Do you remember feeling guilty about the food you ate when you were a kid? I doubt it. You could eat cookies, cake, pizza and pastries without a care in the world.
But as adults living in a world seemingly obsessed with “healthy” eating and “healthy” bodies we often equate the food we eat with our own self-worth.
But how healthy is it? Three Hatch journalists sat down to discuss the problem.
In the age of restrictive “clean” diets and skinny frames on “fitspo” Instagram posts, we decided the obsession with raw food diets is becoming increasingly common and damaging.
Clinical psychologist Louise Adams told Triple J’s Hack program body dissatisfaction is at epidemic levels: “It’s much worse than any obesity epidemic. I doubt, very strongly, that showing people images, idealised images, of apparently what health is supposed to look like – is actually going to help anyone.”
— FAT STUPID SAD girl (@QuotesDeDeb) March 1, 2017
An example of daunting “fitspo” and “thinspo” posts on social media.
Orthorexia, a term coined just 20 years ago, is the obsession with healthy eating – and it’s more common than you think.
Orthorexia begins in the form of guilt. Food guilt is the disgrace and shame associated with eating “bad” or “unhealthy” food. Although it may seem a normal reaction in small doses, food guilt can become psychologically damaging if it begins to interfere with your daily routine.
Under the influence of social media and marketing we are conditioned to avoid “bad food” and giving in to the temptation of sweet treats is considered a weakness.
Evelyn Tribole, co-author of Intuitive Eating, says overwhelming guilt begins when one is not at peace with food:
“If you tell yourself that you can’t or shouldn’t have a particular food, it can lead to intense feelings of deprivation that builds into uncontrollable cravings and binge eating.”
Thanks to fellow young journalism students Victoria Cotman and Lisa Solinareos, who joined me to discuss our own daily struggles with food guilt. – Text, photos and podcast by Jessica Staveley
For support or advice about body image or eating disorders
contact the Butterfly Foundation on 1800 33 4673