A REQUIEM FOR DIETING and THE BODY IMAGE ADJUSTMENT DEPARTMENT
Here are the ideal beauties throughout the ages. The first three images depict our true, genetic endowments. You can see that they were quite similar until the 1970s. Before that, most of us had roughly comparable bodies that we felt good about. Barring a famine or other disaster, this was the way we were genetically programmed to look (with ethnic and gender variations of course.) And our true, genetic health corresponded to our naturally ‘good’ looks. There was almost no heart disease, for example, before the 1930’s. Only since the 1970’s have our health and body shapes ever deviated radically from their inborn programming.
And here’s Marilyn, but she could have been Rosiland, Ava, or any of the other voluptuous beauties of the 1950s.
Then we went into an Audrey and Twiggy phase, and, for the first time in history, we all began to aspire to a fleshless image of beauty and to practice voluntary starvation to achieve it. But at first, in the 60’s, it was just another fashion fad. We did not suddenly decide that we were fat and ugly. (Trust me – I was there.)
Actually, dieting only really caught on in the 70’s, because we started to gain unneeded weight then, for the first time in history. Why? In the 70’s we switched to a high-carb, low-fat, low-protein diet. Our new “healthy” sweet-and-starch-based diet was much more weight promoting then the cholesterol-phobic health scientists had predicted. (And it has also turned out to be more heart damaging!) Fat was not the problem, it turned out. Our sudden and unprecedented weight gain was fueled by sweet and starchy carbs! The body knows only one thing to do with excess carbs: convert them to fat and store them on the body.
SO WHY NOT DIET IT OFF?
Low-cal dieting strips us of muscle and water before it goes after the fat.
But muscle is what burns calories. Oops.
Dieting starves our brain’s appetite-regulating centers. This increases our appetites. Oops again.
Dieting slows down our thyroid’s calorie-burning activity. We regain the weight, and more. Triple oops!
We became more ravenous, diet-prone, and diabetic after High Fructose Corn Syrup was added (in 1970) to the already highly addictive sugar - and white flour-based products that now comprised the standard American diet. Enter the era of eating and weight disorders.
For the first time in human history we now have epidemic rates of weight gain, obesity, and diabetes, even among children. Even infants are now impacted!
This is a new form of malnutrition, caused by the U. S. led over-consumption of calorie dense, but nutrient void sweets and starches alternating with planned starvation ie. dieting. The familiar and dreaded signs of famine - and disaster - caused starvation are still with us, mostly in “undeveloped” places, but this is no longer our planet’s primary nutritional concern. In the 21st century, disfigurement, illness, and death worldwide are over twice as likely to be caused by SAADD – The Standard Addictive American Diet & Dieting. Very SAADD.
The NEW Diet Cure is your 21st century survival manual. Break the nutritional code: follow the foolproof steps to freedom from sugar addiction, skinny addiction, and starvation addiction.
See Chapters 2 and 10 and the Research page here for more on dieting and body image.