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You don’t have to be the biggest loser to achieve weight loss success

Weight-loss ads and television shows regularly profile people who have transformed their lives through major losses of 30 kilograms or more. These weight-loss ambassadors try to inspire us to do the same…

Losing just 5% of your body weight is likely to improve your health. Image from shutterstock.com

Weight-loss ads and television shows regularly profile people who have transformed their lives through major losses of 30 kilograms or more. These weight-loss ambassadors try to inspire us to do the same by telling us they feel more alive, they can play with their kids and their confidence has grown – now they can fit into a size ten dress.

These messages are echoed by health promotion agencies that encourage us to fight the obesity epidemic – and the rise of chronic diseases – by achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.

Major weight loss certainly sounds like a good plan if you’re overweight or obese and serious about improving your health. But the reality is it’s incredibly difficult to lose 30 kg, and even if you do, it’s even harder to keep off in the long term.

Instead, international guidelines commonly recommend an initial weight loss target of 10% of your starting body weight. Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) draft guidelines for the management of overweight and obesity recommend starting with a more modest weight loss goal of 5% or 5kg, whichever is higher.

For people who are overweight (with a body mass index or BMI of 25 to 29) or have crossed over into obesity (with a BMI of 30 to 35), a 5% to 10% weight loss is enough to improve your health and reduce risk factors for chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. After two years, your risk of developing type 2 diabetes diabetes will have halved.

Some heavier people who have a BMI over 30 may need to lose 15% to 20% of their weight to get the same improvement in risk profile.

Managing expectations

The strongest predictor of dropping out of a weight-loss program is starting off with an expectation of losing a really large amount of weight. So, one of the practical problems in starting the weight-loss journey is that people rarely want to limit their weight loss to 5% of their starting weight.

This 2005 study of 1,785 obese Italians is a good example. The group had a mean BMI of 38. Their maximum or “dream” weight loss goal was 32% of their starting body weight, and their minimum “acceptable” weight loss was 23%.

This weight loss expectation is five to six times more weight than is needed to improve their health, well-being and quality of life and to reduce their medication needs.

It’s therefore important for health professionals to manage their patients' weight-loss expectations. Start with a goal of 10% of initial body weight and focus on health improvement, reductions in medication use and improved quality of life. Once this has been achieved, then you can revise the goals.

Aim to lose 5% of your starting body weight – and keep it off. Image from shutterstock.com

Losing weight and keeping it off

The good news is that we now know a lot more about how to successfully maintain a reasonable weight loss.

A 2011 study of more than 5,000 Americans with existing type 2 diabetes found that almost one quarter had maintained a weight loss of 10% or more of their starting weight after four years. Importantly, success was associated with attending more treatment sessions, reporting greater adherence to the lower kilojoule diet and burning more kilojoules in physical activity.

A review of the long-term weight loss trials found a mean weight loss of 3kg to 6kg (3% to 6%) was maintained in trials that extended to four years.

It’s important to note that participants regain some weight once treatment the ends. This is completely normal, and should be expected because as soon as you ease off on the kilojoule restriction or exercise routine needed for weight loss, your weight will creep back up.

Therefore, based on current research, the definition of successful long-term weight loss is being able to maintain a weight loss of 5% of your starting body weight for more than a year.

Bariatric surgery is the only intervention where weight losses greater than 10% body weight have been maintained for 10 years or longer.

Step by step weight loss

Weight loss is never easy but a little common sense can go a long way in helping you achieve your goals. If you are planing to lose weight, here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Clarify your reasons for weight loss and identify your “dream” weight versus your “acceptable” weight

  2. Set an initial weight loss goal of 5% to 10% of your starting weight, to avoid triggering a drop out

  3. Participate fully in your diet and exercise program. The more sessions you attend or the more entries you make in web programs, the more weight you lose

  4. Enlist the help of a weight-loss professional such as a dietitian, or another person trying to lose weight

  5. Self-monitor both your physical activity and eating habits to make sure there is an increase in the kilojoules you burn up in exercise and a decrease in your kilojoules intake

  6. Hang in there – the National Weight Control Registry of people who have kept at least 13 kg off for five years report that it does get easier over time.

