‘Irresponsible’ Diet Chef weight loss advert banned – BBC News

Image copyright PA

A television advert in which a tearful woman meets a slimmer and happier version of herself has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority.

It said the “irresponsible” advert for meal delivery service Diet Chef implied happiness and self-confidence could only be achieved through weight loss.

The advert featured a woman, Cheryl, before and after using the service.

Edinburgh-based Diet Chef said the advert showed her sense of achievement after taking control of her lifestyle.

It said the actor who played both versions of Cheryl had a Body Mass Index of 27.4 when she played the earlier version, which was in the overweight category.

In the advert, the later Cheryl tells her former self: “I know how you feel; you can look that good again, you know,” and “I bought a bikini last week, for the first time since this picture.”

The former Cheryl says: “You look amazing. I never dreamed I could be that slim again.”

‘Before and after’

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received complaints from 26 viewers objecting that the advert was irresponsible for exploiting women’s body insecurities by implying that they needed to be slim to be happy.

Complainants also said it implied that overweight women did not take care of themselves or how they looked.

The former Cheryl was shown wearing a baggy shirt and had messy hair, while the current, happier Cheryl had a more polished appearance.

Image copyright PA

Diet Chef said the ad showed the frustration of the former Cheryl, who did not feel able to make a change in her lifestyle or to maintain a controlled diet and so was surprised that she had done so, and the sense of achievement of the later Cheryl.

It also said the advert’s approach was typical of the “before and after” genre commonly used to advertise weight loss products.

‘Socially irresponsible approach’

The ASA said the advert did not give the impression that former Cheryl had neglected her personal appearance and said viewers would be unlikely to find this part of the advert offensive.

But it said the character’s unhappy demeanour while talking about wearing a bikini appeared disproportionate to concerns about her weight, especially as she did not appear to be particularly overweight.

Image copyright PA

The ASA said the advert “implied that weight loss was the only solution to her problems”.

It went on: “It therefore implied that those with insecurities about their bodies, and particularly their weight, could only achieve happiness and self-confidence through weight loss.

“We therefore concluded that the ad presented a socially irresponsible approach to body image and breached the code.”

It ruled that the advert must not appear again in its current form and told Diet Chef “to ensure that their products were advertised in a socially responsible way”.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-37773576

David Hernandez

How to stop sugar sneaking into your child’s diet

(CNN)A lollipop after a morning doctor visit. A cupcake for a classmate’s birthday with lunch. A bag of cookies, gummies or a few little doughuts before after-school activities begin.

And dessert is still a few hours away.
    Even the word “snack” — once thought of as a healthy, energizing source of calories for children — can seem like a euphemism for a sugar solution IV these days.
    “Sugar (specifically fructose) is metabolized in the liver just like alcohol,” said Dr. Robert Lustig, a professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. “This is why children are getting the diseases of alcohol, like type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease, without the alcohol. These are diseases that were unheard-of in children prior to 1980.”
    According to the CDC’s 2014 diabetes report card (PDF), more than 5,000 new cases of type 2 diabetes are estimated to be diagnosed among Americans younger than age 20 each year.
    There’s also been an increased prevalence of metabolic syndrome in adolescents; that’s a cluster of conditions, including increased blood pressure and excess fat around the waist, that can increase diabetes and heart disease risk. Lustig’s recent research, published in the Public Health Nutrition journal, found that it wasn’t the fault of the pounds that sugar packs on to young people; it was another result of excess sugar.
    “Sugar doesn’t cause disease just because of its calories. Sugar causes disease because it’s sugar,” Lustig said. “Thin people get metabolic diseases like type 2 diabetes, too. Obesity increases the risk, but sugar is an independent risk factor apart from calories or obesity.”

