved in the study, said weight loss of 2 percent beyond that provided by a placebo was “very modest.” “It doesn’t look like a game changer,” he said.
So let's say it again kids, "No diet drug has been proven to work in the long run." This drug mixed with a low calorie diet is the same shit, different day.
And I'm really tired of these pill pushers that assume fat people are fat because we eat too much. Of course starving someone can cause weight loss but studies have shown this doesn’t work in the long run.
Due to life, I was unable to respond to directly to this letter by Carol Weston which talks about how horrible the childhood obesity epidemic is. Apparently It wouldn't have mattered because the New York Times printed no rebuttals from the fat community.
Dear Ms. Weston,
Can I call you Carol?
Like my peers, when I was a kid, I ate a lot of junk and highly processed food. The 1980’s was a big time to eat out of boxes, and soda, pizza, and candy were plentiful. In school every time there was a birthday, each kid would get one cupcake. I wasn’t into pizza until I was nine and then I couldn't get enough. For lunch, I usually went home to a sandwich or a can of soup, but once a week, for $2 I was able to get a slice, a small soda, and four things of candy (The candy lasted me most of the week). My peers were also stuffing themselves with pizza, candy, and soda. When I was nine something else happened, I started to get chubby (Maybe you're right, maybe it was the pizza) but I suppose I was still safe in your book, Carol, as I was still XL but not XXXL (Because after XL you cease to be human.)
However in the 80’s, there wasn’t any concern about the self-esteem of kids and teens. I was fat and told to diet. No one mentioned dieting didn't work. And when I started, it took 17 years to stop. Meanwhile my thinner peers were ignored, weren’t told to skip pizza and the soda. We were told the basics of good nutrition, but the fat kids were singled out to change the way they eat.
A lot has changed since the 80s. It is not acceptable to put a child on a diet. And the general consensus is that dieting doesn’t work. It is also became less acceptable to call your child fat. Even if they are fat.
However there is still a massive push to be thin or else. Like me, fat kids are still singled out for their weight where thin kids aren’t. (Or told that if they eat that way they’ll get fat.) Fat kids are the reason schools don’t have cupcakes, pizza or soda (Please keep in mind, I’m pro healthy foods in school and regular gym, but I think an occasional cupcake, pizza or soda is not a big deal.)
You say you’re against dieting but you pressure kids to lose weight. What do you think a fat girl will do with your information? What do you think happens when she see signs like this?
Do you think she’ll laugh as she eats her pizza and gulp down her soda? You tell kids to lose weight but every way to do it doesn’t work for most people. You single out fat girls for eating pizza and not walking. They are the ones that are going to diet, they are the ones who are going to go on the binge/dieting cycle.
Instead let’s have healthy nutritious food and fun exercise for all children, not just fat ones. Let’s teach them to love their bodies whether it be XS or XXXL.
I watched exactly one episode of Dr. Oz. I found him and his show to be superficial tripe. I watched the episode solely because Dr. Glenn Gaesser (A proponent of fit and fat) happened to be on.
Recently Dr. Oz was called in front of congress and chastised for his role in pushing diet products that don’t work in the long run. He was unapologetic about it.
Oz insisted he believes in the supplements he talks about on his show as short-term crutches and even has his family try them. He said his job on the show is to be a "cheerleader" for his audience, one who offers hope even if that means looking to alternative healing traditions and any evidence that might support them.
Dr. Oz pushed a diet product Pure Green Coffee on his show which later the FTC investigated for making false diet claims. Dr. Oz scolded Dr. Gaesser for promoting fit and fat, but there are plenty of studies showing you can be fit and fat and as far as I know no study showing green coffee working in the long run (I found one short term study of 22 weeks where 16 people lost about 18lbs).
The weight-loss industry is an area where consumers are particularly vulnerable to fraud, Mary Koelbel Engle, an associate director at the FTC, testified at the Senate hearing. She said the agency conducted a consumer survey in 2011 and found that more consumers were victims of fraudulent weight-loss products than of any of the other specific frauds covered in the survey.
