Up to 50% of all women are dieting at any given time. Up to 90% of teenagers diet regularly and up to 50% of younger kids have tried a diet at some point. These are bold statistics, but they’re fairly accurate.

These days, most of us are obsessed with losing weight or maintaining our current weight, but what for? To impress someone? To fit into a small instead of a medium? To be healthy? Many people look to dieting and physical exercise as a means of losing weight as well as referring to these methods as “getting healthy” even though it’s not necessarily true.

While certain helpful diets are done for health conditions such as diabetes, the same can’t possibly be said for those just looking to shave off some pounds. When the purpose of dieting is to slim down, the results are brief resulting in the “yo-yo” effect in which one regains the weight at one point. 95% of dieters have experienced the yo-yo cycle. Dieting may also lead to mental disorders like anorexia, bulimia, body dysmorphia as well as cause an individual to be insecure about them self. As mentioned before, some diets are advisable; however, multiple diet trends are generally harmful to the body and mind: the all-water diet, the raw food diet, the hCG diet, the master cleanse and lastly, starvation.

Aside from dieting, there is also physical exercise, which is not really as bad for you as dieting; in fact, it is recommended by doctors for a healthy lifestyle. However, because we’re human, we tend to overdo things. “No pain, no gain.” This famous “motivational “ line is actually false. In fact, if you feel pain at any time during your workout, it’s your body telling you that you may either be doing something wrong or that you need to stop. Continuing an exercise in spite of pain and discomfort may lead to serious injuries. In addition, choosing the wrong exercises for your age and Body Mass Index (BMI) may lead to injuries as well.

The lack of guidance and accurate information that people have about losing weight and being healthy can be life-threatening and mentally harmful, especially to teens who mostly suffer from different social pressures to be the person that they think they should be or who they think society wants and expects from them. Life is not about being thin or fitting into a small-sized top; it’s about being healthy and being the best person you can be- inside and out. Moreover, being healthy is more than just slimming down; it’s eating the right kinds of food in the right proportions that your body needs and getting the right amount of exercise while still having time for yourself and your hobbies. This, however, doesn’t mean that skinny people should be shamed or ashamed of/for their body types as long as they are happy and giving their bodies the right needs and nutrients they need.

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