    Sweet suggestions

    So what can parents do to keep sugar from overtaking their kids’ diets? Here are a few suggestions from experts.
    Don’t deprive your kids of sweets.
    Despite the consequences, health professionals agree that parents shouldn’t deprive their child of sweets.
    “Sugar is not a ‘toxin’ that must be excluded from a child’s diet,” Isoldi said. “Often, children who have sweets restricted and feel deprived will not learn how to regulate sweets. Instead, they often overindulge whenever the possibility is presented.
    “The key is to help children find a balance with food, helping them learn how to enjoy healthy foods and enjoy (and self-regulate) treats.”
    Even Lustig agrees. “I’m for dessert — for dessert. I’m not for dessert for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks,” he said.
    Allow children one sweet treat or dessert per day.
    Good choices include animal crackers, vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt. However, if kids are set on having chocolate chip cookies, this should not create a “food fight,” Isoldi said. And — deep breath — don’t restrict portions, even if it makes you anxious to watch.
    “Parents should let their little one decide on the amount to eat, because only allowing one or two cookies will create a restrictive environment that is counterproductive.” That doesn’t mean that you have to offer the whole box, however. You can start by giving your child two cookies, but instead of saying, “You may have ONLY two cookies, do you hear me?” you can instead say, “Here are two cookies. Oh, you want three? Sure.” The idea is that your child should be able to learn his or her own internal satiety cues, which can ultimately help prevent eating issues later in life.
    Keep fruit drinks, soda and sugary beverages out of the house.
    “There’s no nutritional benefit to drinking sugar-sweetened beverages,” Isoldi said. AND although liquid calories can still add up, you don’t feel as full as you would from solid foods. The result? People who drink sugary beverages don’t necessarily cut back on their calorie intake to compensate.
    For an alternative to soda, dilute 4 ounces unsweetened juice with 4 ounces seltzer water and flavor with lemon, lime or other fresh fruit.
    Watch out for sugars in foods that you don’t think of as sweet.
    Keep an eye on breads, sauces and condiments by searching ingredient lists for names such as high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, glucose, sucrose or other words ending in “ose,” evaporated cane juice, brown rice syrup, malt syrup and molasses. Food packages will soon list “added sugars” as a separate line on nutrition labels, so the amount of these sugars will no longer be “hidden.”
    Remember, even natural sugar is sugar.
    Many people think that “natural” sugars like honey and agave are healthier than ones that are more highly processed, like sucrose or table sugar. But when you look closely, you see that all of these sugars contain fructose and glucose. And while honey may offer some antioxidants, you would probably have to consume a lot of honey calories in order to experience any health benefits. Honey and agave are actually sweeter than table sugar and contain more calories: One teaspoon of sucrose has 16 calories, while 1 teaspoon of agave or honey has 21 calories.

    See the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter.

    This doesn’t mean foods containing natural sugars aren’t healthy. But how these natural sugars are packaged matters.
    A piece of whole fruit like an apple contains naturally occurring fructose, but it also delivers 4.4 grams of fiber, thanks to the peel and pulp. Apple juice, on the other hand, lacks fiber and is a more concentrated source of sugar and calories. This translates to a more rapid rise in blood sugar when you drink juice — and may even help explain why eating whole fruit, including apples, has been associated with decreased risk for type 2 diabetes, while greater consumption of fruit juices has been associated with a higher risk, according to a Harvard study published in 2013.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/02/health/sugar-limits-for-children/index.html

    David Hernandez

    The rhetoric around obesity is toxic. So I created a new language for fat people | Charlotte Cooper

    I like to call myself and be called fat. I think fat is a political subject, and as such it feels powerful to reclaim words that are frequently used pejoratively

    There are lots of words used to describe people such as me. Medics and their allies will use some Latin or Greek to make their language appear authoritative and scientific. According to them I am obese, or someone requiring bariatric intervention. By extension, in newspapers I am part of an anonymous population blob known as the obese.

    If I go shopping for clothes I might be called plus size. If I meet someone who finds someone with a body like mine shameful, I might be euphemistically described as big or large. Others might try to spin this shame into something more positive and pretty, like curvy. If someone tries to translate my work, they might use words such as gordo, dicke, grasso, grande. In some places there might not be words for me, either because no language exists, or because some people relate to me through a lexicon of disapproving looks and disgusted sounds.

