I'm sorry SFG, but I really can't agree with you, nor can I condone your lumping all those who condemn the dieting culture into the "sore losers" (pardon the pun) category.
First, there is ample (again, pardon the pun) proof that for the vast majority of people, dieting does not work. If dieting were actually a statistically valid option, the weight loss industry would not be pulling in a staggering $60 billion per year. We are pouring every cent we have into books, classes, meal replacements, packaged meals, etc. in order to lose weight and where has it gotten us? Fatter and fatter.
The science behind why we weigh what we weight is hugely complicated. The number of physiological factors governing our ability to maintain, lose or gain weight is staggering. Leptin, leptin resistance, ghrelin, insulin, insulin resistance and a whole host of other chemicals and chemical reactions in our bodies come into play. I strongly recommend reading the blog "Debra's Just Maintaining" from start to finish for a clear-eyed, intelligent and scrupulously honest look at the life of someone who is both a weight loss maintainer and a "lay-analyst” par excellence of the science behind the difficulties of weight loss maintenance.
I do not claim to speak for the fat acceptance world. I consider myself a proponent of Health at Every Size and in the HAES world, what I see is quite the contrary of giving up. I see people working really hard to improve their health in so many ways. The one thing they are not doing is adopting the overly simplistic, dare I say jingoistic approach of "calories in - calories out", which even bariatric experts like Dr. Arya Sharma have condemned (he calls it the Nightmare on ELMM Street).
There is so much we can do for our health that is not dieting. For many people, it starts with what is in our heads. I have noticed that a significant number of weight loss bloggers admit to having experienced severe physical and/or emotional trauma during their formative years. Rape victims, for instance, often eat huge quantities of food in a vain attempt to build a protective wall around themselves. They end up with extremely fat bodies though their fear remains unassuaged. Emotional eating or emotional food restriction cannot be adequately dealt with and overcome through a strict diet regimen (for the overweight) or by simply forcing food down the throat of an anorexic. The psychological factors must be dealt with. Simply manipulating one's food intake is, in the vast majority of cases, not enough to effect lasting change.
I am convinced that the so-called obesity epidemic is the result of factors like, but not limited to:
-severe trauma amongst a certain segment of the overweight population;
-an abundance of scientifically engineered foods that are hyper-palatable, energy-rich and nutrient poor and often much cheaper than unprocessed or minimally processed, whole foods;
-the car culture, especially in North America;
-a culture that defines the individual as either super-fit or beyond redemption, thus making it psychological torture for an overweight person to even show their face in the gym;
-a culture of divide and conquer: the 99% vs. the 1% (but that's a whole other kettle of fish);
-and finally, the inability to accept that people come in a variety of shapes and sizes (both vertical and horizontal), which leads many people who were born with a genetic predisposition to plumpness (and that absolutely exists) to take drastic means to reduce their weight, which in turn often leads to yo-yo dieting one's way up the scale. How many people, in particular women, look back on pictures of themselves when they first started dieting and realize with horror that their repeated attempts to "fix" a perfectly fine body have led them into morbid obesity?
Learning to eat mindfully rather than ravenously gulping down all the food in sight because “tomorrow”—once you go on a diet—you will be forevermore condemned to a life of privation and lots of lettuce without any dressing, ever, ever, ever; and learning to make physical activity a regular part of your life rather than a torture that one must undergo to flatten the belly and tone the arms are absolutely NOT the signs of someone who has given up. They are the signs of someone who is working with her heart and soul to be healthier in body and in mind.
I have no doubt that many (though not all) people might lose some weight if they decide to learn to eat mindfully (and this is not learnt overnight, nor is it easy) and to make physical activity an integral part of their everyday lives, even if it simply means walking rather than using the car when at all possible. But will they all become slim? There’s a pretty fat chance of that (this will be my last “pardon the expression”).
We will eradicate the 25+ BMI body the day we eradicate natural body diversity, the day we can ensure that all women will be at least 5’2” in their stockinged feet and have a pleasantly generous, though not excessively large bust; the day that all men have a penis measuring X inches long and biceps that are at least X inches around (I have no idea of the “normal” measurements for either of these examples); and the day that no one is ever born with anything but blue eyes and blond hair.
To paraphrase John Lennon, “give health (rather than the futile quest for the so-called perfect body) a chance”. This, to me, is far from giving up.