83 per cent of female college students (aged 18-24) diet… no matter how much they weigh. The research appears in the Nutrition Journal (abstract here).
The chief researcher acknowledges that the figure is up from 70% (in previous research) – but that may be due to how they classify dieting.
Among the dieting behaviors she asked about were consciously eating less than you want, using artificial sweeteners, skipping breakfast, and smoking for weight control.
Some of the statistics come as no surprise.
- 32% skipped breakfast
- 9% smoked cigarettes (as an appetite suppressant)
- 5% used vomiting to control weight
- 3% use laxatives after eating
Here’s the kicker: “We really didn’t find much difference due to body weight.” In other words, most young women are using a raft of unhealthy behaviors to manage their weight (no matter where they sit on the BMI scale).
These methods aren’t cures – they are crutches. They are the easy substitutes that take the place of a disciplined healthy lifestyle. Integrating healthy diet and appropriate levels of exercise into our modern lifestyle is tough. It is a challenge – and many times we can mess up and fall back on the old ‘survival kits’ or crutches.
How many times you ‘mess up’ isn’t important. What’s important is that you get straight back up again, and keep on pursuing a life of spiritual, physical, and mental wholeness.