UCLA school of nursing has done a study showing that fat and thin children when doing lifestyle changes rather than dieting improved their health with very little weight loss.
"These findings suggest that short-term lifestyle modifications through changing diet and exercise can have an immediate impact on improving risk factors such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes," said Christian Roberts, an associate research professor at the UCLA School of Nursing and the study's lead author. "This work underscores the need to focus on changing lifestyle as opposed to focusing on body weight and weight loss.
Duke, instead of the usual banter of either get thin or die or lose just 5-10% is now on the "Just maintain."
"Many people go to great lengths to lose weight when their doctor recommends it. They may try a series of diets or join a gym or undergo really complex medical regimens. The complexity of these treatments can make it difficult for many to lose a sufficient amount of weight," said lead author Gary Bennett, an associate professor of psychology and neuroscience and global health at Duke who studies obesity prevention.
Neither are exactly Health at Every Size (HAES™). Duke completely misses the boat by still focusing on weight rather than health. While both bring us closer to HAES as the removal of weight as a health indicator, the weight factor is still there especially with the Duke study. People sometimes gain weight from stress, aging, hormones, and certain medications. For the UCLA study, it assumes that being unhealthy leads to being fat (Although there is a little disclaimer that perhaps it is metabolic issues that cause fatness not the other way around).
Unhealthy lifestyle factors that begin in childhood, such as physical inactivity, lack of exercise training, and diets that are high in refined carbohydrates and fat, contribute to both the development of obesity and other chronic diseases, but it is unclear whether obesity itself or the associated lifestyle factors are underlying causes of cardiovascular and metabolic dysfunction and the related development of chronic disease.
Instead of telling people to just maintain, or lose a little or focusing on weight at all, they need to remove weight completely as a health indicator. This means that everyone, fat, thin, young, old, learns to listen to their body, give it the foods it needs (without a moral implication of it i.e. good vs bad foods), and love it without worry that it doesn't fit in the ever changing society norms.