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Dieting Resolutions Pose Challenge for Ohioans

Tuesday, January 9, 2001 at 9:33 AM

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A new year means people are making resolutions. Millions of Ohioans have probably already promised themselves they'll lose weight. According to the Ohio Department of Health, two-thirds of the state's adults population say they are overweight. And studies show women are most likely to try dieting. But the pressures of living up to weight goals, complicated health risks and enduring major lifestyle changes make dieting frustrating for many women. 90.3 FM's Tarice Sims reports.

Tarice Sims- “I’m going to lose weight!” is the battle cry of one-third of women in the United States, according to most estimates. And the dieting industry is listening. The weight loss business is a multi billion dollar business.

Some weight loss plans promote exercise, but for many of today’s working women it’s hard to find the time to work out. Dieting may be more convenient. The problem is many diets encourage unhealthy behavior like eliminating entire food groups for example carbohydrates. Karin Palmer is a dietitian for Laurelwood Hospital. She says a lot of the women don’t realize the risk.

Karin Palmer- One of the big concerns is we really realizing now is there are specific chemicals in foods, we call them vita chemicals, that may prevent us from getting disease. They might protect us against getting cancer, or heart disease.

TS- Palmer says that the vita chemicals maintain a healthy body. Karen Becoat is a married teacher from Cleveland who has managed to maintain good health despite numerous changes in her diet over the past 20 years. Becoat admits she doesn’t consult her doctor about her weight lose plan. She says she simply places restrictions on herself.

Karen Becoat- When I’m dieting I try to eliminate my sweets entirely. And then eventually I start they start creeping back up into my diet, you know, then I start eating more.

TS- Eliminating food is a common problem in most weight loss plans. Even those that don’t ask you to give up one of the major food groups. According to dietitian Karin Palmer, an inability to control cravings is the down fall of most dieters.

KP- One of the reasons why they can’t stay on it, they feel so deprived and that’s one of the problems too. When you get into some of these diet plans that say eliminate this or eliminate that, and when it’s around you somebody will begin to want it, they feel deprived they go ahead and often times what gets people off of these diets is probably an overeating episode.

TS- Palmer says that most diets that offer quick results sometimes require a person to do without food entirely. The problem is a person can’t live without food. Gina, describes herself as life long dieter. She says even as a kid she was bigger than most of the other girls in school. In the early 90s she was inspired to try the new liquid diet made famous by talk show star Oprah Winfrey.

Gina- I did the liquid diet and I didn’t eat for, I didn’t eat for about 8 months before I got married so that I could be skinny as possible walking down the wedding aisle and no food just the liquid.

TS- “Gina” says she’s tried every diet out there from protein shakes, to “crash diets” trying . Now as a thirty-something married, mother of two she says her struggle continues.

Gina- As old as I am I can still look at the magazines and the TVs and you know I could probably not have to lose any more weight, but I’d like to be down to a more reasonable size, that I find fitting for me. It’s a battle though, it’s definitely a battle.

TS- Gina says she found a diet plan may finally found a way that has worked. By changing her eating habits and moderating the foods she likes, Gina has lost 100 pounds in the last 18 months.

Palmer says the best diet plan has more to do with exercise and nutrition than starvation. She also warns that there is no “healthy” way to lose pounds quickly. Palmer says it’s unsafe to lose more than 2 pounds a week, patience is as important as will power. In Cleveland, I’m Tarice Sims for 90.3 FM.

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