I don’t think people turn to snake oil salesmen because they’re stupid, (I was dieting including fad ones long after I got my second master’s degree) I think they do it because they are desperate. We live in a world that preaches that thin is everything and that we must fit into a magical number of BMI 18.5 to 24.5 or we will die a horrible lonely death. Something Dr. Oz’s show often conveys.
Stacey Bias recently put out a rad comic about Fatty Archetypes. Including such fatty types as healthy fatties, rad fatties, fat athlete, work in progress (i.e dieting fatties), etc. These are fat people are “acceptable fat.” The point of the comic is to leave no one behind and communicate that we shouldn’t have to squeeze into an archetype.
I talk a lot about health in my blog. Mainly because I think a lot of us fatties are denied health because we live in a fat hating world that preaches “Get thin or else”. We are penalized at the doctors where our fat is treated rather than our ailments, our insurance tries to charge us more for being fat, even at the clothing store we can’t get the sizes, styles, and quantity available to a thinner person. All because we don’t fit into an arcane BMI number.
This to me is more important than eating right and exercise. I believe that people of all sizes need to do their best to eat right and exercise. I believe we have the right to exercise without being harassed like Ragen Chastain was while she was running. (I doubt something like this would happen to a thin person).
However not every fat person fits in the acceptable archetype. Some people are fat and don’t eat right or exercise. They are not a rad fattie, they don’t have a disease that makes them fat, they don’t shop at Whole Foods (Granted, no one should) or do Zumba and they’re not a fat unicorn (Which would be awesome). They are just fat. Guess what? They should have all the same rights and privileges as any other fattie.
This comes on the heels of research that I've been saying in my blog for 9 years. Long term weight loss is nearly impossible. Sure you go on a diet (or lifestyle change) and lose 20 pounds, but for most people that weight will creep back usually bringing the friend of additional weight gain.
As incredible as it sounds, that's what the evidence is showing. For psychologist Traci Mann, who has spent 20 years running an eating lab at the University of Minnesota, the evidence is clear. "It couldn't be easier to see," she says. "Long-term weight loss happens to only the smallest minority of people."
So no matter what kind of fattie you are, there is no proof that you make it into the arcane number.
Scientific American recently came out with an article that discusses ditching weight loss and dieting because of poor results. It refers to a man with health problems who instead of dieting began exercising and eating his fruits and vegetables. The results were minimal weight loss but an increase in health.
Everywhere we go, from the mouths of our peers, on every magazine rack, Internet ad, and weight-loss reality show, we get the message: you need to lose weight. You are too fat. Maybe it’s time to retire this line of thinking.
The article isn’t fat positive (Although kudos to their using pictures of fat people eating healthy and exercising rather than a headless fatty). It views weight loss as not important yet later says we shouldn’t judge fat people because maybe they already lost weight and it also makes no mention of Health at Every Size™ (HAES) which promotes healthy habits over weight loss.
However, it brings up the point that we push weight loss more than healthy habits. One of the reason I’m such an advocate of Health at Every Size is all my attempts to lose weight failed me. Once I realized diets don’t work for me (And for most people), I knew that I had to instead engage in healthy habits and not care if weight loss happened. I worked to make sure my meals included vegetables and fruit and that I exercised every day. I tried my best to avoid foods my body didn’t like and to not punish myself for a splurge.
Maybe it’s time to go for a walk, or eat some asparagus, just because those are good, pleasurable things to do, and will make our lives better, whatever our weight.
Meanwhile a study shows that children who get vegetables earlier tend to still eat them later in life.
Exposing infants to a new vegetable early in life encourages them to eat more of it compared to offering novel vegetables to older children, new research from the University of Leeds suggests.
I have mentioned on my blogthat as a kid I loved vegetables, especially carrots, cucumbers, and peppers. Dieting ruined my love for vegetables. When I was on the dieting/binge cycle, I would hardly eat them if I wasn’t dieting.
