Washington [US], August 21 (ANI): Decades of dieting research have recently been re-evaluated during a study to redefine the way researchers and the public define and understand the culture of weight loss and dieting.
The findings of the study were published in the journals 'Appetite' and 'Physiology and Behavior'.
The research was conducted by Michael Lowe, PhD, a professor in Drexel University's College of Arts and Sciences.
For decades, there has been an accepted definition of dieting in academia, and in society as a whole.
According to Lowe, the most pressing problem is not dieting itself, but the collision of the modern food environment with our immutable evolutionary heritage that drives us to find and consume food when it is available.
In today's food environment, this combination makes lasting control of food intake (and, usually, body mass) exceptionally difficult.
These challenges are further magnified if there is a genetic predisposition toward excessive weight gain.
Lowe, along with doctoral students Joanna Chen and Simar Singh, explained the relation of this background to dieting.
"Research regarding the definition and consequences of dieting has generated controversy for years. This controversy has spilt over into the public domain, especially as eating disorders and obesity have become more prevalent," said Lowe.
"One of the earliest and longest-lasting controversies involves the restrained eating framework created by University of Toronto professors Peter Herman and Janet Polivy in the mid-1970s," added Lowe.
Lowe and colleagues suggested that historical trends impacted the development of the Restraint Theory in ways that inappropriately impugned the practice of dieting for weight control.
In the 1970s and 1980s, two worrisome health problems started to increase substantially: obesity and eating disorders involving binge eating (bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder). (ANI)