Same Old Weight Loss Hype


I was waiting in line at the grocery store a couple days ago when a woman turned to me and said, “Look how many magazines have something about dieting on the cover”. Standing there amongst the candy bars, breath mints and beef jerky, we counted eight. We didn’t know each other, but in that moment she reached out to me as if to say, ‘do people really buy into that stuff?’ Even though our better judgment says not to, haven’t we all?

This time of year I envision magazine editors all across America temporarily filing away their ‘Top 20 Summer Dieting Tips’, only to be churned out again next year, with the same weight loss promise of ‘miracle bikini butts before labor day!’  So why are some women still tempted to pick magazines that promise, ‘lose 20 pounds in one month by eating 10 fat burning foods’, or whatever tempting misinformation or claim?

The Canadian website, Media Awareness Network published this excerpt from an article, ‘Beauty and Body Image in the Media’.

“Researchers report that women’s magazines have ten and one-half times more ads and articles promoting weight loss than men’s magazines do, and over three-quarters of the covers of women’s magazines include at least one message about how to change a woman’s bodily appearance-by diet, exercise or cosmetic surgery.”

Some of the biggest weight loss hype comes from the diet pill industry. Is it my imagination or are diet pills advertised by actors posing as medical authorities on my television almost every 10 minutes?  The FTC does seems to be taking notice although nothing much seems to be happening. If anything, advertisements for drugs seem to be on the rise.

For more interesting reading on the subject of women and advertising, pick up, Deadly Persuasion – Why Women and Girls Must Fight the Addictive Power of Advertising by Jean Kilbourne

Comments are closed.

About the Author