    I like to call myself, and be called, fat. This is simple and descriptive and it feels powerful to reclaim a word that is frequently used pejoratively. I am a fat activist, which is a term that can mean many things, but for me it means that I think fat is a political subject.

    Fat is typically framed as a health problem but health is not apolitical, as bodies of work in the social sciences have come to reveal. Debates about the NHS, and fat people being held responsible for funding crises, are just one area in which fat is a political subject. The social hatred and scapegoating of fat people can also be seen as political.

    In my most recent book, Fat Activism: A Radical Social Movement, I argue that fat activism can be anything done by anyone for any reason. It is not necessarily about self-acceptance, improving health, developing self-love or addressing stigma though that can be part of it. It can be as much about joining organisations as tweeting; as going to a fat clothes-swap as writing and sharing a poem; as having a conversation with someone as presenting a paper at a conference. It can be weird, illegible, ambiguous and antisocial. There is no singular way of being a fat activist.

    In calling myself fat I am drawing on a feminist practice of naming things in order to bring them into being. This means naming myself, on my own terms, and using language to define the world around me as I experience it. I do this because I think the experience of being fat is valuable. This is heresy to those who think fat people should not exist. But the view from the margins illuminates a lot about the shadow side of conformity, norms, and fears concerning embodiment and difference, and how these are manipulated for power and profit.

    Earlier this year I published a homemade dictionary of fat activist words and concepts. I wanted to subvert the language of medicine and public health to give readers a playful glimpse of a subculture. Here are some examples.


    A literary device that is irresistible to people writing about fat, especially journalists: piling on the pounds, fat fighters, weight watchers, and so on. Maybe they do this because fat is intrinsically funny to write about, not like serious stories or hard news.


    The part of your body thats under your tits and above your privates. Can be any size, shape, texture, colour, levels of hairiness, sweatiness. A place where fat accumulates on some people. Sometimes flops around, sometimes is bold and stout. Sometimes makes gurgling noises. Sometimes has creases and stretch marks. Sometimes has a mind of its own and will not behave. A delightful, gorgeous thing, a source of physical power much maligned and fretted over. Important resource in gut-barging competitions.


    A way of talking about energy that you get through eating food. An obsession. A pretty name for a girl child.


    A fat athlete.


    A person who is not fat. A person who is better-looking, healthier, more intelligent, more likely to succeed in life, sexier, more lovable and better to be with than any fat person. A very good and virtuous and normal person.


    Fat upper arms that get more wobbly and loose with age. Source of power.

    I created A Fat Activist Vernacular because I am interested in language and power in relation to fat people. The weight-loss industry is worth a fortune, and there is a lot of money and status riding on the question of who gets to define fat experience generally public health politicians and their friends and allies in the weight-loss industry and medicine. My preference would be that this is a subject for fat people to work out for ourselves by valuing and sharing our own experiences. But there are many others with vested interests in owning and wielding this information.

    The language of fat activism, frequently raw and emotive when people talk about being objects of hate, is being appropriated and gentrified by academics and professionals, tidied up and made respectable, while ousting the originators. You can see this in the transformation of the activist term fatphobia into the blandly inoffensive weight bias, which is sure to make its way into policy sometime soon.

    My own term, headless fatty referring to media images of fat people whose heads have been cropped out of the frame was also cleaned up by a prominent academic at Yale as headless stomach. What happens more often is that fat activist originators of language and concepts are not cited, and their ideas become appropriated and made respectable without anyone being the wiser.

    Meanwhile, at the age of 46, I have found other ways of speaking about this subject. After embarking a few years ago on a lifelong ambition of becoming a contemporary dancer, in November I will be dancing a piece called But Is it Healthy? in the Wellcome Collections Obesity gallery. I get asked the question all the time and it is impossible to answer it in words, not least because fat people are a diverse group, health is constructed in myriad ways, and expert science is not incontrovertible. So I will dance the answer instead! This will be performed as a duet by Kay Hyatt and me to a soundtrack I have made based on archival recordings by fat feminist activists made in 1980 by Karen Stimson at the New Haven Fat Womens Health Conference. The speakers are Diane Denne, Judy Freespirit, Aldebaran and Judith Stein; a recording of Marcia Duvall, also present on the panel, has unfortunately been lost. These women are founders of many of the ideas circulating in fat activism today, but they have been neglected historically. I would love more people to know about their work.

