There are significant reasons the issue ‘toxic diet culture’ has been coined. This is due to the harms caused by body-shaming, especially regarding weight. This post shares why toxic diet approaches backfire and are harmful. You will then read hopeful news, such as ways to manage your weight that are positive and feel good.
Toxic Diet Culture: What It Is & Why to Walk Away
Something that is toxic is defined as being “extremely harsh” or “harmful.” Consider the shame people feel when others make weight comments. This can undermine a person’s self-worth and self-value. After reading about the culture’s history and harms, you will have reasons to walk away.
Toxic diet culture goes back to ancient Greece where society’s outlook was rooted in moral values. People with ‘extra’ weight were considered imbalanced and in need of fixing. That troubling outlook diminished for centuries, then sadly returned about 200 years ago, coinciding with social degradation, especially toward women of color.
The BMI Bad News
The Body Mass Index (BMI) is flawed. This includes the dangers it presents, including for young children. A recent British report describes BMI being used to body-shame people even though BMI only measures weight in relation to height. It doesn’t calculate the proportions of bone, adipose, and muscle masses. That report by the Women and Equalities Committee points out problems with their government’s obesity strategy, calling for changes to reduce harm.
Diet Culture Harms
The toxic diet culture degrades people, and is likely to backfire as opposed the intended effect. This includes misleading health messages such as unrealistic expectations of how one should look. Think “summer body,” or “fit and healthy.” Other faulty messages come in the form of diet promotion, often without solid info to back claims. Additional harm is induced by the equation of size or build with a person’s value and abilities.
Certainly, social media has lots to do with this. Some content runs rampant with toxic diet culture examples. From extolling what to eat, or not, to being skinny, it leads people to question their self-worth based on body type. Over time, this can lead to extreme caloric restriction, eating disorders, and disordered eating such as the continual need to lose a few pounds. The American approach to dieting and what is considered healthy is resulting in children here and in other nations being unsatisfied with their bodies. In addition, 98% of diets reportedly fail. That results in many people suffering feelings of guilt for not achieving society’s unrealistic ideal.
Moving to Weight Management That Works
The determining factor behind weight management that is good for you is focusing on how you feel. This involves balanced energy, along with nurturing an optimistic outlook. Realistically, weight management and quality healthcare should focus on feeling well and enjoying a liberating sense of self-acceptance. After all, you are unique, as is your physiology. This affects how your body uses and stores sources of energy. The following are a few ways to feel better that also support weight management:
- Incredible options like semaglutide, combined with gradual lifestyle approaches, can result in sustained weight loss.
- Getting enough sleep most nights supports weight management. Not getting enough sleep, while limiting calories, has been found to result in more loss of lean mass (muscle) than proportion of fat loss.
- Periodic short, simple exercise breaks have been found to have outcomes similar to more complex exercise programs. This relates to feeling good by stretching to ease tight shoulders or soothe your lower back. A short walk or a bit of dancing does the trick!
Please contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss what options may be available to you. We look forward to partnering in your healthcare journey.