12/3/15

The Individual Diet: Just One Person at a Time

Part II of surviving dieting will come next post in order to spend a few moments on a new and crucial line of research related to both eating disorders and the societal understanding of metabolism and weight. 

A recent article explained some new findings about the treatment for obesity which turn the common notions about dieting and food choice on their head. The underlying message is that all meal plans and all foods are not equal for everyone. The variability of digestion and gastrointestinal endocrinology between people means that various foods do not have absolute value. Instead diet options need to be tailored to the individual. 

This is new, profound information for the lay person and confirms that considering all food to be equal to all people seems absurd.

We all look different. We all have different physical, intellectual and social skills and weaknesses. We all have different vulnerabilities in the world. Why would our biological response to food be universal?

The specific research quoted here focuses on the body's immediate endocrinological response to a meal. Specifically, how fast does an individual release insulin--the hormone that informs the body it is time to utilize new energy that just entered the bloodstream. The article proposes, based on clearly described data, that this variability in a biological response to food indicates that different meal plans are necessary for different people. 

It is new for any treatment plan, medical or otherwise, to approach obesity, eating disorders or even improving one's overall diet from an individual perspective. All diet advice is general, as if one person or plan can assert a diet that will help all people. More importantly, the desperation of the public to find an ultimate solution to food leads many people to follow these unreasonable expectations to their ultimate failure. 


Instead, it behooves the medical community, clinicians who treat eating disorders and the public to heed the message behind this article. The point of any attempt to improve one's health through a new diet is a personal endeavor. There is no right way. There is a meal plan that will improve one's own health, and the goal is to seek a way of eating that allows each individual to live their life fully feeling healthy and strong. 

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