    The dance emerged from a period of research in which Hyatt and I explored what it is like to be continually asked: But is it healthy?; it brings together years of activism, explaining, patient listening and deep frustration in response to this question.

    Through dance I am developing a different kind of language, using my body expressively and encountering audiences who have been worn down by the rhetoric of the obesity epidemic for the past decade and a half, and want something different.

    I hope that by watching us dance in the Obesity display at the Wellcome Collection, audiences will understand that there are other ways of talking and thinking about fat than those which have been dominant in recent years. It is unbelievable that fat people like me have to lobby so very hard to be seen simply as human. I hope the dancing, and its soundtrack, helps people recognise that fat people have community, histories, cultures, agency, thoughts and lives all of our own.

    Charlotte Cooper and Kay Hyatt are performing on 4 November 2016 as part of the Friday Late Spectacular: Body Language at the Wellcome Collection

    Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/oct/26/rhetoric-obesity-toxic-new-language-fat-people

    David Hernandez

    Miss Iceland quits beauty pageant for being told she’s ‘too fat’

    Arna r Jnsdttir, who was told to lose weight for a beauty pageant.
    Image: Uwe Anspach/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

    UPDATE: Oct. 26, 2016, 4:16 p.m. BST The pageant president says organisers told Miss Iceland to lose weight.

    LONDON Miss Iceland has quit an international beauty pageant after being told by staff “to lose weight for the finals” and that she had “too much fat” on her.

    Arna r Jnsdttirposted her handwritten “goodbye letter” on Instagram, explaining her reasons for dropping out of the Miss Grand International event in Las Vegas.

    “I am a very strong woman, but sometimes my strength isn’t enough,” Jnsdttir wrote.

    My goodbye letter

    A photo posted by Arna r Jnsdttir (@arnayr) on

    “Your staff told me that I had to loose weight for the finals because I have too much fat on me and also to big shoulders [sic]. They told me to eat less and then you would like me more,” Jnsdttir wrote.

    Miss Iceland also said the judges told her she was “too fat”.

    Jnsdttir told Icelandic newspaper Iceland Monitor she was instructed to stop eating breakfast, to only eat salad for lunch and to drink water every evening until the finals.

    “In my country my body shape is perfect. And that’s what I’m gonna remember. No one will ever tell me anything else,” Jnsdttir wrote in her open letter.

    “I truly hope that the organisation opens their eyes because the year is 2016 and if you are gonna hold an international pageant you have to be able to see the international beauty,” Jnsdttir continued.
    People have taken to social media to praise Miss Iceland for her decision to quit the pageant.

    The president of Miss Grand International Nawat Itsaragrisil has since admitted that staff told Miss Iceland that she needed to lose weight if she wanted to do well in the contest.

    She asked some questions and for suggestions from our staff which theyve replied according to what they think, she may be a little bit fat and they recommended her, in good way, to try to lose some weight in order to improve her chance to win, Itsaragrisil said.

    BONUS: South African students speak out against racist ban on afro hair and win

    Read more: http://mashable.com/2016/10/26/miss-iceland-body-shamed/

    David Hernandez

    She Tattoos Weight Goal On Her Tummy, Then Stuns Family With Transformation

    Meredith Prince always struggled with her appearance. The 24-year-old teacher from Rochester, NY, was adopted as a child. The fact that she wasn’t a waif like the other women in her family made her self-conscious.

    “I always knew I was adopted,” she said. “They’re small and I’m not at all. I just never felt like I fit into my own [adoptive] family.”

