NYT Story about Obesity

I'm disappointed that this story about obesity in the NYT hasn't gotten more play. The story discusses research findings that show the degree to which obesity is genetically determined and the finding that the body's weight is going to maintain a certain range. If someone keeps his/her weight below that range, the physical and psychological effect is akin to starvation. Here's one of the most interesting parts, in my opinion:

The Rockefeller subjects also had a psychiatric syndrome, called semi-starvation neurosis, which had been noticed before in people of normal weight who had been starved. They dreamed of food, they fantasized about food or about breaking their diet. They were anxious and depressed; some had thoughts of suicide. They secreted food in their rooms. And they binged.

As I've mentioned in this space, I struggle with my weight. I'm not overweight; in fact, my body mass index is right in the middle of the normal range, but I have to fight constantly to keep it that way. A few years ago, I weighed about twenty pounds more than I do now. I dieted and lost forty pounds, putting me at 107 pounds. Then I gained some of it back. Now my basic goal is to stay under 130, and it is extremely difficult. I definitely have a touch of that neurosis they're talking about. I believe that if I ate as much as I really want, I'd be about 150 pounds. Anyway, I wanted to link to that story in the hope that it'll get more uptake.


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the article

I saw it. It pretty much summed up my issues with weight - very depressing. I definitely get the obsessive about food neurosis. My only way to combat it is to keep a lot of low to 0 calorie foods around like grapes and cucumber slices. That, and I chew a ridiculous amount of sugar-free gum.

I suspect, though, that even if they read this article, those who are thin who see weight loss as a matter of will power or not being lazy still won't get it.

For what it's worth

For what it's worth, the morbidly obese in the world have the same neurosis. I spend more time worrying about food than would even seem possible. I wish I knew what it was like to be normal.

"they made staying thin their life's work"

This is another striking part of the story:

Eventually, more than 50 people lived at the hospital and lost weight, and every one had physical and psychological signs of starvation. There were a very few who did not get fat again, but they made staying thin their life’s work, becoming Weight Watchers lecturers, for example, and, always, counting calories and maintaining themselves in a permanent state of starvation.

I definitely feel like staying thin for me is at least a part-time job.

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