Finally, long-term weight loss depends on long-term lifestyle changes. Being physically active each day, reducing your daily kilojoules intake, maintain healthy eating habits on weekends and holidays, and jumping on weight rebounds when they’re small will all increase your chance of success.

Join the conversation

52 Comments sorted by

Comments on this article are now closed.

  1. Chris Saunders

    retired

    Thanks Clare for this encouraging round up of research on losing weight.
    It really isn’t overly difficult to lose weight, but when it comes to explaining the science, and enumerating the rules, based on research you cite, it all sounds so hard. I lost 17 kilos over a two year period by first cutting out all sugar and taking a thirty minute (slow) walk every day. Then over the months as my appetite decreased, I cut my bread and pasta to a third, and then I halved my wine from 2 glasses to 1. I…

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    1. Clare Collins

      Professor in Nutrition and Dietetics at University of Newcastle

      In reply to Chris Saunders

      Chris
      Congratulations of making those lifestyle changes. I agree that making changes you van live with is the key. The NWCR of those successful long-term also show that self-monitoring of your weight (like the scales , waist size) are traits worth adopting. On the food front- getting as many vegetables and salad inot your day help. And to lower your risk of colon cancer- try swapping the bacon for a poached egg, grilled tomato and mushrooms or Rolled oats make on low fat milk and fruit. Keep up the great work and share you secrets with friends.

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    2. John Doyle

      architect

      In reply to Clare Collins

      Funnily enough, that's my breakfast too. Two eggs,a small steak plus mushrooms and a tomato. None of this cereal mixes, wheat intake cut right down. Carbs [greens] at night. Limit snacks to nuts and cheeses. No hunger pangs now.

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    3. Chris Saunders

      retired

      In reply to John Doyle

      John I agree absolutely.
      I think people misunderstand the psychology involved in dieting. You eat the natural foods you like; you avoid processed foods with their additives and gradually decrease the amount of foods you eat especially carbohydrate foods. You are not to experience ravenous hunger. You avoid feeling deprived. Feeling deprived only leads to cravings and a dietary break out. Occasional break outs can be withstood, but you are better off avoiding them; they are the slippery slide.

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    4. Judith Olney

      Ms

      In reply to John Doyle

      Hi John and Chris, I totally agree with what you are saying. I changed my diet completely and stopped eating processed foods as much as possible, I eat when I am actually hungry, and this varies from day to day, depending on my activity level. I do not count calories, and rarely weigh myself. My clothes, and how I feel generally, tell me if I need to lose weight.

      I think a lot of people are put off doing something about their weight, because they see people in the weight loss shows, like "the…

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  2. John Doyle

    architect

    All sensible stuff.
    However as one who shed 15% over a year, I have found there needs to be a trigger mechanism to get the body started. I'm not sure now what did it for me initially, but every so often the weight loss would plateau, even for several weeks and then restart. Strangely I lost 3 kg over Christmas which were what one might call cheat days. I found that having a fast day can help make a start.
    I do not do "Exercise" but I keep active. The health benefits make it all worthwhile.

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    1. Clare Collins

      Professor in Nutrition and Dietetics at University of Newcastle

      In reply to John Doyle

      John you are spot on about the triggers. These can vary from a health scare, to wanting to feel better in yourself or your appearance. Sometimes seeing a photo or catching your reflection is "the moment". You do have to be in the zone. research also shows that every time you take advantage of being "in the zone" that you reduce your life time risk of type 2 diabetes compared those whose never have a 'trigger' that they respond to. I strongly support being physically active - any way you can - as the way to go. Well done I suspect you keep active over Christmas.

