Recently I had the chance to ask Margarita Tartakovsky, an associate editor at Psych Central, a few questions about eating behavior. She blogs regularly about eating and self-image issues on her blog Weightless.
Q. Why doesn’t the current model of treating obesity — only telling people what and how much to eat — work for most people?
A. Great question, because the current model definitely doesn’t work. I can’t remember who said it, but there’s a saying that if you want to gain weight, go on a diet. Diets have a failure rate of about 95 percent. People may lose weight initially but then they usually gain it back and then some.
So this model doesn’t work for many reasons. For one thing, genetics plays a prominent role in our weight. This is why you can have two people who eat the same foods in the same quantities look very different. One may be thin; the other may be considered “overweight.” Our bodies are more complicated than the “calories in, calories out” equation assumes.