What Is Diet Culture? - Deepstash
What Is Diet Culture?

What Is Diet Culture?

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The diet culture is harmful

The diet culture is harmful

Diet culture believes that appearance and body shape are more important than physical, psychological, and general well-being.

Diet culture normalises labelling foods as good or bad and thinking that food is either something you earn or don't deserve depending on how you've eaten and exercised.

People also label themselves as good or bad for eating certain foods. They may have a poor self-image, talk negatively about themselves, and believe that a thin person is better.

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Food is more than fuel

It is a toxic idea to think that food is only fuel and must be earned.

Food is more than fuel. It is a social and cultural part of our lives. Thinking of food as good or bad fuel prevents you from enjoying food as a more meaningful part of your life.

Restricting your food intake so that you do not obtain the correct amount of nutrients for optimal functioning can be detrimental to your health.

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Diet culture as an unhealthy obsession

Diet culture as an unhealthy obsession

Labelling yourself as good or bad based on the foods you eat can lead to an eating disorder, such as orthorexia, sticking rigidly to consuming food that the person believes to be the "correct" healthy diet. This obsession leads to interference with everyday life, including social, emotional and more.

Examples include avoiding gluten when you're not intolerant or allergic, extreme versions of veganism, extreme low-fat or low-carbohydrate diets, detoxes, cleanses and avoiding all non-organic foods.

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How to combat diet culture

While it is impossible to avoid the diet culture due to its pervasive nature in all aspects of society, you can limit your exposure to diet culture and advocate against it.

  • Avoid social media, forums, or online groups that make you feel like you are not good enough for the way that you look.
  • Practice body neutrality - the idea that you should focus on what the body can do right now, not what you want it to look like.
  • Educate yourself on what overall health is. It might help you understand how focusing solely on thinness and food restriction can be detrimental to your health.

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