Tuesday 26 July 2011

Recent Study Proves Dieting Doesn't Work

Gretel Hallet, is a Trained Chocolate Fairy and is running the Getting Started half day workshop in Norwich - perfect for beginners to experience the core principles of Beyond Chocolate and equally great as a refresher for any Beyond Chocolater. If you live in East Anglia and want to know more about Beyond Chocolate or her workshops, get in touch with Gretel.

I’ve just found this article on the internet – it made the news headlines, but I wonder how many people will notice it or believe what it has to say. I know that (generally) listening to gurus is unwise, but this looks like it was a serious scientific study, and as the results confirm what I already know to be true, I’m happy to accept their findings.

The article claims:

“Once you are fat it is unlikely you will ever return to your former size, no matter how hard you diet. Scientists have confirmed what most dieters already suspect; most people who lose weight end up putting it back on again, according to a long-term study of 25,000 men and women living in the UK.
The scientists, from the Medical Research Council's National Survey of Health and Development, tracked 5,362 adults who were born in 1946, and 20,000 born in 1958, assessing their weight, blood pressure and lifestyles.
While around 12 million Britons go on diets of one kind or another every year, only around 10 per cent lose a significant amount of weight, and most regain it within a year.”

This may look like depressing reading, but it does confirm what Beyond Chocolaters already accept, that dieting is a pointless activity. Interestingly, the article did look at lifestyle, and I would hope that their subjects were drawn from as wide a range of geographical locations, social and economical backgrounds and lifestyle choices as possible.

The really depressing bit about this article is the alleged fact that around 12 million people in Britain go on diets every year. 12 million people! That’s around the number of people that live in the metropolitan area of London. That means that around 1/5 of the UK population is on a diet every year. And for the overwhelming majority of them, it doesn’t work.

I wonder how many of those 12 million people are serial dieters; people who are returning to dieting after previously unsuccessful attempts. I wonder what has to happen for those people to realise that if it didn’t work last time, it won’t work this time. I wonder how long it will take for those people to look for an alternative. When they do, we’ll be here and we’ll understand and we’ll be able to help them. I look forward to it.


  1. This is really interesting, do you have a link to the original research by the MRC? I would love to read it myself.

  2. I do wonder whether dieting stops a relentless increase in weight though. Lose a bit, put it back on, lose a bit, put it back on.. which may be better than without dieting which seems to be putting weight on, on, on!!

  3. Hi anonymous. In fact the vast majority of people end up fatter than they started once they embark on the diet route. So dieting doesn't help in any way, except in the very short term.

  4. I agree with Sophie - people who diet end up heavier than when they started and every time they diet this same thing happens - so dieting is the best way of putting on weight ....


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