As the landscape of popular weight loss methods expands to include new medications, Eating Disorders Awareness Week — Feb. 1 to 7 — seems like a good opportunity to take a closer look at the possible negative effects of dieting and other approaches to losing weight.

Today in The Conversation Canada, Samantha Withnell and Lindsay Bodell of Western University explore the links between eating disorders and weight loss attempts, including dieting and off-label use of drugs like Ozempic.

They write, “popular weight-loss methods, whether they involve pills or ‘crash diets,’ often mimic symptoms of eating disorders. For example, intermittent fasting diets that involve long periods of fasting followed by short periods of food consumption may mimic and increase the risk of developing binge eating problems.”

Also today:

All the best.

Patricia Nicholson

Health + Medicine Editor

Although semaglutide drugs like Ozempic are indicated to treat Type 2 diabetes, they are increasingly prescribed off-label because of their observed effectiveness at inducing weight loss. (Shutterstock)

How dieting, weight suppression and even misuse of drugs like Ozempic can contribute to eating disorders

Samantha Withnell, Western University; Lindsay Bodell, Western University

The demand for off-label weight loss drugs like Ozempic is concerning, because of the impact on weight stigma and the health risks of unsupervised weight loss, including developing eating disorders.

NATO’s Climate Change and Security Centre of Excellence (CCASCOE) is set to open this year in Montréal. (Shutterstock)

NATO Climate Change and Security Centre of Excellence to open in Montréal: What does it mean for Canadian security?

Ryan Atkinson, Carleton University

Climate and environmental insecurity is set to grow in severity as the world warms. The upcoming launch of a new NATO climate change and security centre in Montréal aims to address these concerns.

Violence against girls who wear hijabs is often situated in structural oppression, including gendered Islamophobia and white supremacy. (Shutterstock)

Girls in hijab experience overlapping forms of racial and gendered violence

Salsabel Almanssori, University of Windsor; Muna Saleh, Concordia University of Edmonton

Around the world, Muslim girls who wear hijabs are experiencing unique forms and heightened rates of gender and race-based violence.

Students head back to class in Montréal, Jan. 9, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christinne Muschi

Québec’s teacher strike offers lessons on the urgent need to support public education

Safeera Jaffer, McGill University; R. Nanre Nafziger, McGill University

The success of students, the education system and the future of our communities depend on the learning that children receive in schools today.

Neuralink is developing devices that enable direct communication between the human brain and computers. (Shutterstock)

The first Neuralink brain implant signals a new phase for human-computer interaction

Omar H. Fares, Toronto Metropolitan University

Neuralink’s first human trial is more than just a technical milestone; it represents a major leap in potential human-computer interaction.

In 2023, the House of Commons’ heritage committee passed a motion directing Hockey Canada to hand over a report from an investigation into allegations of sexual assault involving members of the 2018 world junior team. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

In high-profile sexual assault trials, rape myths and the social status of the defendants can affect jurors’ perceptions

Joanna Pozzulo, Carleton University

Five world junior hockey players are facing sexual assault charges stemming from a 2018 incident. Research has shown that rape myths and social status can affect jurors’ perceptions in high-profile cases.

La Conversation Canada

Les palmarès des villes se concentrent souvent sur les facteurs économiques et de développement et négligent la durabilité et l'environnement. (Shutterstock)

Les classements des villes sur leur qualité de vie nous informent souvent mal sur leur développement durable

Georges A. Tanguay, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM); Juste Rajaonson, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Les indicateurs qui mesurent la qualité de vie d’une ville dans les palmarès ne disent pas tout, notamment en ce a trait à son développement durable.




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