We make habits so complex with dieting. There’s a million different diets out there, all with different advice, none of which have proved to work for most people in the long run. Meanwhile we ignore the age-old advice. Eat your vegetables and go out and play. I must rather the money from the diet industry be used to create parks, healthy school lunches and get rid of food deserts.
I hope everyone in the States had a good holiday weekend and didn’t worry about calories at the multi-BBQ’s they went to (I ended up going to two.)
A lot of the pants I use for work were in dire need of replacement. Because I didn’t know in advance what kind of selection the Big Fat Flea would have, I bought two pairs of pants from Marshalls and ended up getting two more pairs from the Flea. (Technically three, but only two were for work)
My favorite type of pants are pinstripes. I think they are debonair and classy looking. I couldn’t find a single pinstripe at Marshalls. After hunting their lackluster section, I ended up with two black pairs of pants.
At the flea I found many pinstripes and after trying them all on, I ended up with two pairs.
Costs of my pants from Marshalls: $45
Costs of my pants from Big Fat Flea: $10.
The pants I got from Marshalls were just okay. Both were all black. One was cotton and loose and light for summer. The other was heavier meant for all seasons. The heavier one was a lint magnet. It seemed to come out of the laundry already with cat hair. The lighter pair winkled easily.
Meanwhile the two pairs I got from the flea didn’t winkle or attract lint. They were both pinstriped and looked great on me.I have mentioned before how hard it is to buy clothes. This isn’t a rant against Marshall, but department stores and even plus size stores don’t have the sizes, style, price, quality and quantity that I want. I can't just walk into a Lane Bryant or a Macys or a JC Penney and get what I need. I have to rely on a yearly event to make up the bulk on my wardrobe. I rely more on my fat sisters to give me what I need rather than a place that I'm willing to give money.
I've been on multiple diets, but the one I did the most was Weight Watchers. I started when I was 16 and was off and on until I was 24. For eight years I did exchanges, then points. I lost weight then gained it back. No matter what I did, no matter the program, the team leader, my age, or location, I lost weight then gained it back plus more.
I believe it was my third time doing it when I (actually my parents) bought into the program where you can only buy their food. For breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, I could only eat the highly processed Weight Watcher's food and unlimited vegetables (I don't remember if the fruit was unlimited yet.) It didn't work and I weight cycled yet again. Using their foods only DID NOT change anything. I was strict on the program, lost weight, stopped, got hungry all the time, and then went on a massive binge. It was no different from when I did the program using my own foods.
When I stopped dieting, I tried to move to healthy foods which increased my interest in eating non-processed and organic food. Before I stopped dieting, I lived off of canned and boxed foods, even when I wasn't on a diet. (I should still eat Healthy Choice dinners because they were healthy, weren't they?)
Weight Watchers recently made a push to sell more of their frozen processed foods. I haven't eaten a Smart One meal in 15 years. (I don't eat any frozen foods except Amy's Gluten/dairy free burritos which I call emergency burritos because I eat them when my husband is home late and I don't want to cook.)
Unfortunately this push is more than just a "Buy our foods" deal. Katie Lowe of The Huffington Post refers to it as And for your 2014 U.S. marketing efforts, you've come up with a new campaign that -- without a hint of irony -- shames women for eating, and encourages them to adopt a healthier lifestyle by buying the range of processed, chemically formed patties you call "food."
Weight Watchers, Atkins, and genetic diet foods are often processed. (Even Atkins had these awful protein bars that tasted like cardboard) When I first started dieting, I ate diet foods not thinking about their content. It could come in a box, a can, a bag (thanks Nutrisystem) but if it was "Diet food" to me it was healthy.
Smart Ones aren't really healthy. They are high in sodium and low in fiber. To be honest, while my emergency burritos have natural (mostly) organic ingredients, they are also heavily processed. But they don't have things like this list (taken from Smart Ones Egg and Cheese Wrap):