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    2. John Doyle

      architect

      In reply to John Doyle

      For those interested I know of two books put out over the net which encapsulate what I for one am doing about my weight and health;
      "Superdiet" by Caleb Lee is invaluable. Google the name and see.
      Plus "The Dark Side of Fat loss" by Sean Croxton, who also does podcasts. <underground wellness.com> is in even more detail.
      There are other worthwhile people but start with these two.
      Caleb Lee goes into exercise as well, but being active, i.e. not sitting down for more than an hour at a time, doing a lot of walking,[especially uphill] or housework or gardening is being active.

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  3. Gary Cassidy

    Monash University

    "long-term weight loss depends on long-term lifestyle changes"

    Absolutely, maintaining the same lifestyle and just trying to reduce calories doesn't work (for most people). Replacing a diet high in processed foods with a diet low in processed foods does seem to work for many even when the mechanism to reduce processed foods is different (low sugar, low carb, no carb, vegan (high carb), no wheat, etc, etc). Exclusive to weight loss, diet can also increase the risk of various diseases - we generally…

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  4. Tyson Adams

    Scientist and author

    Just throwing this out there: you also have to identify the REAL reason you have gotten fat in the first place. This doesn't necessarily apply to the average person, but to the severely fat people (i.e. those that want to lose 30% of the BW) there has to be something more to their weight than just a bit of poor food choices and some overeating.

    Until you deal with the underlying psychological issues, the dieting becomes the much discussed yo-yo effect.

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    1. Chris Saunders

      retired

      In reply to Tyson Adams

      I melted 20% body weight gradually over two years, but I did not think about psychological reasons for having put that weight on in the first place. Being an older person, I assumed it had been the proverbial two extra bites of the sandwich daily over twenty years. Which is not necessarily a valid assumption to hold. But somewhere along the way I had eaten too much, and was continuing to do so. I do know however, that having always had a small appetite, I was rather envious of those people around…

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  5. Guy Aron

    Librarian

    I yesterday had the pleasant experience of being asked by a colleague how I had lost so much weight!

    My "secret" is quite consistent with previous comments and the story. I practically eliminated sugar; when I wanted to sweeten something, I used stevia. I cut out chocolate, cakes and biscuits. I bring my own snacks to work, including a small portion of Greek yoghurt at mid-morning, and a pear and a scant handful of dried fruit and nuts at mid-afternoon. This stops me buying unhealthy things like…

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  6. rory robertson

    logged in via email @gmail.com

    Thanks for today's piece, Professor Collins, and for your sustained efforts over the years in fighting obesity in Australia. I wonder if I could get your thoughts on the lack of competent quality control in the Australian nutrition space.

    I'm hoping I'm not alone in thinking it important that senior members of Australia's Cosy Nutrition "Science" Club start to do what they can to minimise the exposure of everyday people to false and misleading information about the causes of obesity and diabetes…

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  7. Jennifer Lee

    Lecturer in Creative Writing, Gender Studies and Literary Studies at Victoria University

    I'd like to see research on what behaviour changes the people who lose 5% of their body weight are making. Perhaps it is increased exercise and a nutritious diet that has positive health impacts, whether or not that leads to weight loss? Why else would a small amount of weight loss have a large impact? I'm just questioning that weight loss should still be the primary goal. If we're talking about a 5 kilogram weight loss, why not just focus on healthy behaviours and throw out the scales?. You're asking…

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    1. Chris Saunders

      retired

      In reply to Jennifer Lee

      Hi Jen,
      One point I would like to make is that when I gave my contribution, I was assuming the person dieting was healthy. Most people have blood tests etc when they are unwell.
      Another point, when I explained how I lost weight, Clare then came in with the suggestion of how I should avoid colon cancer by abstaining from bacon. I would like to suggest it is the dietician who is inadvertently confusing the issues of losing weight and health or preventative medicine generally and feeling the responsibility…

