Dangers of dieting | Eating Disorders Victoria

Dieting is the greatest risk factor for the development of an eating disorder. 68% of 15 year old females are on a diet, of these, 8% are severely dieting. Adolescent girls who diet only moderately, are five times more likely to develop an eating disorder than those who don’t diet, and those who diet severely are 18 time more likely to develop an eating disorder.

Recurrent dieting can eventually lead to weight gain. 95% of people who go on weight loss diets regain everything they have lost plus more within two years.

Most weight-loss diets are highly restrictive and leave dieters feeling constantly hungry. Dieters can often ignore this hunger for a short time but such deprivation eventually leads to powerful food cravings and over-compensatory behaviour in the form of bingeing. This results in feelings of guilt, blame and failure which take a major toll on self esteem. This cycle can continue throughout a person’s lifetime and is a major risk factor in the development of an eating disorder.

Dieting can reduce the body’s metabolism (the rate it burns energy). Healthy metabolism usually returns with normal eating.

Bad breath, fatigue, over-eating, headaches/muscle cramps, constipation, sleep disturbance and loss of bone density are just some of the effects dieting can have on our bodies.

The unconscious activity of the body (the energy our bodies require to keep our nervous system, heart function, breathing etc), requires roughly two thirds of our daily energy intake.

Diets disconnect people from their natural bodily responses through imposed meal plans which may overlook hunger, physical activity and a person’s individual nutritional requirements.

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