Dear Diet Industry…

Dear Diet Industry,

This week there have been many reports in the newspapers surrounding diets and the obesity crisis that is currently gripping the UK. Reports that claim fat is indeed now good for us and low fat products do nothing but make us fatter in the long run.

Your industry is one that often targets itself at overweight and unhappy people who want a quick fix. You promise lasting results, quick initial losses and state that people who follow your plan are happy and never hungry. There are products, magazines and endless other ways to take the money off the overweight. And I’m not  even mentioned the more extreme diets, which come at a more extreme price; the blood group diet, food harvested only when the planets and stars are perfectly aligned, juicing and more. All promising the same thing. All primarily focusing on losing weight and not being healthy. Since when did skinny equal healthy? It doesn’t and the industry is capitalising on society’s view that slimness equals attractiveness. Perpetuating the myth that if you are fat then you are ugly.

While the truth is that yes, your diets and eating plans often work, they only work while your customers are religiously doing them. The minute they stop the weight loss stops too. And most of them will go on to put the weight back on, and then some. I’ve been there, I’ve done it and I’ve got about a dozen t-shirts to prove it – so I know what I am talking about.

It’s not right. It’s not healthy. It’s not a lifestyle change for the better. For example, often your eating plans do not contain healthy fats, something that we all know are important. Nuts and seeds and avocados are so highly pointed that they are not consumed, even though they have been proven to be beneficial to our health in many ways.

iStock_000010920576SmallerBeing healthy and losing weight can be difficult – trust me, I do know that – but surely the basic principles are not that hard to grasp? Eat everything in moderation, and exercise. Cutting out whole food groups is dangerous. Missing meals is a sure fire way to mess with your metabolism. Counting calories instils an unhealthy obsession with food. Eat sensibly. Move more. Simple.

I admire the fact that you want to help people who need to lose weight to do so, but I wish you’d do it more responsibly and not charge so much for the privilege or prey on the belief that slimness is the epitome of healthiness and attractiveness.

Because, it really isn’t.

Love, me x

Has anything angered you this week and made you want to write a letter? If so write to me at jen.faulkner@bristolwoman.org.uk

 

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