The danger of diets

 A report by the French Agency for Food Safety warning about the dangers of weight loss plans covered.

The French Agency for Food Safety (ANSES) issued a report in 2010 showing the ravages biological, psychological, social and economic plans to target weight loss. The analysis of several dieting “indicates that they can induce nutritional imbalances and mismatches contributions (deficiency and excess), including vitamins and minerals” (p. 83). In the medium term, these diets can disrupt profoundly the functioning bone, muscular, metabolic, cardiovascular, hormonal and psychological. These changes stimulate entered a vicious circle of recovery more severe end of each diet weight. In this context, the authors consider the regular adapted as an essential criterion for stabilization of body weight physical activity practice.


The Report Rationale

Overweight affects 32% of French over 18 years, 14.5% for obesity. But now everyone wants to lose weight because the thinness has become a key criteria for beauty. So a race to weight loss begins, especially with the approach of summer. Dieting (Dukan, Cohen …) are they an effective medium-term solution and safe for health?

Diets are they really effective and safe for health?

The Question

Dieting without medical supervision is harmful to health?

The Method

The French Agency for Food Safety (ANSES) asked experts meet to analyze the effectiveness of restrictive diets (diet, low fat diet, low calorie diet, high protein diet, low carbohydrate diet) to using data from the scientific and medical literature. Particular attention was paid to those at risk (children, elderly, athletes). A final record of 158 pages was published in November 2010 by the French Agency for Food Safety (ANSES). It is available on the website of the French Agency for Food Safety (ANSES).

Main results

The report by the French Agency for Food Safety (ANSES) details the devastation caused by the plans referred to weight loss (Dukan, Cohen …). No efficacy could not be identified so weight regain after a year is important (80%) and so the lack of long-term clinical study is striking. A diet does not seem better than another. The analysis shows that dieting can lead to nutritional imbalances and mismatches contributions (excess and deficiency) such as vitamins and minerals. In the medium term, these diets can disrupt profoundly the bone operation (eg demineralization by lack of calcium), muscular, metabolic, cardiovascular (including abnormal heart rhythm), hormonal and psychological (loss of satiety, addiction, disorders of the self-esteem, anxiety). These physiological and psychological disorders stimulate entered a vicious circle of recovery even more severe end of each diet weight. Risks are superimposed in specific populations, children (growth disturbances), the elderly (risk of malnutrition), sports (hormonal disorders). The report recommends consulting a doctor if body mass index greater than 30 They also recommend regular physical activity practice to stabilize body weight.

With the current knowledge, no diet seems more effective than another. Consulting a doctor before a scheme to a significant weight loss is recommended by the HANDLE to the risks involved.


What it means in general

Except in cases of major weight problem (Mass Index greater than 30 Body), the French Agency for Food Safety recommends starting a diet referred to weight loss. These diets are not recommended for more people without weight problems for people at risk (children, the elderly, athletes). These diets increase the risk of bone fractures and heart disease. They deconstruct the appetite to forget hunger and the pleasure of eating. Eating becomes guilt. After one year, 80% of those with a restrictive diet resumed at least their initial weight.

The message for Healthcare Professionals

A restrictive diet is psychologically untenable (eating disorders) and sociologically (opulence food, modern lifestyle …). Physiological disorders caused by dieting (low fat, low calorie, high protein, low carbohydrate) may irreversibly alter health. At the end of a regime, the person begins to eat and automatically resumes weight. The potential to grow even more than before becomes major (“yoyo” effect). Medical supervision is necessary for any weight problem. Regular physical activity is essential to stabilize the body weight.

The message for Researchers

Contrary to what can be said, restrictive diets (low fat, low calorie, high protein, low carbohydrate) are rarely the subject of serious research, especially long-term (2 to 10 years). The report by the French Agency for Food Safety (ANSES) encourages researchers to engage on this issue and that is going to debate.

The message for Policymakers

Dieting (low fat, low calorie, high protein, low carbohydrate) is a health hazard and ineffective after one year (80% weight recovery). Consider how to roll back the cult of thinness in a world of opulence and encourage intervention research to test the effectiveness of restrictive medium-term plans seem indispensable.


The reference

Agence Française de Sécurité Sanitaire des Aliments (2010). Evaluation des risques liés aux pratiques alimentaires d’amaigrissement. Maisons-Alfort: ANSES.


To reference this Blog en Sante © article.

Ninot G (2014). The danger of diets. Blog en Sante, A13.

© Copyright 2014 Grégory Ninot. All rights reserved.

2 thoughts on “The danger of diets
  1. DANIEL Guy says:

    les manequins sont maigres, mais je crois que la moyenne des gens ne veut pas être maigre mais juste “esthétique “, c’est à dire sans bourrelets de graisse, sans ventre en avant et avec un corps simplement normal comme il était “avant”. Pour ma part, j’ai 69 ans et jusqu’à 56 ans j’ai toujours pesé 74kg pour 1m77 et c’est à la suite d’un traitement de fond de la migraine en 2001 que j’ai pris 15 kg. Par la suite, j’ai encore pris un peu pour peser 93kg en 2010. J’ai alors réagi et j’ai changé de mode d’alimentation en réduisant les glucides et j’ai naturellement perdu jusqu’à peser 75kg ce qui est pour moi un poids normal et je n’ai couru aucun risque et mon alimentation est tout à fait équilibrée, je ne manque de rien, je n’ai aucune carence. La solution est de changer de MODE ‘D’ALIMENTATION définitivement et non de faire un régime temporaire. Le mode d’alimentation actuel pour la majorité est malsain et mène à l’obésité, la preuve est dans les écoles et dans la rue.

  2. Nutri-Confort says:

    Tout le monde ne veut pas maigrir, mais tout le monde veut séduire, à différents degrés. Comme vous l’avez dit, la maigreur est devenu la norme, dictée par les codes de la mode et des médias.

    Donc une grande majorité de la population se lance à contre-coeur dans un régime dans le but de séduire, de plaire.

    Une activité physique régulière permettra en effet de stabiliser le poids voire de maigrir durablement, le plus dur étant la motivation qui doit être maintenue sur le long-terme. Il est donc important d’exercer une activité qui vous plaît.

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