I don’t think we do. But before you think I’ve lost the plot, hear me out.
I think we’ve got a restriction epidemic. I think we live in a culture so rife with fatphobia that we’ve completely missed the obvious.
You only have to scratch the surface to see that behind every case of disordered eating from anorexia to obesity, is a big ol’ helping of restriction.
I don’t know how many studies we need to tell us that restricting diet only makes people fatter. And yet, we continue to restrict. If it’s not calories, it’s ‘dirty’ food (the opposite of clean, no?). If it’s not carbs it’s modern food (everything that isn’t paleo). If not organic, it’s cooked food (hello raw). If it’s not the food itself, it’s surgery (we’ll just tie a not in the fucker).
And even though evidence points to significant long-term health benefits of dietary restriction for almost no one, we continue to think we have an obesity epidemic and keep handing out the restrictive measures.
Even though we can be healthy at any weight.
Even though we know, psychologically, restriction causes significant stress.
Even though we know stress is a killer.
We continue to treat food and weight like it’s the problem – not our fear fat, our shaming of people who are and our dedication to disrespecting or pitying people who can’t sustain long term restriction.
Here’s the saddest bit for me. Food restriction is the tip of the iceberg. On top of that, we restrict self-respect, freedom to see food outside the context of good and bad (can you imagine what that does to our peace of mind, let alone our digestive system), love, income, images that serve us, to name a few.
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