WASHINGTON (7News) — Images of diet culture continue to fill social media feeds with tricks to lose weight fast, edited photos to show thinness and videos of people working out at the gym. Health experts say body types vary and being thin does not equal being healthy.
Over the past few weeks, diet culture went from timelines to headlines. Actress Gwyneth Paltrow revealed her daily eating habits, or lack thereof, as she described a diet consisting of coffee and bone broth.
In a body positivity post, Karol G called GQ Mexico magazine “disrespectful” for editing her cover photo, making the singers face look gaunt and body appear thinner.
ALSO READ | Few Americans know or heed US nutrition guide
“This is extremely pervasive and really impacting people throughout their lives,” said Erin Birely with The Renfrew Center.
Birely is a licensed clinical professional counselor at the eating disorder facility in Bethesda. She said since social media isn’t going away, it is a good time for parents to model positive behavior.
“One of the things to do is always look at ourselves first. ‘What’s my relationship with food and my body?’ We know kids especially are great observers, they notice those things. So, I think starting to look at, ‘What food do I have in the house? Am I giving them access to a lot of variety and different types of food? Am I putting morality on food saying this is good, this is bad?’” she told 7News Health and Wellness Reporter Victoria Sanchez.
It's easy to blame social media for perpetuating diet culture, but it is also a place to find images that represent body positivity.
Birely suggests looking through the lists of people you follow on social platforms and removing or adding those who post positive images.