It was the 80s and weight loss diet mania was in full swing.
- Low-carbohydrate diets, spearheaded by the book Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution, were the rage.
- At the end of the decade, L.A. Weight Loss Centers opened in 49 states, Canada and Europe to spread the word of low-carb weight loss, and also sell diet bars and supplements to help.
- The Chicago Tribune reported on the big fear about popular liquid weight loss diets — whether a person could keep off the weight they lost.
- Even today’s darling — the paleolithic diet– was enjoying a second (or is it third?) coming with the publication of a new book on the subject.
Frances “Francie” M. Berg, a licensed nutritionist, adjunct professor at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine, and pioneer in the movement away from weight-loss diets, was disturbed. As diet gimmicks and claims were becoming more and more popular, there seemed to be very little knowledge that diets don’t work, and in fact, usually only made weight struggles worse.
She decided to take a stand by founding an event that could draw like-minded people together to help educate people about the true facts about dieting, weight and health.
She founded Healthy Weight Week as a way to help people move away from a focus on dieting and achieving society’s prescribed “ideal” weights and sizes, and begin to embrace the idea of a “healthy weight.” One that is a person’s natural weight, supported by healthy thinking and living, not by trying to achieve an idealized image that is unachievable for most.
Francie has used Healthy Weight Week over the last two decades to:
- Call out the false promises of diet schemes that have led so many down a path to poor health, via the Slim Chance Awards, and
- Recognize those individuals and organizations that have been working to change the conversation, to help support people in living fulfilled lives free of dieting and the misplaced focus on weight that it promotes.
In recognition of her pioneering effort, we award Francie Berg, founder of Healthy Weight Week, the 2014 Healthy Body Image Award.
She joins the ranks of winners over the past 20 years who have made a difference.
We salute you, Francie, for your advocacy on behalf of weight-struggling people everywhere. And thank you for passing the Healthy Weight Week torch to us at Green Mountain at Fox Run, to help keep the good fight going.
We invite all our readers to join in recognizing Francie by celebrating Healthy Weight Week. We also invite you to let us know throughout the year good candidates for the award. Just email us at info (at) fitwoman.com; put Healthy Weight Week nomination in the subject line.