Sunday, February 6, 2011

Village on a Diet

I wonder if twenty years ago we would have predicted that in 2011 people would be so fascinated with a television show about one of life's most basic physiological processes - losing weight?!  Village on a Diet has fascinated me by its simplicity.  Yet, despite a basic premise, the solutions for the town of Taylor, British Columbia are a matter of life and death for many of its citizens.

Change is difficult, especially lifestyle changes, and we can see this resistance in many of the people on the show.  What makes matters worse is a bombardment of advertising giving people the impression that they need to "ask their doctor" for something they can take that will make their life better, instead of what they need to change

Although the experts sent into Taylor seem to make up an effective team (despite the "suck-it-up" military style work-outs which may be required to get their weight loss goal in one month), it is very unfortunate that a naturopathic doctor was not part of the group to ensure long term diet and lifestyle changes.  This is important because living a longer, healthier life is not quite as simple as "eat less and move more" - although this formula certainly does contribute to weight loss in the short term (and many people have a serious food excess combined with a movement deficiency).  What is most important though is addressing the multifaceted root causes of obesity (beyond calories in and calories out).

The show does have many positives, and I have to say, I do love the community approach; that's a first for a weight loss show.  Finally, I realize that having a psychologist on the team was a great addition and I hope that her added help is enough to compensate for the physical shock some of the participants undoubtedly endured.  I hope this show is an indication that the general population is becoming aware that quick fixes and fad diets are not a long term solution.

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