Mass Media's Obession with Diets

Yesterday on GMA, Al Roker took on Jillian Michaels and gave his whole hearted approval to the Keto diet. It continues to amaze me of the massive amount of misinformation that is given on a daily basis and that most of it comes from people who have not arrived at the pinnacle of health of which they freely disperse advice from. Nor are they supported by any real research and the “experts” that they claim to be. 

Because of Al Roker’s position on NBC as weatherman, he now has the platform to inform millions of people about a diet that has not proven to work for him (let’s remember any caloric deficiency can help you lose weight but until someone keeps the weight off long term 5 to 10 years and the diet has not negatively affected one’s overall health, then let’s wait on giving anyone your new magic formula). I am not trying to pick on Al Roker, because I see a serious problem that continues to raise its ugly head everyday on the morning shows. 

The truth is that Al Rocker isn’t just representing the Keto diet, he is representing a billion dollar diet industry. If you can see through his latest diet recommendations and really see Mr Roker, then you see a man who has always struggled with food, and when dieting failed him or he failed at dieting, he choose to have a gastric bypass in 2003. It is public knowledge that even after the surgery Al has continued to struggle with weight, and 16 years later Al is still “dieting”. But he is not just dieting, he is participating in a show that highlights the misuse of food from one extreme to the other. A dieting segment is easily followed by a gluttonous recipe created to make all your mouth dreams come true. 

Beyond the understanding of the entertainment industry and mass media selling the latest trendy diet, I ask why is Al Roker continuing to promote a diet formula that has not only failed him time and time again, but has also failed 70% of Americans. 

Does mass media have a responsibility to stop promoting diets? Do we? My Facebook feed is full of “dieting” advice, recipes and opinions from lots of people that I know. I try to reconcile how we are suffering from an obesity epidemic, and there are so many self-proclaimed dieting experts.

I am asking for all us to take some responsibility for the health epidemic and before we give advice or take advice from a celebrity, friend or family member, maybe we should first try to find out more about the person we choose to believe. If we look at any other area in our lives, then it’s easy to see we don’t follow the same logic that we do dieting. I don’t think any of us would give all our money to a complete stranger to invest if we knew they had repeatedly lost their money and was still financially struggling. Nor would we get in a car and take driving lessons from someone who has crashed multiple times and is still learning how to drive? 

So I ask, why in the world do we take health advice that affects our entire lives from people who 1) are not healthy 2) are still doing really bizarre and extreme things to lose weight 3) are not being more honest about their deeper struggle with food. 

Here’s the thing, deep down we all know that food is not our savior, deliverer or best friend. We also know that something that sounds too good to be true is 99.9% of the time not true. There is no research that shows good long term results for extreme “diets”. If anything, research shows that “diets” have helped cause the obesity epidemic in America. We have all taken dieting advice from people who have sold their allegiance to the diet industry and then made lots of money selling it to you. But if we should have learned anything, it is that we should never take health advice from the people on TV, professional dieters, anyone giving you a new diet or anyone who tells you that you can transform your health from the outside-in.

It is time that we stop putting our health in the dieting industry formula and remember that our health is not just in our hands but in your spirits, hearts, minds and relationships. To be healthy is to be whole and it is the daily choice to give up diets and remember who we are and how we are naturally designed to be healthy, whole and human. 

The healthiest people I know do not use food or exercise as a means to end. Truth is they don’t even really talk about food. Instead, they give and receive food as a gift and it is just one of many gifts that daily nourishes their spirits, hearts, minds, bodies and relationships. 

Join me in Vive and discover the way to truth.