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    2. Clare Collins

      Professor in Nutrition and Dietetics at University of Newcastle

      In reply to Jennifer Lee

      Jennifer
      There are 3 major groups in Finland, USA and China who have all conducted diabetes prevention projects showing that small amounts of weight loss can turn the development of type 2 diabetes within groups of people at risk of developing it. This is because on average most adults are gaining weight year in year out. In Australia in one of the few studies that measured peoples weight, the AUSDIAB 2005 report showed this is about 300 grams per year in adults (http://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/en/Resources/Reports/National/AusDiab-2005-Followup-Study-Report

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    3. Chris Saunders

      retired

      In reply to Clare Collins

      “So to go from gaining weight to losing weight means you have been successful in changing your lifestyle, you will be eating differently and moving more.” I find this a bit of a sticking point. I found the weight losing process was more a matter of eating the ‘right’ foods, and maybe even exercising less. When I ate a low fat and low salt diet, I compensated for their lack in my diet by eating more fruit and veg and cereal and pasta and sugar. This was when I put the weight on, albeit over a number…

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    4. Judith Olney

      Ms

      In reply to Chris Saunders

      Hi Chris, you make some interesting points. I found that I lost weight when I stopped worrying about what I was eating, and just followed the very simple plan of avoiding as much processed food as I could. This included all low fat, or diet foods, artificially sweetened products and all seed oils and any hydrogenated oils.

      I found that eating breakfast, (something that seems to be recommended all the time), actually made me feel sluggish, and put on weight. I was eating when I wasn't hungry…

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  8. Keith Thomas

    Retired

    I'd prefer to see a change in mindset, so that we talk and think about losing FAT, not WEIGHT. Most people with a BMI over 30 have been relatively inactive and need to add muscle (which, of course, has weight). "Muscle is medicine" as Art DeVany says, and people with more muscle also carry themselves in a more upright way, have fewer pains and just feel better. People who begin serious exercise quickly put on muscle (and thus, weight) and should not be dispirited because of the slowly reducing readout on their bathroom scales.

    Older people who have successfully lost 30 or 40 kg of body fat, especially post menopausal women, are left with saggy, folds where once the fat accumulated. Younger people just look slim. Is there any way other than surgery to get rid of the empty 'fat bags'?

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    1. Judith Olney

      Ms

      In reply to Keith Thomas

      Keith, I agree with the focus being on losing fat, rather than weight, but I think that using the BMI as the measure is why the focus has been on weight. BMI is a measurement of weight, (mass), not of body composition. I know people who have BMI's over 30, 1 is fat, the other 2 are very fit, with a lot of lean muscle mass. BMI does not indicate whether a person is active or not, it is simply a measure of weight to height.

      People do not need to do "serious exercise" to lose fat, and be healthier, but they do need to be more active, however, this can take many forms. When people lose fat, they feel more like being active as well, and will do more activity, for the simple reason that they can, and enjoy it more.

      I think that anyone losing a lot of fat quickly will end up with "fat bags", younger people have more elastic skin so will suffer less of this than older people.

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    2. Michael Hay

      retired

      In reply to Judith Olney

      I have not watched very many of the 'weight-loss' TV programmes as I find them somewhat disgusting. It is not the sight of obese people flaunting their excesses in a manner which suggests that they have no control over their own actions, but the bullying the 'experts' use to make a film out of a subject which does not need any more exposure that it already has.
      How on earth does jumping off a cliff into deep water when one is scared of heights or cannot swim have any relevance to losing weight? The answer, of course, is nothing - other than a perverted idea of entertainment.

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    3. Judith Olney

      Ms

      In reply to Michael Hay

      I agree Michael, I don't watch these programs, because the ads for them show me enough of what they are about, and I find that disgusting enough. I think they are meant to be some sort of competition, just like all the other stupid reality TV shows. They seem to use the same formula, where the "experts", be they fitness trainers, celebrity chefs, or entertainment people, humiliate, bully, or on rare occasions patronisingly encourage the competitors, to get an emotional reaction which satisfies the needs of the judgemental and voyeuristic audience.

