An article Advocacy for Whom? on Sandy Szwarc’s blog Junkfood Science has given me furiously to think. An excerpt:
… the strongest evidence for more than half a century is that voluntary weight loss, regardless of the method, is associated with increased rates of premature deaths, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancers — by as much as several hundred percent, as the National Institutes of Health found in 1992 and the medical literature continues to support. The other problems that have been documented include the physiological effects of restrictive eating, dieting and weight loss, such as eating disorders, diminished mental acuity and work productivity, loss of concentration, nutritional shortages, reduced bone mass, cardiac arrhythmias, long-term exacerbation of high blood pressure and long-term weight gain.
The medically-documented consequences of inadequate calories, protein and deficiencies in nutrients, especially being seen among older people, include delayed wound healing, increased risks of infection, damaged heart and intestinal functions, longer hospital stays and higher rates of complications and higher mortality rates, depression, apathy, functional decline, loss of muscle strength, falls and increased fractures.
No one dies of fat, but they do from weight stigma. And they do die from bariatric surgeries, which bring objectively documented risks of dying far and above those even associated with the most “morbid obesity.”
The whole article is well worth reading.