    Prince spent years yo-yo dieting and at her biggest weighed over 400pounds. She knew she had to make a change.

    After reaching out to Chris Powell, host of Extreme Weight Loss, she made her way to his weight-loss boot camp. Powell told Prince to lose 80 pounds in three months with just diet and exercise.

    Prince lost 84 pounds. Then she tattooed her goal weight of 155 pounds onto her stomach. For the next year she devoted her time to healthy diet and exercise.

    When she weighed herself, she weighed exactly 155 pounds. Her family was stunned.

    “At the heaviest, I was over 400 pounds,” Prince said today on Good Morning America. “And here we are today at 155 pounds. It’s been such a journey.”

    Prince’s hard work and dedication to herself is an inspiration to us all. See her stunning transformation below.

    Due to restrictions, this video cannot
    be viewed in your region.

    Read more: http://www.littlethings.com/meredith-transformation/

    David Hernandez

    ‘Lethal’ DNP diet pills still on sale despite crackdown, BBC finds – BBC News

    Image copyright Parry family
    Image caption Eloise Aimee Parry, 21, from Shrewsbury, died in hospital in April 2015 after taking diet pills believed to have contained DNP

    Around 19 websites believed to be selling diet products containing a chemical linked to a series of deaths in the UK have been closed down.

    The Food Standards Agency said the websites selling 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP) were shut down in the last year.

    But a BBC investigation has found hidden sites on the so-called dark web were still selling the products.

    DNP is an industrial chemical licensed for commercial use but not for human consumption.

    ‘No safe dose’

    In April 2015, Eloise Aimee Parry, 21, from Shrewsbury took diet pills she had bought over the internet. Later that day she was dead.

    Sean Cleathero died in October 2012 aged 28, after taking an illegal slimming pill in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.

    His mother Sharon Ayres, said: “Why would people still want to take it anyway, whether they think there is a safe dose, because there isn’t a safe dose?”

    Former Prime Minister David Cameron raised the issue in the Commons following the death of Sarah Houston who died in Leeds in 2012 after she had taken pills containing DNP.

    Image copyright Ross Parry
    Image caption Medical student Sarah Houston died in September 2012 after secretly taking slimming pills which contained DNP that she had bought online

    The BBC investigation found a number of suppliers were marketing DNP as a diet product for human consumption.

    A number of samples were bought online and sent for laboratory tests which found they contained about 40% DNP – a potentially lethal amount.

    Jon Griffin, analyst for Kent Scientific Services at Kent County Council, said: “You’re not being able to control your body temperature, at 40 per cent that danger rises significantly, this has got some potential in there for very serious repercussions.

    “Worst case scenario would be death.”

    Image copyright Wikimedia
    Image caption 2,4-dinitrophenol or DNP is a highly toxic and industrial chemical

    What is DNP?

    • 2,4-dinitrophenol or DNP is highly toxic and is not intended for human consumption
    • An industrial chemical, it is sold illegally in diet pills as a fat-burning substance
    • Users experience a metabolism boost, leading to weight loss, but taking even a few tablets can be fatal
    • Signs of acute poisoning include nausea, vomiting, restlessness, flushed skin, sweating, dizziness, headaches, rapid respiration and irregular heartbeat
    • Consuming lower amounts over longer periods could lead to cataracts and skin lesions and impact on the heart, blood and nervous system
    • Experts say buying drugs online is risky as medicines may be fake, out of date or extremely harmful
    • The sale of DNP is the subject of an ongoing investigation involving police, Interpol and the Food Standards Agency

    The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) seized 1.4 million worth of unlicensed dietary medicines in 2015-16, 960,000 more than two years before.

    Lynda Scammell, senior policy manager at the MHRA, said: “The internet offers access to a vast number of websites offering products marketed as ‘slimming’ or ‘diet’ pills.

    “Many of these pills will not be licensed medicines. That means their contents are unknown and untested.

    Chances are they simply will not work, but they may contain dangerous ingredients,” she said.

    “The consequences for your health can be devastating.”

    Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk

    David Hernandez