The Minnesota Experiment by Ancel Keyes
The one thing we can count on our dieting to give us, is a complicated relationship with food. This, too, is proven by science. Most notably in a study done in the 1940’s on a bunch of healthy men. They were put on a calorie restricted diet, and the scientists soon started observing weird behavior in the men. They got depressed and irritable, started hiding food and binge eating. They lost their sex drive and their sense of humor. Some of them even went psychotic. All from living on around 1500 calories a day.
Scary isn’t it, when we think about how many of us, particularly women, live like this every day and have been since an early age?
Why is it, when we have such overwhelming evidence that diets are futile and destructive, that we still continue to blame ourselves? That we are still hell-bent on trying again and again, hoping for a different result this time.
A movement toward acceptance of body size and a more realistic view of individual differences in body shapes is emerging in the U.S. Acceptance may be the most effective measures that can be taken to prevent many eating disorders.
Besides the more well-known disorders (anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder, there are many other eating disorders.
Anorexia athletica /female athlete triad: engaging in compulsive exercise to lose weight or maintain a very low body weight. Common in athletes.
Body dysmorphic disorder/bigorexia (muscle dysmorphia): An obsession with a perceived defect in the sufferer’s body or appearance. Affects males and females equally but can be prevalent in bodybuilders and gym-goers.
Pica: Craving and eating nonfood items such as dirt, clay, paint chips, chalk, laundry starch, coffee grounds, and ashes. More common in pregnant women and children of a certain ethnicity.
Please link to Louise Stigell (below) to read a provocative account of her dieting experiences.
Dec 6 · 11 min read