EDITORIAL: When losers are winners

The NEWS this week will kick off the year with what it hopes will prove a bit of light reading. On a weighty subject.

This Thursday, in our Jan. 11 edition, we’ll begin a series on the issues of weight loss and the associated health implications of both dropping pounds and ignoring them as they amass.

Body weight and mass, eating choices and patterns, exercise and, perhaps especially, the appearance we project to others are all driven in part by societies and their culture. And our culture in North America includes a long-standing tradition of making personal new year’s resolutions that, anecdotally at least, are dominated by vows to get drop both pounds and bad habits.

To start the series, we’ll hear from a weight-loss clinician who is certified as a fitness trainer, a health coach and a registered nurse practitioner, on the brain’s role in fighting our efforts to, well, fight off weight-gain. We’ll hear from those who have had successes — and failures — at losing and keeping off unwanted pounds. And we’ll look into a locally run clinical trial on weight loss and its impacts upon Type 2 diabetes, which has shown promise in not only controlling the disease but in potentially allowing sufferers to get off their medication.

What this series won’t include is a “magic bullet” or get-slim-quick breakthrough. While specific crash diets may allow some subjects to shed massive amounts of weight in a relatively short period of time, they often come with their set of risky side effects, and do little to promote the actual lifestyle change required to not simply lose weight, but to maintain a consistent and healthy body size.

The long-term solution will always require a combination of a healthy diet, a minimum amount of physical activity and, perhaps hardest of all, an acknowledgement and awareness of the decisions we must make in our lifestyle choices — every day.

Many of the challenges facing those trying to lose weight are external, and can range from peer pressure to economic and policy choices in food production, and, ironically, even the weight-loss industry itself, which advertises a dizzying — and occasionally conflicting — array of services and solutions.

True, there is no one-size-fits-all fix to deliver each of us the self-esteem and body shape we desire.

But there are options that give each of us a fighting chance at the one size that fits ourself.

— Parksville Qualicum Beach News

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