Fad Diets and Eating Disorders

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There is an undeniable certainty that in society there is a concerning amount of focus on how we look and what we eat. With magazines and blogs, such as Vogue and Goop, promoting diets and certain body types, of course there is pressure to look a certain way. These diets that are promoted, though have no scientific evidence that they actually are healthy for you and tend to rely more on pseudoscience, are called fad diets.

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These fad diets, such as the Clean Eating diet and Juice Cleanse, have shown to have a pattern of putting people into eating disorders. Because of this, fad diets should stop being promoted due to the consistent amount of eating disorders that follow behind them.

The Clean Eating diet is a fad diet that took popularity in 2018, described as “avoiding packaged and processed foods and eating food as close to its natural state as possible” (“Everything You Need to Know About Clean Eating” par 2). The diet’s actual food varies and depends on the actual person who is involved in it, as “some clean diets focus on plant-based foods and avoid all meat and dairy. Others opt for seasonal, local, organic, non-GMO foods, and ethically pasture-raised eggs, meat, and dairy. Many clean foods are gluten-free. The strictest diets also cut out alcohol and caffeine” (“Everything You Need to Know About Clean Eating” par 5). The overall feeling of the diet is to try and make you feel pure and clean. Now, Juice Cleanses are meant to help you “detox” your body from “toxins” in which you only “ consumes only fruit and vegetable juices” (Stoddard par 2) for several weeks.

Research shows though that there is no need to “detox our bodies” though as “your body already has a highly effective system for removing toxins, principally the liver and kidneys” (“Do You Really Need to ‘Detox’? p 1), as stated by Irwin H. Rosenberg, a Professor of Medicine and Nutrition at Tufts University. The idea of detoxing our bodies is extremely toxic to our mental health as that implies there is something disgusting with who are and how we look.

Many activivants who partake in such diets are shown to usually regret it due to the fad diet spiraling actually unhealthy eating habits. Two activants, Hannah Matthews and Naomi Teeter, tell us their experience with the Clean Eating Diet. Hannah Matthews discusses in her article how a “rigid diet became an all-consuming obsession” (Matthews par 1), specifically orthorexia and anorexia. Orthorexia is a eating disorder term coined in 1998 in which a person is “compulsively checking nutrition labels,

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