Junkfood Science: From Australia: Another one bites the dust

June 04, 2007

From Australia: Another one bites the dust

The media has thus far ignored this study published in the current issue of the International Journal of Obesity, but it’s especially timely, what with the war on obesity heating up in Australia.

This retrospective study looked at the effectiveness of weight control and weight gain prevention efforts practiced by 11,589 middle-age women participating in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health. As here in America, most of the women were actively trying to control their weight, using diet and exercise. They were eating less, cutting down fat, sugars, portion sizes and calories; with two-thirds of them also exercising.

Essentially, they were following the best — and well-worn — advice of public health officials. The researchers found that over the two-year study period:

The majority of mid-age women attempting weight control used practices consistent with public health messages. Despite their efforts, the group was mostly unsuccessful in preventing weight gain.

Since that clearly wasn’t working, the researchers suggested that public health authorities might need to emphasize their messages with greater frequency, detail and intensity.

And their evidence that doing more of the same will work? They neglected to provide any.

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