Analysis of the Relationship between Weight Loss and Health

Nowadays, we are involuntarily under the social pressure to be similar with celebrities. From the covers of magazines to the mainstream social platform, celebrities are showing people great lives with thin and healthy body. Size zero models still dominate the catwalks and the trends like #thinspiration, #proana, which means pro-anorexia, are teamed with the stereotyping objectification of women in today’s popular culture.

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From teenager to adult, people, especially girls are universally trying to become thinner by dieting, exercising and other programs. However, are they getting healthier after losing weight? Are they really making changes that are good for themselves?

With the improvement of people’s health awareness and the emphasis on weight management, dieting and other weight loss behaviors are popular in the general population and widely encouraged in public health policy and health care practice as a solution for the “”problem”” of obesity. (Tatiana Andreyeva PhD, Michael W.Long MPH, Kathryn E. Henderson PhD, Gabrielle M. Grode MPH, 2010) However, many researches show that these approaches reliably induce short term weight loss, but the majority of individuals are unable to maintain weight loss over the long term and do not achieve the putative benefits of improved morbidity and mortality. (Linda Bacon, Lucy Aphramor, 2011)

Concern has arisen that this weight focus is not only ineffective at producing thinner, healthier bodies, but may also have unintended consequences, contributing to repeated cycles of weight loss and regain, reduced self-esteem, eating disorders, weight stigmatization and discrimination and distraction from other health goals and wider health determinants.

Such view is popular in the mainstream media that the pursuit of weight loss is a practical and positive goal. (Rena R Wing, Suzanne Phelan, 2005) However, when you admire the people who look great after losing weight, do not forget that weight cycling is the most common result of engaging in conventional dieting practices and is known to increase morbidity and mortality risk. ( Linda Bacon, Lucy Aphramor, 2011) In addition, research suggests many other contraindications to the pursuit of weight loss. For example, dieting is known to reduce bone mass, increasing risk for osteoporosis. Research also suggests that dieting is associated with increased chronic psychological stress and cortisol production, two factors known to increase disease risk. ( Linda Bacon, Lucy Aphramor, 2011)

From my point of view, people can be healthy at every size and we should shift the paradigm from weight to health. We should encourage body acceptance as opposed to weight loss. Besides, we should support reliance on internal regulatory processes, such as hunger and satiety, as opposed to encouraging cognitively-imposed dietary restriction. For the sake of the people who want to lose weight, they should focus on health, not weight and should promote self-esteem, body satisfaction, and respect for body size diversity.

I believe that as long as we change our culture, value individuality, diversity, inclusion, everyone at every size could be free to become the better visions of themselves and their weight would never hold them back from being who they are.

Reference List

[1] Linda Bacon, Lucy Aphramor, 2011. Weight Science: Evaluating the Evidence for a Paradigm Shift [online] (24 January 2011) Available at: [Accessed 12 Jun.2017]

[2] Rena R Wing, Suzanne Phelan, 2005. Long-term weight loss maintenance [online] (01 July 2005) Available at: [Accessed 12 Jun.2017]

[3] Tatiana Andreyeva PhD, Michael W.Long MPH, Kathryn E. Henderson PhD, Gabrielle M. Grode MPH, 2010.Trying to Lose Weight: Diet Strategies among Americans with Overweight or Obesity in 1996 and 2003[online] (30 March 2010) Available at: [Accessed 12 Jun.2017]

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