California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

The Ramifications of Diet Culture

Our society is heavily influenced by diet culture. Every individual, in one way or another, has fallen into this vicious cycle. Whether we think that diet culture is negative or positive, diet fads and trends have major implications on society.

I know that diet culture could be bad for one’s physical and mental health, yet I have found myself falling into the trap of following this lifestyle. Like most, I constantly scroll through my phone, looking at Instagram and TikTok. A large percentage of the posts I see are about what diets influencers follow and the workouts they perform.ย 

A prominent trend began several months ago with weight loss injections; semaglutide was voted one of the most successful in 2023, with participants losing a large amount of weight in months.ย 

There are various injections designed to help type 2 diabetics lower their blood sugar and lose weight such as mounjaro, ozempic and wegovy. However, these injections have become both demanding and hard to obtain.

“Temporary modalities of weight loss are temporary…even with the diet [and] type two diabetes medication that people are buying,” Louise Kelly, associate professor of exercise science, said. “If you stop taking it, your weight comes back, so people are looking for quick fixes. You know, the instant gratification society that we have, there are no quick fixes. We have to change as a society and what we consume.”

According to Kelly, consuming better food and living a better lifestyle are two scientifically proven ways for individuals to lose weight as well as maintain it. The United States has a significant issue with obesity, particularly in minors, Kelly said.ย 

“We’re taught that from a very early age. You’ve had a bad day at school, let me make your favorite dinner…you see it in the movies. So the message we’re constantly bombarded with is that food is comfort,” Kelly said.ย 

Finding easy solutions to our conflicts is the simplest way humans deal with issues. Some individuals can find the answer by ignoring the problem, while others try to find a different approach.ย 

Many fad diets go around the internet: keto, paleo, low carb and intermittent fasting are a few to list. These fad diets are typically very intense and challenging to follow for long periods.ย 

“I think the keto, or the high protein diet, was pretty intense that I did. But I wanted results fast, which I kind of regret,” senior Carmela Loera said. “When I started my health journey, I had to look at a different mindset. But obviously, you’re in the beginning process; you’re going to look at it differently.โ€

Loera said that diet worked for her but may not work for other people. Every individual has different bodies and body types, which can influence the person’s needs.ย 

“I always feel bad when I look at these accounts, and like power to these people who have these accounts and are making their money. It doesn’t make me feel good, so I avoid it. I do my research or go to my trainer at a gym or someone legit, if that makes sense, not just an influencer,” Loera said.ย 

Loera’s experience has taught her not to fall into the trap of diet culture. She said her entire day consists of a healthy lifestyle where she attends the gym and eats healthy foods.ย 

Diet culture has pros and cons. However, it is imperative to consider the cons of dieting, especially individuals who want to better themselves. The only solution is to take care of ourselves and be conscious of our actions.

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