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A model and an asshole are interviewed

May 5, 2009

Kathy Ireland and Bob Green were apparently on Larry King Live recently to talk about weight loss and health blah blah blah.

Kathy Ireland actually focused pretty heavily on health, and focusing on health over weight, and making time for yourself to take care of yourself.

“Well, I think we are for the wrong reasons. And I think there is such an obsession with appearance. With my weight gain, people wanted to know, well, when is she going to squeeze back into a bikini? No. That is not what it’s about. But what people weren’t asking me, what’s the triglyceride level? What is the C reactive protein?”

Her focus, in what I read seemed almost entirely on getting people to take care of themselves regardless of what that did to their bodies.

Bob Green however, talked completely out his ass:

We run into problems any time we think weight is the problem. Weight is a symptom of something that needs to change in your life.

That’s right fatties, you’re fat because you just aren’t torturing yourself enough.  But buy my program and I’ll show you how you can torture yourself to a brand new body and lower self esteem over the course of the next 15 years!

The following quote makes me think we should set him and Meme Roth up on a date (obviously they wouldn’t go anywhere where they might consume actual food):

King: Is fluctuating weight like Kirstie Alley bad, Bob?

Greene: Well, there’s two sides to that story. First off, if you remain heavy, that’s when the most damage is done to your heart and the excessive health ramifications from keeping overweight. So as long as you’re watching, even if it’s yo-yo dieting, that’s healthier than the person that remains heavy.

That’s right kids, on top of the “if only you’d get off your ass and quit stuffing your face” bullshit, we have also get some faabuous “yo yo dieting is better for you than staying fat.”

Uhm… I can haz science pls?  Some studies that  I have read either imply that repeated temporary weight loss makes it more difficult to lose weight again or that repeated weight loss and regain, is, I don’t know, actually bad for you. (If anyone has more studies on this please post them in the comments, I plan to send a note to Mr. King and Mr. Greene. UPDATE: Kate links an excellent one that I will also include!)  So it seems to me that the jury may still be out on the whole “yo yo dieting is better for you than being a fat fat fatty” idea.

Dr. Cox said it best:

And of course, assuming that the fictional link between Teh FatZ0rZ and Deadness were actually true, people like Bob don’t seem to  considers that maybe some of us would rather die young than spend the time we are on this earth hating ourselves and finding ways to torture ourselves.  Perhaps some of us are smart enough, even not having yo yo dieted ourselves, to learn from Oprah and Ms. Alley’s pain, and not put ourselves through decades of torture and self hatred.

But I guess if torture and self hatred is your thing… to each their own, right? Mr. Green certainly hopes it is your thing, otherwise you wont buy his plan and give him your money!


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  1. PDF of the big 2007 UCLA metaanalysis of weight loss studies — I was just quoting it for an interview, so I had it handy! They recommend further study on weight cycling, because the current data is inconclusive — but it doesn’t look good at all. Money quote: “In sum, the potential benefits of dieting on long-term weight outcomes are minimal, the potential benefits of dieting on long-term health outcomes are not clearly or consistently demonstrated, and the potential harms of weight cycling, although not definitively demonstrated, are a clear source of concern. The benefits of dieting are simply too small and the potential harms of dieting are too large for it to be recommended as a safe and effective treatment for obesity.”

  2. “PDF” is linked up there, but that’s not obvious on my monitor, for the record.

  3. Ooo Thanks Kate!! That one did not come up in my googleage.

  4. Go Kathy Ireland! Her approach makes sense.

    Boo, Bob Greene. He’s clearly living in Oppositeland where the research indications are backwards.

    Dude, even if yo yo dieting were somehow healthier – which does not match either anecdotal evidence or the implications of the scientific research done thus far – why would I want to live that life? I like the life I’m living. You know, that one where it’s okay for me to want fish tacos one day and a hamburger the next. The one where I’m not a bad person for eating a slice of the cake I baked.

    More than that, why would I want to live in a world where a total douchebag is right purely by saying he is?

  5. people like Bob don’t seem to considers that maybe some of us would rather die young than spend the time we are on this earth hating ourselves and finding ways to torture ourselves

    Whoa! Let’s not get totally crazy, here. Hating and torturing ourselves (well, and everybody else, too) is the American Way!

  6. Also, I totally failed to appreciate the Dr. Cox video earlier. I have a feeling I’m going to steal that all the time now.

  7. I added it after your comment. I sometimes take an iterative approach to blog posts… mostly because I’m not big on proof reading? …yeah

  8. You know, this kind of reminds me of some vague memory I have of Kathy Ireland not being a total body fascist in the past. I remember thinking she was pretty cool and all, especially given that she comes from the super image-conscious, weight-restricting world of modelling. I can’t remember what made me think that initially, but it was several years ago that I recall thinking, “Huh. Kathy Ireland — pretty reasonable, actually.”

