News / Calgary

Alberta’s eating disorder support network says weight doesn’t equal health

International No Diet Day is on May 6

Dr. Angela Grace said the diet industry preys on low self-esteem.

THE CANADIAN PRESS

Dr. Angela Grace said the diet industry preys on low self-esteem.

Despite what the diet industry is telling you, your weight isn’t an accurate measure of health, according to executive director for the Eating Disorder Support Network of Alberta Sue Huff.

Ahead of International No Diet Day on May 6, Huff explained weight and health are often confused with each other.

“They aren’t the same thing,” Huff said. “People can be healthy at all sizes.” 

She said most people aren't aware of the risks associated with dieting or fast weight loss.

“Trying to lose a lot of weight quickly can ‘turn on’ an eating disorder in people who are genetically predisposed,” she said.

Dieting can also be harmful to the brain, according to Calgary psychologist Dr. Angela Grace.

“Any time there is restrictive dieting, you’re denying the body nutrients to survive and thrive,” she said. “We all need food … but it’s more important to focus on the nutrients you’re putting into the body, not what you’re taking away from (it).”

She encouraged people who want to lose weight to find ways to nourish their bodies instead of restricting their intake.

“We have a multi-billion dollar diet industry that preys on people’s low self-esteem, on their body-esteem, and promoting that thin equals health,” Grace said.

“Look at restoring overall health and wellbeing for your whole life – not just narrowing it down to thinness.”

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