Someone at the New York Times has finally woken up to the fact that bajillions of us, having realized that “diets” don’t usually work in the long run, are focusing more on nutrition, fitness, and overall health rather than slimness:
. . . consumers and nutritionists say they are seeing a shift toward “positive eating” — shunning deprivation diets and instead focusing on adding seasonal vegetables, nuts, berries and other healthful foods to their plates.
. . . . The percentage of those consumers who are on a diet is lower than at any time since information on dieting was first collected in 1985. At the peak in 1990, 39 percent of the women and 29 percent of the men were dieting. Today, that number has dropped to 26 percent of women and 16 percent of men.
The diarists also report eating more organic foods and whole grains, said Harry Balzer, an NPD vice president.
“Instead of trying to avoid things, they’ve started adding things,” Mr. Balzer said.
. . . . And there are other indicators of a shift in eating habits. In May, the market research firm Information Resources reported that 53 percent of consumers say they are cooking from scratch more than they did just six months ago, in part, no doubt, because of the rising cost of prepared foods.
Sales of organic foods have surged, and the number of farmers’ markets has more than doubled since the mid-1990s.
Nutrition experts and consumers say positive eating trends are being fueled in part by the failures of the past. A national epidemic of obesity suggests that the spread of diet foods, sugar-free soft drinks and low-fat snacks hasn’t helped people manage their weight.
Cynthia Sass, a New York dietitian and author who was a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association from 2001 to 2007, said many clients embrace positive eating after years of failed dieting. “They would much rather focus on what to eat instead of what not to eat,” Ms. Sass said. “Most people I have encountered have a track record of trying different things that didn’t work for them.”
Duh. People are happier and more successful when they focus on delicious, healthy new foods to eat, rather than focus on what they “can’t” or “shouldn’t eat.”
And it took a scientific study to prove that if one fills up on fruits and veggies, one is likely to eat less of the high-calorie stuff:
Last year, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported on a study of 97 obese women, all of whom were avoiding high-fat foods. Half the women were instructed to increase their consumption of fruits and vegetables. By the end of a year, the women who were focused on adding vegetables lost an average of 17 pounds, 20 percent more than the women who were just paying attention to fat consumption.
Seriously. These scientists and reporters could have learned the same thing by talking to any of us women who have tried dieting for years and years. We could have told them what it feels like to feel hungry, to feel full, to feel satisfied, to feel healthy, to feel too pressed for time to cook at home, to feel too full of juicy peaches to eat that cake, to feel – to know – that diets don’t keep the weight off.
We’ve lived this. Scientists have known it for a while. It’s about time the media caught up.