January 23, 2012

New Year’s Resolution: Ditching the diet

So I wrote my first article that addresses body image for HuffPo (link at the bottom). The inspiration behind this one is due to the ‘Ditching Dieting’ protest happened last week outside of Parliament. This was because lots of people believe the diet industry has a lot of answer for; the way they exploit consumers by tapping into their insecurities makes people instantly believe they can lose 10 pounds in a week or swallow a secret pill. Secret? Is it Victoria’s secret? Great, I’ll take 5 please. Think about it, every time you buy that magazine that brandishes ‘READ MORE INSIDE – Jessica Alba tells us HER SECRET DIET’ or you click a advertisement that says ‘WANT A STOMACH LIKE THIS?” – they are making a fortune. And you’ve fallen for the con.

I basically wanted to address whether it is us waking up in the morning and thinking ‘hey! you know what…. I’m going to go on a diet today!’ or, whether it may possibly transpire that we aren’t so in control of these decisions as we like to think. Do you sometimes find ourself ‘going on a diet’ because something in the media has triggered it, or you are intrigued as to what a friend is doing? It is this domino effect of people reading a news article or ad, full of marketed myths and unrealistic promises. These anecdotal stories of ‘Mary loses 3 stone in a week and falls in love after liquefying an Oatibix a day” then provides social talking points and things begin to circulate by word of mouth. Most of the time it’s because we’ve stumbled onto something that zaps us into thinking it’ll definitely absolutely completely ‘100% WORK!’ by a glamorous 80’s-style girl with a dazzling white smile.

By writing about my own experiences of dieting and the industry as a whole, I wanted to make a point that ‘diets’ are not only temporary, but expensive and slightly depressing. Changing your lifestyle, exercising or eating healthily is a whole different story. The word ‘dieting’ isn’t a good one, it’s synonymous with dramatic weight loss, weird ‘tricks’, messing up your body and can be the starting point for taking things that one step too far. 

Read the article below & let me know your thoughts. Do you think the diet industry is to blame for putting ideas in people’s heads that weren’t there in the first place?  

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/emma-gannon/dieting

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