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World Beyond Dieting Week

A campaigning weight-control charity has declared the inaugural World Beyond Dieting Week to focus attention on what it says are the often-ignored real reasons underlying eating, overweight and self-image crises.

Its researchers are asking all long-term dieters and everyone who is overly weight-fixated to use the time to concentrate on their personal issues and to engage with the charity on its ongoing work to develop solutions for lasting and natural weight control.

The Weight Foundation believes that most dieting frustration and misery is driven by a combination of emotional, cultural and commercial pressures and that dieting itself is actually more of a contributory factor in the escalating overweight crisis than a solution.

It has developed a free online self-diagnostic tool, The Hardcore Dieting Index, which allows individuals to identify with common patterns of problem eating behaviour and distressing repeat diets.

In-depth research with over 700 long-term dieters has created this unique picture of persistent dieting. Hardcore dieters are described as Swingers, Flatliners, or Lifers according to their habits. Swingers are yo-yo dieters who fail to sort out their underlying food issues, Flatliners fight a continual battle between “good” and “bad” foods and Lifers cannot face even a day off their rigid regimes.

The Weight Foundation offers its own Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and NLP-based exercises to help unpack and unpick the personal range of emotional and cultural factors which trap hardcore dieters in food and dieting misery.

The Manchester-UK based registered charity continues to invite input and research participation from all countries as it seeks to research and accommodate the particular cultural nuances that drive the development of eating problems in different states. It campaigns against what it calls the “Eating Madness” - the growing obsession with all things related to food, eating, dieting and rising obesity.

“Apart from occasional celebration and sometimes as a backdrop to being sociable, eating needs to be about food, not mood. Food is in our face, often literally, nearly all the time. We need to step back,” says Malcolm Evans, The Weight Foundation's secretary and founder.

At present it receives the majority of its contacts from the US and the UK but is very keen to develop Spanish, French and German language facilities. With growing momentum the plan is to train up local weight-control mentors who can offer closer support to complement the online resource.

World Beyond Dieting Week runs from October 9-15 and is intended to become a major annual knowledge gathering and sharing event for the international struggle against rising obesity and failed dieting solutions.

It also celebrates the fifth birthday of the fast expanding operation, which was begun by 46 year old motivational and behavioural expert Evans as a hobby and has developed along non-commercial lines as an alternative to commercial dieting.

To mark the event a new version of the free online weight-control programme 3 Small Steps will be published.

“We want people to use this week to taste life beyond Eating Madness. We ask them to discover that life is sweeter with food pushed back to a much lesser role,” says Evans.

Malcolm Evans | alfa
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