I've noticed recently that my Facebook feed is filled with women advertising (on groups I've joined) their multi-level marketing businesses. They're selling shakes, body wraps, and beach body programs, touting their own success and before-and-after pictures as proof.
When I joined a group of local vegetarians, it wasn't long before the posts devolved from restaurant recommendations and meetup opportunities to members' advertisements for boot camps and diet shakes. Why must we conflate a lifestyle choice with a drive to lose weight?
Health and nutrition coaches abound. Pilates instructors are offering pre- and post-natal nutrition coaching. Personal trainers are serving up meal plans and chefs are counseling people on the "psychology of eating."
We need to leave nutrition to the experts, the registered dietitians who have the education, training, and certification to stand behind their recommendations. Even within this group, there can be great variability regarding an understanding of disordered eating, the emotional connection to food, and sensitivity to weight stigma.
Let's educate the public to seek out properly trained individuals on matters of physical and mental health. Nutrition is a science, and while it might be a hobby for some, imposing this hobby on others can have often harmful effects.
You can find Does Every Woman Have an Eating Disorder? Challenging Our Nation's Fixation with Food and Weight on Amazon (as a paperback and Kindle) and at BarnesandNoble.com.