As a nation I feel we’re now obsessed with what we should eat, and how we should look. Everyone is searching for an answer that doesn’t seem to exist; instead, it’s just a matter of opinion. This leads me to this week’s blog, last week I looked at the Public Health Collaboration report, this week I’m going to discuss the latest clean eating diet debate, which has caused division between; dieticians, psychologists, and nutritionists.
Last Sunday- The Sunday Times published a booklet with the front cover ‘The Clean Eating Myth’- Why a “healthy’’ diet is bad for you-Katie Glass.
For me, the front cover was very visual and eye-catching. The letters were spelt out by using foods that are associated with clean eating. The A shaped into an avocado, the T in Eating shaped with blueberries and the Y in myth shaped into kiwi blocks.
Looking from the outside it could be interpreted that the food’s shown on the front of the booklet isn’t needed in your diet, and it’s a myth that the foods on the front cover have any benefits, instead they’re bad for you.
Other news articles have a similar outlook to The Sunday Time booklet.
Here are two other online article headlines from; The mirror and The Independent
New diet ‘clean eating’ could have serious health implications, warn experts (The Mirror)
Food Bloggers promoting ‘clean eating’ diets can fuel eating disorders in teenage girls, nutritionists warn
‘It’s more acceptable to say ‘I don’t eat gluten’ than to say ‘I don’t want to eat that cake” (The Independent)
Eating disorders is a very sensitive subject. People who suffer from eating disorders have a completely different mentality when it comes to food choices, calorie counting and fat content cloud their vision of what they need to fuel their body with.
I’m extremely open when I discuss my previous issues with food. In 2008, I develop a really negative relationship with food. I became obsessed with calorie counting and I would limit the amount of included in my diet. My chosen foods would be calorie deficient and low in fat. I would have never dreamt of including the foods that are illustrated on the front cover of The Sunday Time booklet such as; Avocado, Salmon and Almonds. These three foods have essential fats, but for me, at that time all fats were deemed as bad unless they were labelled as low fat.
When researching why people develop eating disorders, it’s clear there isn’t one underlying factor; instead, there are a number of factors. This will be down to the individual.
Young girls are not just influenced by food bloggers promoting clean eating; they’re influenced by role models such as; models, actresses/actors, pop stars, sports stars and A-list celebrities. Peer pressure, biological, psychological and interpersonal factors are also contributing factors, which trigger eating disorders.
Body shaming is an often occurrence in the newspapers. Celebrities will be snapped on their holidays in unflattering positions and the newspapers will use this as a story. The celebrities will often be described as letting their selves go, or being deemed as ‘curvier’ than normal. How can this not have a negative impact on self-esteem and body confidence? There is a ridiculous amount of pressure on female celebrities to look a certain way and this filters down to young girls. For me, this is one of the main reasons why young girls are developing eating disorders.
Moving away from the reasonings for eating disorders and diverting back to the concept of clean eating. I am very surprised ‘clean eating’ has had this type of backlash in the media recently. Previously, the media have shown their support to Deliciously Ella and Joe Wicks, who are capitalising on promoting clean eating through their personal recipe books.
Contrasting articles are not helpful or useful they lead to confusion. It seems like these articles are a reaction to the report, which was published by the Public Health Collaboration.
I feel the foods that have been characterised into the ‘clean eating’ categories, have been misunderstood and misinterpreted; people are becoming confused on what clean eating is and why we should include certain foods into our diet.
From various media articles, cleaning eating is being deemed as the devil and bad for us.
Clean eating isn’t about restricting calories or fat intake; it’s about fuelling your body with essential vitamins and minerals helping to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
The Sunday Time Booklet- The Clean Eating Myth’- Why a “healthy’’ diet is bad for you-Katie Glass