On Our Radar: Food Shaming

The April issue of Women’s Health Magazine describes “food shaming” and the issues associated with it.

“It’s normal in our culture to obsess about food this way and to judge our choices and to label foods as ‘good’ or 'bad,’" says Michelle May, M.D., author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat. "Here’s the problem: When we judge food as being 'good’ or 'bad,’ we also judge ourselves and other people as 'good’ or 'bad,' depending on what we ate.”

The more we listen to this food shaming—whether it’s coming from ourselves or someone else—the more detrimental it becomes, say experts.

“That belief that 'I’m a bad person’ has a really negative consequence because the truth is that if we believe we’re a bad person, then what the heck—why not keep overeating?” says May. Then, after over-indulging, many people will try to earn their way back into good standing (as mandated by our culture’s food rules) by restricting and depriving themselves—which is one of the most powerful triggers for overeating, says May. The result is something she calls the “eat-repent-repeat cycle.”

Ultimately, spending so much time focusing on what you “should” eat and beating yourself up about consuming things that don’t fall into that category gives credence to the harmful belief that you can’t trust yourself and your body to make your own food choices. Eventually, it can lead to an obsessive and dysfunctional relationship with food and, in some cases, even more severe problems like disordered or secretive eating, say experts.

Read the full article here.

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