The latest Weight Watchers campaign targeting 13-17-year-olds disgusts me.
How can it be remotely acceptable to encourage and target teenagers to hate their bodies and begin on an obsessive journey of calorie counting disguised as ‘points’?! Are we not meant to encourage the younger generation to love themselves for who they are? WHY would you want to enable more teenagers to become obsessed with losing weight and provide a FREE programme to encourage them to ‘better’ themselves?
People do not need to be better. They are at their best when they are happy and proud of the skin that they are in! If we have an issue with childhood obesity it is not a solution to ingrain restrictive and monitoring techniques into society. We need to encourage children to listen to their body when it is hungry, educate them on what a balanced diet means, and find new ways of being more active.
Does Weight Watchers not know anything about the negative impact that the diet culture has on mental health? The dieting world fuels and thrives off a negative self-image and creates eating disorders. How dare they claim that their programme is not a ‘diet.’ You are measuring and glorifying weight loss and tracking ‘points’ it clearly is a DIET. Teenagers should not be encouraged to track their intake and obsess over numbers or ‘points’, they should be spending their time enjoying adolescence, having fun before they have to face adulthood’s realities.
I grew up as a teenager hating my body and as a result of this, I developed an eating disorder. I know that if this free programme would have been available to me it would have instilled my beliefs further that I needed to be thin and it would have enabled me to track my ‘progress’ even more so. How many people out there have started off with an innocent diet and ended up living trapped in a vicious cycle of restriction and calorie counting? How dare this company feed off negative body image for profit and throw vulnerable and easily influenced children into the mix! WAKE UP WEIGHT WATCHERS. I hope the NHS is prepared for a further increase in pressures on eating disorder care in the coming years.