Advertising Literacy and Diet Culture

You are constantly bombarded with advertising trying to sell you on something, especially diets. 

A popular and ever-growing subset of advertising is taken up by diet companies. Altogether, the weight-loss and diet industry (gyms, food plans, medications, coaches, etc) was calculated to be a 75 billion dollar industry in 2023, up 15% from 2022.* Unfortunately, the diet industry offers you “solutions” by making something the enemy, whether it is food, movement, or yourself. 

You get these messages through signs on the train, ads on the radio or social media, or commercials on TV. Also, you receive advertising messages through word of mouth, even your friends and family. 

You might find that you are vulnerable to advertising tactics if you take a step back and look at the impact it has on your life. 

Here are some important questions you need to ask yourself to become a more conscientious consumer of diet advertising:

    1. What is this ad really selling you? Practice looking through the pretty images or the supposed lifestyle portrayed. 
    2. What is the purpose of the product?
    3. Especially important, is it being sold to better you or the company selling it?
    4. Does this product want to change you as a person? Are you being told something is wrong with you and that the product is the magic cure to your “problem” as a way to get your buy in? 
    5. If so, do you support an organization that wants people to feel this way?
    6. What need are you trying to meet by buying into this product? 
    7. And will that product actually meet your need? 

Importantly, you need to pay attention to the motivation and morals behind diet advertising. Additionally, when you look inward, you might shed some light on deeper unmet needs you have. 

All in all, remember to give yourself some grace and kindness in the process of forming a better relationship with yourself and the messages you receive. 

We’re psychotherapists in Weschester, NY.

Visit our homepage at: www.couragepsych.com