The Skinny on Diet Culture

Riley Sims, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Social media platforms have played a big part in spreading new diet trends. Some diets claim a certain outcome and advertise their diet as a solution for weight loss. Some celebrities even endorse them and promote their results. However, many of these diets don’t promote well-balanced eating.

People need to stop putting so much trust in these new diets, because many of them are restrictive, unnecessary and potentially dangerous to one’s health.

Many of the current diet trends are centered around consuming certain food groups and limiting consumption of others. The ketogenic diet, for example, suggests reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing them with fats. This process puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis, which helps with weight loss. However, staying on the diet long-term can cause some people’s bodies to enter into starvation mode, which can make it harder to lose weight. There is no reason to stay on a restrictive diet if there are only short-term results. To lose weight or just be healthy in general, adopting healthy eating habits seems more practical instead of going from one diet trend to another.

Another reason why many diets don’t work for people is because their bodies get no benefits from it. Many popular diets promise to help with certain health issues, and some have proven to be true. The gluten-free diet, for example, has helped people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance. The diet, however, has been adopted by many people who think it’s “healthier”. According to, the diet cuts out a lot of carbs, which is where the protein gluten is normally found, and forces people to eat more whole foods, like fruits and vegetables. There are, however, gluten-free substitutes for many carbs, like gluten-free bread, but these products are no healthier than their gluten-rich counterparts, because they’re still processed foods. There is no need to go on a diet that was designed for a certain disease if you do not have that disease. If one is interested in the diet then they should adopt the aspects that are best for their specific body.

There are mental and physical risks with constant dieting. According to, people with weight fluctuations of about 8.6 pounds had twice the risk of a heart attack, stroke or death over a 4.7-year period. Many experts refer to this as Yo-yo dieting, which is going from one diet to another or taking breaks in between diets. People participating in diets get frustrated when they don’t see the results they want and may give up or switch their eating patterns around. Not only is this harmful physically but also mentally. Feelings of guilt often occur if they can’t keep off the weight and, in some cases, dieters may develop an eating disorder.

Relying on dieting is dangerous, because they are unhealthy in many cases and are too restrictive. If somebody wants to be healthy, then they should talk to a doctor or nutritionist to see what works best for them. Everyone is different and what works for others may not work for you.

If you or somebody you know is partaking in restrictive dieting that is harming their health, please call the eating disorder hotline at (800) 931-2237.