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Help, Not Harm: Psychological Foundation for a Nondieting Approach Toward Health



This article reviews the literature on the psychological consequences of dieting. In particular, the authors examine the impact of dieting on mood, self-esteem, cognition, and eating behavior. The famous Keys study of starvation is discussed in relations to impaired concentration, food preoccupation, negative affect, and binge eating behavior. Overall, the literature indicates that dieting has a negative impact on psychological well-being. As a result, alternative nondieting approaches toward eating are presented and recommended to promote psychological health.