Dietble — Changing Eating Behaviour

Evaluating a ‘non-diet’ wellness intervention

Although traditional diet programs have been highly successful in producing short-term weight loss for subjects who adhere to the treatment protocol, they are also plagued with high attrition and post-treatment weight regain/loss of associated health improvements. If the weight loss cannot be accomplished or sustained, the benefits of diet programs may be limited and risk factors may become worse if individuals give up on health habit improvements when they are unsuccessful at achieving or sustaining weight loss. The principle finding of this study was that a non-diet approach, in the absence of weight loss, can produce similar health improvements, while at the same time effectively minimizing the attrition problems common to participants in diet programs.

As a result, a non-diet program appears to be an effective alternative to diet programs in improving health. Since non-diet participants report feeling successful and ‘better about (them)selves’, and higher self-esteem, and since these improvements are not predicated on maintaining lost weight, it is hoped that these improvements can be better sustained over the long term. Health care practitioners are thus encouraged to refer women with a history of chronic dieting to non-diet intervention.

Evaluating a ‘non-diet’ wellness intervention for improvement of metabolic fitness, psychological well-being and eating and activity behaviors
L Bacon, NL Keim, MD Van Loan, M Derricote, B Gale, A Kazaks & JS Stern