To be filed under “no duh” for any Mbirder (or anyone with the least bit of self-knowledge) comes this piece of news from NPR this morning: Skinny Models Undermine Dieting Goals.

Dr. Anne Klesse, a researcher at Tilburg University in the Netherlands (as I’ve always said, if you ain’t Dutch, you ain’t much:) and her colleagues recently conducted an experiment to see what effect skinny models had on dieters…

…They recruited female volunteers who signed up for a weight-loss program and gave them diaries in which the volunteers could note down precisely what they ate and when — a standard technique in weight-loss programs nowadays.

But half the volunteers got a diary that featured a skinny model on the cover and on every page. The other half got diaries with the neutral image of a logo.

The results were sobering.

“Those people that saw the diary without the model on top — they were actually able to lose weight,” Klesse said. “Surprisingly, the people that [had the diary with the model on it] were not able to lose weight, and even worse, they even slightly gained weight.”

Klesse and her colleagues found that the volunteers in the two groups did about the same at the beginning of the study. But as the weight-loss program continued, the people who saw the skinny model every time they opened their diaries fell off the wagon.

Dr. Klesse concluded that “the perception that a goal is unattainable demotivates dieters from investing effort in achieving the goal and causes them to disengage from the goal,” or as Martin Luther wrote:

The law of God, the most salutary doctrine of life, cannot advance man on his way to righteousness, but rather hinders him.

So, if you’re looking to lose weight, what’s the answer? Check out this piece from Mark Galli.