Recently, an ad in Time Square for an appetite suppressing lollipop caused an uproar in the eating disorder and non diet community. This lollipop is being promoted as a tool for people to get a “flat tummy”. Many clinicians, activists and people living with eating disorders have shared their thoughts on why this type of product is not only ridiculous, but also potentially dangerous.
TRIGGER WARNING: the following material may be triggering for some individuals. Please read with caution.
Who is “the media”?
Is it the morning news that I used to watch while I ate my Cheerios? Is it the fitness magazines that I desperately consumed all through middle school and high school? Is it The Biggest Loser or What Not To Wear or To The Bone? Is it the weight loss books that I checked out of my local library? Is it those infuriating Beachbody ads I keep seeing on Facebook? Is it Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram?
Recently, NEDIC has viewed the trailer for NETFLIX’s new movie To the Bone. While we haven’t yet seen the movie, we have received a number of calls from the media and others, and would like to address some of these concerns.
Eating Disorders- One Size DOESN’T Fit All
An In Touch article, printed at the height of Kardashian’s pregnancy, was entitled something like: I’ll Never be Sexy again; Even my Armpits are Fat! Let me say for the record that I do not care about Kim Kardashian’s weight gain and I don’t care which celeb’s beach butt cellulite it is under the cutesy “Guess Who?” label.
In part 1 of this blog, the bad and ugly side of the Instagram-body image debate was explored, and the main issue addressed was the recent trend of pro-anorexia and pro-bulimia support groups emerging among Instagram users. This is a problem because these users are reinforcing each other’s harmful behaviors through “likes” and comments on “thinspiration” pictures and in doing this they are normalizing disordered eating.
Take a picture.
Choose a digital filter.
Write a caption.
This February will mark over 250 days and 1000 extra hours that the National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC) helpline has been active, thanks to a generous donation from Bell Let’s Talk – in addition to the 2000 regular business hours that our helpline is live every year.
James S. Bell Junior Middle School in Toronto has banned “junk food” from lunches. Students who bring items such as candy or even granola bars will be asked to take the items back home. The reasoning behind this decision is that the school styles itself as a “sports and wellness academy”. They further reinforce these values by sending kids back to the cafeteria line if they do not have enough vegetables on their plate. Although the general population may perceive these initiatives as positive and healthy – they do not sit well with me.
The NEDIC team has been deeply affected by the comments in both criticism and support of our most recent awareness campaign ad. We recognize that the ad has stirred deep feelings and strong reactions from many of you.
In objection to the ad, some have said:
Last week, I was surprised to come across two articles discussing whether Toronto schools will soon be weighing students, determining whether they are within a ‘healthy’ weight range – and sending the results to parents. When asked what they thought about this, the majority of parents surveyed in a Toronto Star poll reported that they would not allow their children to participate in BMI testing if it was brought to their school. Why? Could it be that parents understand that BMI is not a good measure of health and wellbeing? That measuring BMI in schools continues a flawed panic – using a flawed measuring tool – about size rather than health?