Why we Cheat when we Eat: what if it’s not because we’re weak or bad?

What if you didn’t cheat because you were a bad person?

During World War Two, a group of scientists restricted the food of some perfectly healthy men for six months until they lost about 20 percent of their weight. It was called the Minnesota Starvation Experiment and sounds most unpleasant.

It was enforced dieting. As the experiment went on, these ordinary men became increasingly obsessed with food. They began to pore over recipe books. When they could eat freely, these half-starved chaps found it difficult to stop eating. They were driven by intense cravings. These symptoms didn’t abate when they had regained the weight, but lasted for many many months.

This means that back in the 1940s, they had proved that dieting creates an obsession with food and an inability to stop eating once the diet is over. Science has known for over seventy years that diets don’t work, and yet we are still turning to them.

And when we fail, we assume that’s it’s because something is wrong with US, not because it’s been proven that diets don’t work.

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