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    4. rory robertson

      logged in via email @gmail.com

      In reply to Michael Hay

      Michael and Guy, if the BFL contestants were not devoted to being "TV stars" they could save themselves a mountain of effort and ridicule simply by quietly following a proven anti-obesity diet: http://www.australianparadox.com/pdf/why-we-get-fat.pdf

      If, on top of that, they were to walk quietly around the block each day, adding an extra lap or two after each 5kg of weightloss, they would drop the first 20-100kg or so in a year without any fuss. As time passed, the fat would melt away and they…

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    5. Chris Saunders

      retired

      In reply to Keith Thomas

      Hi Keith,
      I am not young. I don't know what you do with fat bags after you have lost weight, but if you lose weight gradually as I have (over 2 years), you do not develop fat bags. That was one of the main reasons I decided to lose slow in the hope that my skin would absorb any possible hanging skin which appears to occur with sudden weight loss, and it did.

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    6. Chris Saunders

      retired

      In reply to Judith Olney

      I also wonder too Judith what the long term issues these people face with these amazing feats of strength required of them such as pulling buses etc. If they don't wreck their backs, their hips, their knees and for women their pelvic organs and of course sudden weight loss in itself is known to aggravate pelvic organ prolapse etc in women. I wonder if there is some warning about this, or perhaps the trainers have never heard of this. Be interesting to talk to all of these contestants in ten years time. But I guess they have had to sign all their rights in these things away.

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    7. Judith Olney

      Ms

      In reply to Chris Saunders

      Good point Chris, I wonder how many of them manage to keep the fat off long term as well.

      Losing fat very quickly, (like they do in the show), is also dangerous for the liver, kidneys and other internal organs, but we don't hear about this either.

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    8. Keith Thomas

      Retired

      In reply to Judith Olney

      I agree, Judith. My use of the word "serious" was not sufficiently clear. I did not mean extremely or disproportionately vigorous, demanding or exhausting. I did mean a regime of activity that has been seriously designed to be appropriate for the person concerned.

      I should add that for people who have become accustomed to a sedentary lifestyle, this could, still, present them with a shock. They may find the activity repulsive and feel unable to contemplate months or even years of similar effort a few days a week. Rest assured, even the ghastliest exercise/activity (if seriously/scientifically designed), will become less difficult as time passes and will generally transform over time into a welcome challenge.

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    9. Judith Olney

      Ms

      In reply to Keith Thomas

      Lots of maybes Keith. Heres a few of mine, maybe somebody with a sedentary lifestyle would find more activity motivating rather than shocking. Maybe they would find activity enjoyable, and wonder why they hadn't done it sooner.

      Its all in the way you look at it. I love being active, but I really hate exercise for the sake of it. I don't enjoy team sports, but love a round of golf. I hate running, and gyms, but will happily garden for hours, or ride my bicycle everyday. I can't think of anything worse than endlessly swimming laps, but I love taking my dog to the beach.

      Activity doesn't have to mean regimented exercise, it doesn't have to be serious or scientific, it just needs to be enjoyable to the person doing it.

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  9. Guy Hibbins

    Medical Officer

    What does it actually mean when we say that most people do not lose more than 10% of their weight? Does it mean that attempts to lose more weight are mostly futile and should be discouraged?

    Strictly speaking it simply means that the interventions attempted were not successful in losing more weight in the population in question.

    If the interventions were drugs or devices we would simply say that they did not work, rather than saying that large scale weight loss is inherently unrealistic…

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    1. Chris Saunders

      retired

      In reply to Guy Hibbins

      The few Asian people I have close relationships with claim a faster metabolism, they certainly from my observation do not eat less and certainly do not eat more of a plant based diet, in Australia at any rate. They, like Australians enjoy their meat.
      But yes if you tell people something is impossible, most will believe you, except the rebels and they will make sure to prove you wrong.

