What is Diet Culture? 6 Ways it Shows Up

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Let’s set the record straight. As folks try to shape shift diet culture let’s call it out for what it is. Celebrities and influencers hop on intuitive eating bandwagons and end up causing more harm because they actually don’t know what they’re talking about.

Diet culture is harmful and is more than just dieting (which you don’t have to do to be impacted by the CULTURE).

I spy diet culture everywhere.

  • Diet culture values weight, size, and shape OVER health and well-being.

  • Diet culture says thinness is health. (People can be healthy in big or small bodies).

  • Diet culture says shrink yourself by any means. (Praising disordered eating and eating disorders for weight loss).

  • Weight loss and food turn into moral issues in diet culture. (“I’m naughty, cheating, sinful, indulgent, good, bad” mentality with food and exercise)

  • Food is labeled as good or bad. (Sugar is bad and broccoli is good. I am good if I eat the veggies and shameful if I eat a “bad” food.”

  • Certain bodies are labeled as good or bad. (This shifts based on decade).

When we’re enmeshed with diet culture we don’t recognize it. We believe it’s fact and truth, when the FACT is diet culture is damaging.

Let’s bring awareness to it’s pervasive and sneaky presence. It’s all over media. It’s in our children’s books. It’s part of our health system. It’s perpetuated by respected thought leaders and gurus. It’s in our daily conversations. It’s a cultural belief system that have consequences.

By becoming AWARE of the messages diet culture perpetuates, we can mindfully navigate the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors we chose in response. Building awareness and mindful permission to do what’s best for our own body is a positive alternative to the shame-based false sense of self-worth that diet culture promises. I want to raise awareness of diet culture because I’m PRO EMPOWERMENT. As a person fully recovered from Anorexia, Bulimia, and Orthorexia, I know the stakes and consequences of obsession with weight and size over health and well-being. SO KICK BACK AGAINST KICK BACK. You’re doing this for you and future generations. Your weight, health, body, doesn’t define YOU.

Six Examples of What Diet Culture Looks Like:

  1. A System of Beliefs that Values Weight, Size, and Shape over Health and Well-Being

  2. Promotes Weight Loss as a Means of Attaining Higher Status

  3. Worships Thinness and Says Thinness is Health and Moral Virtue

  4. Demonizes Certain Ways of Eating and Elevates Others

  5. Says Shrink Yourself By Any Means and Encourages Disordered Eating

  6. Oppresses People Who Don’t Match Up with Supposed “Picture of Health”

Therapy and tacos for all,

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