To Live and Diet
Considering that over 30 percent of Americans are obese, obesity and dieting are major public health issues in the United States. The research team, based at Duke University and at Structure House (the first center for weight loss in the United States to apply behavioral modification to weight control), studied 288 obese people who had sought treatment for their condition; 81 of whom were men.
"The dramatic message of this study is that we have got to stop putting people on diets without giving them other kinds of support," says co-author Phillip R. Costanzo, Ph.D., Structure House's research director and head of Duke University's Department of Psychology: Social and Health Sciences. "Dieting is hazardous for people because it sets up feelings of failure and self-loathing. Many of our subjects resorted to food to escape those negative feelings."
The study's findings were published in the spring 2000 edition of the International Journal of Eating Disorders.