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01.11.2011 Posted In: NETWORKER EXCHANGE By Rich Simon
“It’s that time of the year again,” writes Judith Matz in her cover piece on our national obsession with dieting in the January/February Networker. “Every January, the weight-loss frenzy begins anew as the overeating of the holiday season subsides and millions of us resolve that this will be the year that we will lose weight and keep it off.”
Our national cornucopia spilleth over our waistlines in rolls of fat even more than it did 13 years ago: obesity rates were 15 to 20 percent in 1995, and about 34 percent in 2008. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tells us we’ve become an “obesogenic” society, “characterized by environments that promote increased food intake, nonhealthful foods, and physical inactivity.” For more information, click here.
As every therapist knows, we eat for emotional, as well as physiological, reasons--out of boredom, anger, sadness, anxiety, and self-hatred. Food, like drugs or alcohol, is a great anesthetic for pain, a distraction from suffering.
In our January issue, “Diets and Our Demons,” we look at the unqualified failure of the dieting industry--despite billions spent on weight-loss programs and products, 95 to 98 percent of dieters regain the weight they lost. Do therapists know something that the weight-loss industry doesn’t?
For a variety of answers to this question, check out not only Judith Matz’s cover piece on the attuned eating movement, but Judith Beck on the CBT approach to dieting and Lisa Ferentz’s remarkably candid piece on how she overcame her fear and aversion to working with eating disordered clients. By the way, Matz, Beck, and Ferentz will all be offering workshops at the upcoming Symposium.
Also in the January Networker, make sure to look out for “Cyberspaced,” keynoter Sherry Turkle’s provocative interview about the need to face the profound psychological and therapeutic challenges of today’s ever-more-seductive technologies. It’ll give you another reason to attend this year’s conference.
What’s been your experience of treating people--eating-disordered or not--who wish to improve their relationship with food? Is dieting really dead as a viable weight-loss solution? Let us know how you feel about all things food and eating.