In February, when I spoke with registered dietitian Christy Harrison about her recently released “Anti-Diet” book, I didn’t realize that the world was about to change so drastically.
We talked about the pervasiveness of diet culture ― the belief system that champions the thin (usually white, cisgender) ideal, that says certain ways of eating are good and others are bad, and that encourages weight loss at all costs. It’s in marketing, health care, our own views of ourselves. Although things look very different these days, all of that is still true.
Diet culture is even more prevalent in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Wellness brands are preying on our fears and uncertainty by offering supplements. More time to scroll through social media and all of the perfectly chosen images leaves us feeling more insecure about our own bodies.
Most glaringly, there’s so, so much fearmongering about quarantine weight gain that even someone who typically has a good relationship with food might feel pressure to start a diet. Those who struggle with an eating disorder or disordered eating might feel these pressures even more acutely.
In “Anti-Diet,” Harrison chronicles the history of diet culture, uses evidence to point out the flaws in our strongly held beliefs about weight, and gives some insight into how to finally stop judging ourselves and others for the shape of our bodies and the food we eat.
And there’s no better time to heed those lessons than right now, when…