  9. You know, I’ve never seen ANYONE else reference it, but I know for certain that when I went on WW the last time (99-2000ish), the WW leader herself said that yo-yo dieting was worse for you than being fat.

    Of course, it was all a premise for how WW is a “lifestyle change” and not a “diet” (presumably meaning that you were less likely to gain back weight and keep yo-yoing), so while her facts were true, the reason she used them was not, so to speak.

    But the point is, even the diet folks know this. Bob Green is just an ass. He’s not even a smart enough ass to claim (however falsely) that HIS diet is the solution to yo-yoing, the way that WW leader did.

  10. Meems permalink

    Thank you (and Kate) for this. I truly wish I’d found HAES earlier, because all the yo-yo dieting I’ve done in my life, even if I never considered it “dieting,” seems to have added 15 lbs. to my setpoint weight. It’s so sad to me that I can look back at all the pictures in which I weighed 150-155 lbs. and actually like how I looked. But back then, I hated myself and was never happy with how I looked. Now I’m around 170 lbs. and my body seems to want to stay here. I’ve started running (because I’ve always wanted to be a runner, not to lose weight), and we’ll see what that does to my body, but if I stay here, I think I can learn to, at the very least, be okay with myself the way I am.

    I appreciate Kathy Ireland’s approach – and the thing is, she was always naturally thin, so it was probably some unhealthy habits that caused her to gain weight in the first place, and she wouldn’t need to practically kill herself to get back to a weight where her body is comfortable.

    By the way, Bob Greene, I’m 5’4″, 170 lbs (four lbs. shy of “obese”), and PERFECTLY HEALTHY. I’m lucky enough to have a fabulous doctor who knows that normal test results are a better indicator of health then a number on a scale. She has never told me to lose weight. In fact, she’s never mentioned my weight at all, except when I’ve expressed concern about random weight gain.

  11. Hey Meems,

    I appreciate Kathy Ireland’s approach – and the thing is, she was always naturally thin, so it was probably some unhealthy habits that caused her to gain weight in the first place, and she wouldn’t need to practically kill herself to get back to a weight where her body is comfortable.

    Thaaat’s probably not true.

    People, especially women gain weight as they grow into middle age (and lose it when they get older) that is part of a natural process. It is also possible that as a model she was already engaging in some unhealthy behaviors to keep herself thin, and so after she stopped she began slowly gaining weight.

    The language you’re using here, where you assume that she was engaging in unhealthy habits, and that she could lose the weight if she really really wanted is exactly the same kind of language that they use on Obese people. It is no more okay to say this about Kathy Ireland than it would be to say it about me. Her body is doing what it is doing, and we have no right to assume why or to speculate on what would happen if only Ms. Ireland had behaved “correctly.”

    I really appreciate your comment and I’m so glad that you’re learning to love your body and treat it well. But I think you need to think a bit harder about why you think it is okay to say that Kathy Ireland could lose the weight if she stopped being so “unhealthy” but it is not okay to say that about me?

  12. Meems permalink

    Shinobi, I understand where you’re coming from, however, my comment was based on more of Kathy Ireland’s commentary about her whole weightloss thing than just this interview.

    I can’t remember which magazine it was in, but she openly talked about her eating habits having become less healthy as she’s focused more on her family and her business and less on taking care of herself. I probably should have acknowledged that in my original comment, and phrased it differently, but it wasn’t just an assumption.

    She also mentioned that, when she was still modeling, she did not engage in typical unhealthy model behaviors in order to stay thin. She tells a story about trying to eat like her model roommates (i.e. nothing) and being unable to do it – she didn’t even last one day, and ended up going out to get herself ice cream at around 11 pm.

    Of course, people do tend to gain weight as they get older, but I do believe she is also someone who is naturally thin.

  13. Ah, that makes more sense. The comment on its own seemed very odd in the middle of your comment.

    Though I don’t think her being able to lose the weight matters or not, I’m glad that she’s approaching things from a health standpoint without focusing on weight loss.

  14. Sue in NJ permalink

    I was just pulling my hair out this morning after reading this thread on a vegetarian message board (The McDougall Plan forums) I frequent. The resident dietitian there, Jeff Novick, just posted a long message yesterday debunking the effect of yo-yo dieting on metabolism (He previously stated that there’s no such thing as “starvation mode) and is one of those people who says it’s better to keep at your weight loss efforts over and over again rather than stay at a higher weight:

    or try the shorter link:

  15. pennylane permalink

    Also annoying to me is that discussions of “health” so rarely include considerations of mental health.

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