Sandy Szwarc in Tech Central Station:
It has been well documented that dieting virtually always fails long-term — about 90 to 95% of the time — and that dieting drop-out rates are high. But this study also poignantly illustrated that improvements to health and health behaviors with dieting are not maintained and in the end dieting actually worsens women’s health and quality of life. The dieting group which had significantly increased their physical activity right after the treatment period, had returned to their initial levels by the end of the study. And most remarkably, there was nearly 200% more bulimia and eating disorders among the dieters compared to the nondieters. The dieters’ self esteem and depression had also significantly worsened, which isn’t surprising given most dieters are left with an overwhelming sense of failure. And the psychological and physiological effects, as well as eating problems, resulting from calorie restriction itself have been clinically documented.
The nondieters, on the other hand, enjoyed extraordinary improvements in their self esteem and feeling good about their bodies, and less depression.