May 6th is International No Diet Day. Although I write a lot about the benefits of healthy eating and maintaining a healthy weight ... I don't believe in "diets," and I wish every day could be No Diet Day. Diets are the problem, not the solution.
In America, we spend over 40 billion dollars a year buying into what the diet-and-weight-loss industry is selling ... and for the most part, they are selling a lie.
What makes me most angry about the money-hungry diet industry is that they make their billions by perpetuating lies and unrealistic stereotypes of what a woman's body should look like. (I consider Alli: The Diarrhea Diet one of the worst.) This ultimately causes women to feel bad about themselves and creates the perfect storm for eating disorders. As far as I'm concerned, a woman's body comes in many beautiful sizes and shapes, and keeping it healthy is much more important than keeping it thin. Also See: Ten Things the Weight Loss Industry Won't Say
But International No Diet Day isn't really about not dieting for that one day. It's about awareness and acknowledging all the detrimental (physical and emotional) aspects of dieting.
There are several goals to the International No Diet Day:
- Doubt the idea of one "right" body shape.
- Raise awareness to weight discrimination, size bias and fatphobia.
- Declare a free day from diets and obsessions to body weight.
- Present the facts about the diet industry, emphasizing the inefficacy of commercial diets.
- Show how diets perpetuate violence against women.
- Honor the victims of eating disorders and weight-loss surgeries.
- 75 percent of American women are dissatisfied with their appearance.
- 50 percent of American women are on a diet at any one time.
- Between 90 percent and 99 percent of reducing diets fail to produce permanent weight loss.
- Two-thirds of dieters regain the weight within one year. Virtually all regain it within five years.
- The diet industry (diet foods, diet programs, diet drugs, etc.) takes in over $40 billion each year and is still growing.
- Quick-weight-loss schemes are among the most common consumer frauds, and diet programs have the highest customer dissatisfaction of any service industry.
- Also See: Top Ten Reasons to Give Up Dieting
From bitchbuzz ...
The first INDD, in 1992, was organized by Mary Evans Young – a former eating disorder sufferer and campaigner who wanted to promote size acceptance and was horrified by the lengths women and girls were going to in order to lose weight.
Since then, it’s been celebrated in countries all over the world, run by the International No Diet Coalition, an organization which comprises over 500 groups promoting self-esteem, eating disorders awareness, health at any size and positive body image.
From Australian Women Online ...
The Butterfly Foundation can also help you plan and host your own morning or afternoon tea to celebrate International No Diet Day and to help raise funds to continue the work of supporting people with eating disorders.
This year Victorians are being encouraged by Eating Disorders Victoria (EDV) to ditch restrictive diets and embrace the practice of Mindful Eating, a simple‐to‐learn life skill that can lead to a much healthier and enjoyable relationship with food.
National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA) is a non-profit civil rights organization dedicated to ending size discrimination in all of its forms.
National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) is dedicated to providing education, resources and support to those affected by eating disorders. Whether you are an individual living with an eating disorder, a family member or friend looking to offer support to a loved one, or a treatment professional looking to help others —- we are here for you.
National Eating Disorder Information -- Know The Facts: Prevention & Health Promotion -- Despite common belief, it is possible to prevent the development of food and weight preoccupations and eating disorders. It is also possible to prevent existing eating disorders from getting worse. From learning about and improving on our own self-esteem and body image to working with others and making positive societal changes, the following information can help us to reduce the occurrence of disordered eating.
Women's Health Information -- Fat and Feminist: Large Women's Health Experiences
May 6th is my daughter's birthday, so I'll be eating cake. How will you be spending International No Diet Day? Let us know in comments.
Contributing Editor Catherine Morgan
Also at Catherine-Morgan.com
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