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    2. Guy Hibbins

      Medical Officer

      In reply to Chris Saunders

      In the Oxford Cornell China study which was the largest international dietary study ever done the Chinese ate a lot more plant based diet and the West. Their calories from fat were around 15% as opposed to 40% in the West. The age adjusted rate of heart disease was one sixteenth the US rate and obesity and diabetes were very rare indeed.
      See Diet, lifestyle, and the etiology of coronary artery disease: the Cornell China study.
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9860369
      When this study was repeated 25 years later in 2010, there had been a marked shift towards a Western style diet. Obesity was common and significantly 25% of the adult Chinese population were either diabetic or prediabetic. See Prevalence of diabetes among men and women in China http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20335585
      This is a shift of historic proportions and hugely affects the rate of things like coronary disease. As Dean Ornish says, the world now eats and dies like the Americans do.

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    3. rory robertson

      logged in via email @gmail.com

      In reply to Guy Hibbins

      Yes indeed, Guy, the Chinese diet changed profoundly over recent decades. Importantly, the most profound and unnatural dietary change on the path to obesity and diabetes in China - as elsewhere - involved the addition of bucket after bucket of sugar and/or HFCS: see chart at http://www.australianparadox.com/part-2

      One obvious problem is that added sugar does something very bad to appetite control. It does plenty of other bad things as well: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17Sugar-t.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

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    4. Guy Hibbins

      Medical Officer

      In reply to rory robertson

      Yes Rory it is well established that excessive sugar consumption is a major contributor to obesity, however, it is not the only cause. Excess fat is also very important.
      The line that sugar is the main cause of obesity flies in the face of the fact that both fat an sugar overconsumption have been traced by 30 years of dietary statistical regression analysis by the US National Institutes for Health to be responsible for the explosion of obesity in recent decades. This is well explained in a review…

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    5. Guy Hibbins

      Medical Officer

      In reply to John Doyle

      High basically means high in percentage calories/kJ from fat. This includes all types of fat. In an evolutionary sense humans generally did not obtain more than around 10-15% of their calories from fat (with the exception of the eskimos who evolved to be able to do it). In many parts of the world this is still the case, and this is reflected in their rates of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. High fat diets and especially diets high in saturated fat and trans fat will raise cholesterol levels…

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    6. Chris Saunders

      retired

      In reply to Guy Hibbins

      Of course we all have to interpret these things for ourselves and do what works for us. But I think it fair to say that most people are on low fat diets to begin with and are reasonably active. We need to remember that the attractiveness of fat is its smooth mouth feel, its taste and its satiety power. And of course the body needs fat. Having restricted their fat intake people then compensate for that lost mouth feel, taste and satiety by eating more carbs, worst case scenario ice-cream and chocolate…

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    7. Judith Olney

      Ms

      In reply to Chris Saunders

      Hi Chris, I tried the 3rd link that John put up, and it worked fine, if it doesn't work by clicking it, try to copy and paste it into the address line of your browser.

      Hope you can get to view it, its a fantastic vid.

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    8. Guy Hibbins

      Medical Officer

      In reply to Chris Saunders

      Chris nobody is suggesting that you eat no fat at all. In fact you need about 5 grams of essential fatty acid in the diet daily. The point is that diets with a historically unnaturally high proportion of calories from fat have contributed to the obesity epidemic at a population level.

      This is actually very serious as obesity has already led to an increased rate of heart attacks and diabetes since 1990 and will continue to raise health care costs and lead to more disability and decreased healthy life expectancy.

      The US Surgeon General has flagged obesity not just as the greatest public health threat but the greatest threat overall.

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    9. Guy Hibbins

      Medical Officer

      In reply to Judith Olney

      Judith nobody is suggesting that statins are an alternative to a healthy diet. Clearly if a person is obese because they eat a high fat and sugar diet which is calorically dense and this causes them to overeat because they do not get the natural signals of being full, then no amount of statins or any other medication will fix that. To expect that there will be a magic pill which will fix the nation's dietary problems is really just wishful thinking. Similarly to put up statins as a straw man in an argument against reducing fat in the diet is hardly persuasive.

