• Protect your daughter from disorder eating
    • Know exactly what to say (and what to avoid) when it comes to talking about food and eating
    • Understand the secrets dietitians use to help their own kids eat with ease 
    • Help your daughter build body esteem 
    • Worry less about weight and more about what really impacts your daughter’s health
    • Learn a set of strategies for managing social media (and they work for YOU and your kids!)
    • Finally feel confident that you’re doing and saying all the right things!
    Protecting Her From Diet Culture (6 Strategies Audio Mini Course)

    What IS Diet Culture?

    *Below is an excerpt from the book Diet-Proof Your Daughter

    While we’re reading, writing, and tik-toking about it more than ever before, do we really know what the term diet culture means? 

    Diet culture is the driving force behind many popular attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors we have related to foods, fitness, and weight.  

    Diet culture is a system of beliefs about foods and eating that attributes moral virtue to the types and amounts of foods and nutrients eaten while simultaneously demonizes others. 

    Yes, diet culture refers to the perpetual pressure in the ether that tells us—and our daughters—in no uncertain terms that slimmer, thinner, and smaller is better. Yet diet culture means so much more. 

    Diet culture is what makes us feel guilty for ordering the pasta or judged for picking up lunch at McDonald’s. And if you’ve ever felt proud of yourself for planning an all-organic menu or raising a child who loves kale, well then that’s diet culture too. 

    It’s those less obvious meanings of diet culture that are the more dangerous ones.

    Diet culture is what makes make planning a “healthy” dinner for our kids feel impossible. The thoughts that are part of diet culture push us to avoid feeding out kids even though they’re telling us their hungry!

    Diet culture makes us so worried about their weight that we might say things like “there’s no way you’re still hungry!” or “look how much you already ate?!”

    The thoughts, beliefs, and attudies that are part of diet culture are what trigger us to feel major anger or frustration when they ask for dessert. 

    There’s no one official definition of the term, though highly active and outspoken anti-dieter Christy Harrison, MPH, RD, does one of the loveliest jobs describing it here.

    (In my opinion, Christy has done the most powerful work out there when it comes to bringing attention and understanding to the negative impacts of diet culture. Christy calls diet culture “The Great Life Thief”.

    Definitely check out Christy’s book Anti-Diet, her FoodPsych podcast, and website.  Christy’s definition of diet culture will resonate with those feeling burdened or downright destroyed by the pressure to be thin. 

    To me, diet culture is this and more. SO much more! You don’t need to be white, privileged, and focused on thinness to be impacted by diet culture. Diet culture is the intersection of food and eating culture and health culture, in my mind.  

    You’d be hard-pressed to find a person living in the US who hasn’t been impacted by the ideas and attitudes that come from the constant pressure to be “healthy.” 

    Diet culture attributes higher status and virtue to bodies who conform to the thin, lean, or  “healthy” ideal.

    Diet culture pressures us to feel bad if we aren’ eating organic, locally-grown, natural, non-GMO; food groups such as fruits, vegetables, fish; and, to eating styles such as “clean,” low carb, vegan and vegetarianism, and [enter the premise of the latest ‘health’ book on the New York Times Best-seller list here]. 

    Diet culture oppresses people who do not conform to or strive for these norms or “healthful” ideals.

    Diet culture contributes to bias and stigma and causes negative impacts on overall well-being, including multiple elements of physical, emotional, and social health.

    Diet culture contributes to health disparities and disproportionately impacts women, people in larger bodies, people of non-dominate culture, ethnicity, or race, people of the LGTBQ community, and people of lower socioeconomic status who are experiencing food insecurity.

    Diet culture can be at times one or all of the following; elitist, classist, misogynistic, and racist.

    Diet culture is perpetuated by the medical system, which determines health status  (and so often consciously or unconsciously, moral status) to people based on BMI.

    And from my perspective to both be a dietitian aware of the dangers of diet culture and also work within a major medical system is to walk a very, very fine line indeed!

    All these terribly complicated things said, here’s my truest grievance: diet culture completely undermines our eating competence.  

    It makes us question everything about one of our most basic instincts, which is our appetite and drive to eat.

    Diet culture calls on us to question our hunger, it pressures us to take information from the outside world when it comes to food choices, food amounts, as well as negatively impacts how we feel about how we eat. 

    Eating competence is nurtured and cultivated by our parents,  grandparents, and other caregivers, so disentangling ourselves from the sticky mess of diet culture is important if we want to raise a daughter—or any gender child—to be a healthy eater. 

    In order to raise a competent eater, we must be aware of diet culture and how it impacts our own thoughts and attitudes about foods, eating, and feeding our kids. 

    Do you want your child to feel anxious when it’s time to make a decision about what or how much to eat?

    Do you want your child to eat vegetables because they believe that they should instead of because they taste good?

    Do you want your child to feel guilt and shame when they eat cakes, cookies, candy or other delicious, sugary sweets?

    Do you want your child to leave the table feeling hungry?

    Do you want your child to feel they need to “earn” their food?

    These are just some of the experiences your child will have if you don’t actively protect them from diet culture—or the food and eating attitudes that are so popular.  

    *By accessing this download, you agree to receive emails from Amelia @ NourishHer. Never spammy! Unsubscribe anytime.

    Scroll to Top