Conflating Dieting with Eating Healthy

[Feel free to skip if you don’t want to think about dieting right now.]

Image courtesy of the Rudd Center Image Gallery

Image courtesy of the Rudd Center Image Gallery

It’s January and there is the usual plethora of diet commercials extolling weight loss. Google “dieting” and up comes Special K’s “Healthy Eating Plan”!

That said, it is a bit refreshing to see someone write:

As a lifelong dieter, let me tell you from experience: A diet need have nothing to do with “eating healthy.”

[…] It’s possible to lose weight by eating more healthily. But losing weight and eating more healthily can also be two totally different goals.

The cultural conflation of “eating healthy” and “dieting” has a lot of built-in assumptions.

There’s certainly more (and I haven’t even gotten into all the debate over what “healthy eating” means).

One result of the end-of-year crunch at work is that I haven’t been eating lunch regularly.  I’m going to work on permission to eat what I want, and eating at regular intervals.  But I am still avoiding diet commercials.

7 thoughts on “Conflating Dieting with Eating Healthy

  1. This sounds like a good plan. Of course, I think listening to the Fat Nutritionist is always a good plan. :) My plan is to stop listening to people who ignore SCIENCE! I was following someone on Twitter who wrote an article about why the metastudy that shows that fatties can live longer than thin people is all wrong, even though it isn’t the first study to find that. I figure if she can’t be bothered to let her assumptions fall in the face of actual evidence, I shouldn’t be following her. I feel better already!

  2. One of the things I love best about having a dvr is the ability to skip over commercials, especially diet commercials.

    (Major trigger warning here)

    Of course that only helps so much when one of my favorite shows (Top Chef) has an entire episode devoted to their sponsor, Healthy Choice, in which the contestants must make a classic dish from a previous season ‘healthy’ and everyone simply accepts without question that this means as close to zero fat and as close to zero calories as possible.

    All I’m gonna say is it ain’t chicken pot pie without a crust.

    But at least that wasn’t about replacing two meals a day with a bowl of cereal, or avoiding all foods of a certain color or texture, or abusing laxatives to get thinner at any cost. The number of people who wouldn’t question the healthiness of any of those practices as long as it results in a thinner body is terrifying. And of course, if your body isn’t thin, it means you have never tried any of those things, so you need to do them and get healthy, right? Of course right!

    No particular body size is a clear indication of health. No one way of eating is universally healthy. But there are certain eating/exercise practices that are categorically unhealthy for every body, and those are the ones being most touted as the road to health because so many people assume they will lead to being thin, which they believe will lead to being healthy.

    We are so screwed up.

    • Oh yeah. One thing I will say for the Man of the House’s soccer addiction is that soccer does not break for commercials. Commercials before the game, commercials after the game, commercials during halftime — yes. But commercials every 5 minutes? No. A pro game has 2 commercial-free 45-minute halves. :)

      No particular body size is a clear indication of health. No one way of eating is universally healthy. But there are certain eating/exercise practices that are categorically unhealthy for every body, and those are the ones being most touted as the road to health because so many people assume they will lead to being thin, which they believe will lead to being healthy.

      Yup.

  3. It’s ironic to see weight loss ads pop up on fat acceptance sites too but thankfully not this one.

    Never thought I’d hear my mother say maybe I was right to focus more on my health than my weight, but she conceded I’m 55 now and still okay. Where’s my real mother? She’ll probably criticize my size again tomorrow so I’m enjoying the glow while it lasts. ;)

  4. Pingback: What does fat acceptance have to do with health? « Living ~400lbs

  5. Pingback: Quote of the Day: Hunger, Food, and Self-acceptance | Living ~400lbs

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