This wonderful (unlocked) article by Aimee Severson on Medium discusses the erroneous way we link dieting to health. If you’ve ever felt that you have to lose weight to be healthy this is a great resource.
While weight loss may be optimal, it’s not always achievable and yo-yo weight can be less healthy than maintaining stable weight, even if that’s at a higher than desired level. Additionally, weight is only one of many factors affecting our health, yet we tend to obsess on that one factor and even take unhealthy actions in its pursuit. She writes:
“Because the truth is, there is not a single condition where we know unequivocally that weight loss cures. And with the ones that are seemingly “helped” by weight loss, we come up on two big problems: (1) We can’t guarantee that it was the weight loss that helped anything, because (2) it could be any of the behavior changes that led to the weight loss. Because we also know that cutting off your arm (therefore losing weight) won’t fix the problem either. And even if we could guarantee that weight loss would help, we have no evidence-based way to tell you to lose weight. There aren’t any diets that work long-term.”