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    10. Judith Olney

      Ms

      In reply to Guy Hibbins

      Guy you are the one inventing strawmen to beat on. I merely suggested watching the movie that John put a link to. I put the link up because there is a lot of information about the fundamental flaw in the idea that eating fats causes us to either be fat, or as a risk to heart disease.

      I have learned to ignore the advice coming from people who think that eating fats, or worse still replacing saturated fats with hydrogenated seed oils, is better for anyone's health.

      I think we need a rethink…

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    11. rory robertson

      logged in via email @gmail.com

      In reply to Guy Hibbins

      Thanks Guy for your detailed reply. Yes, I have read Kessler's book. It is a good one. A 2013 "update" on the topic is "Salt Sugar Fat" by Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Moss; he fleshes out your point that the food industry is adding sugar, salt and fat - with scary calculated precision - to promote overconsumption. Emma Alberici had MM on the ABC's Lateline a weak or two ago: http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2013/s3747871.htm

      Is it the added sugar, is it the added fat? Obviously both…

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    12. rory robertson

      logged in via email @gmail.com

      In reply to Guy Hibbins

      Guy, your explanation of global obesity, CVD and diabetes via fat and cholesterol sounds like the standard story that Gary Taubes so convincingly demolished in Good Calories, Bad Calories (GCBC). Taubes's science-heavy 600-page 2007 book is - I hope you will agree - a rather detailed response to that 2002 critique of his NYTimes article you posted earlier.

      You say "In an evolutionary sense humans generally did not obtain more than around 10-15% of their calories from fat (with the exception…

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    13. Judith Olney

      Ms

      In reply to rory robertson

      Interesting to note Rory, that when someone removes processed and junk food from their diet, as I and others have done, this pretty much removes all the excess sugar as well.

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    14. Guy Hibbins

      Medical Officer

      In reply to rory robertson

      I think that it is interesting that people get to be seen as experts in fields in the diet field when they have no formal qualifications. Taubes studied nuclear physics but gets $700,000 advances for his diet books.

      I note that in his latest book he states that obesity is not actually about energy balance at all but about insulin. A novel approach I but not without its problems in that it does not accord with actual feeding experiments or for that matter the principle of the conservation of…

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    15. rory robertson

      logged in via email @gmail.com

      In reply to Judith Olney

      Thanks Judith. Yes, David Gillespie's "Sweet Poison" rule "If it is sweet, do not eat" - with exceptions for parties - is very powerful because it side-steps the determined efforts of the food industry to promote the overconsumption of processed foods chocka with added sugar and fat. David G. may literally have saved my life, or at least added a couple of decades to it.

      Interestingly, while the Australian Nutrition "Science" Club has an unwritten rule that fellow professionals in The Club are…

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  10. Margo Saunders

    Public Health Policy Researcher

    'My motivation came from a workplace health check where I was told (not in these words) that I was too fat.' So...can we please extend these programs so that they reach more people (especially males) with meaningful personal health information?

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  11. rory robertson

    logged in via email @gmail.com

    PROBLEMS WITH COMPETENCE AND INTEGRITY IN MODERN NUTRITION "SCIENCE"

    Guy, you wrote: "I think that it is interesting that people get to be seen as experts in fields in the diet field when they have no formal qualifications. Taubes studied nuclear physics but gets $700,000 advances for his diet books".

    Guy, it's not about the degrees one did at university, it is about the degree of competence shown in one's chosen field. Guy, you have mentioned the money twice: please understand that Gary Taubes…

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    1. Judith Olney

      Ms

      In reply to rory robertson

      Hi Rory, I have no problem with the evidence you have provided, in fact I applaud your efforts to bring these inconsistencies and outright lies to the fore.

      I also have a lot of respect for Taubes work, and the work of others, that questions the accepted wisdom, (we all should be doing this), of those that make a profit or are simply sloppy in their work.

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