A researcher explains 'Why Diets Make Us Fat'

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The country's obsession with dieting and weight is not new, but every few years a new research study or a new diet re-invigorates the discussion.

Sandra Aamodt's new book explores the idea that all of this is actually more harmful than helpful: Her book is called "Why Diets Make Us Fat."

Aamodt and Victoria Jarzabkowski, a registered dietician and nutrition coordinator at the University of Texas at Austin, joined MPR News host Kerri Miller to discuss the battle between brain and body that happens in the weight loss process.

Every person has their own "defended bodyweight," Aamodt explained. That's "the range of pounds your brain works hard to get back to." So if you've ever dieted but then slowly but the weight back on, that's the brain's resistance to weight loss in action.

"When people are obsese," Aamodt writes,"it's usually because their brain considers that weight to be correct for them."

So if diets aren't the answer, what should people do to stay healthy? Aamodt's book explores other behaviors that can make an impact.

For the full discussion with Sandra Aamodt and Victora Jarzabkowski on the biological and psychological realities of weight loss, use the audio player above.

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