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Sharma on Oprah

OK, I am not actually on Oprah (yet?) – rather, this post is only about comments I was asked to make about Oprah’s “catastrophic” weight regain by Judith Timson, who interviewed me for her column, which appeared in yesterday’s Globe and Mail.

To read what Judith (and I) had to say – click here

Last week, Yoni blogged about the same topic – for his take on Oprah – click here 

I think Oprah has made the same mistake that most people make – they think there somehow must be a “cure”.

Unfortunately, there isn’t – there are only treatments – when you stop the treatment, the weight comes back – ALWAYS!

End of Story!

Edmonton, Alberta


  1. Hi Arya: Not quite the end of story. Perhaps it would be helpful to point out that this problem is a disease and for this reason guilt is not the issue. Understanding the chronicity and what to do about it is the issue. What to do is a complex story and in need of a much longer dissertation and should be the topic of another article.
    Doug Armstrong

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  2. Hi Dr. Sharma:

    I have recently discovered your website and find it both fascinating and an inspiration to “not gain weight” as opposed to dieting. I look forward to each new posting.

    However, I would like to share with you the perspective of someone within the normal weight range (not skinny). Your blog, and those of other obesity experts, often characterize normal weight range people as having been “blessed” by genes, a low weight set point, high metabolism, lack of interest in high calorie food, phenomenal will-power, naturally active, etc. On the contrary, many of us have to struggle to maintain our weights, just like overweight people. I, for one, love to stuff myself continually. I just love food, and will not only eat when I am not hungry, but also when I am already full to bursting. It’s my absolute favourite passtime. I also gain weight very quickly and hate exercising. It is a daily battle for me to hold myself back, but I try to do so both because I know I would otherwise end up weighing hundreds of pounds, and because I want to set a good eating example for my kids. But I emphasize, it is NOT easy. I have several tricks up my sleeves which help me manage, such as not dieting, allowing regular but not limitless indulgences, keeping my hands busy, and ensuring that I fully enjoy and appreciate all the food that I do eat. However, I do have regular setbacks.

    I pass this on not to diminish the difficulty overweight and obese people have, but to let them know that they are not as alone in their struggles as they may think. I have an obese friend who was surprized to find out recently that normal weight people have to work hard at managing food and weight expectations too. He is currently trying to lose weight and that information seemed to give him some helpful perspective on the fact that, as you indicate, there is no “cure” for weight gain and that just because one has to struggle all one’s life with a challenge, it does not denote failure.

    I do agree strongly with you that goals should be reasonable and any level of success applauded.

    Thank-you for this great blog and keep up the good work.

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