Diet paranoia in advertising and the problem of fat-phobia

As it can be seen, TV and magazines often contain advertisements about losing weight by means of ‘super slim’ pills or other ‘natural’ prodats. Interestingly, they usually promise we will get slim without any exercise and changes in diet. ‘Magic’ indeed:


Today I would like to concentrate on a specific  aspect of a considerable part of female consumers – fat phobia that is caused by the image of ‘ideal’ body portrayed in mass media. Research done by M. Onden-Lim and J. R. Grisham (2012) shows that there is a significant link between this kind of concern about ‘right’ body and suppresion of appearance-ralated pictures. That is to say the more a person is anxious about the way he/she looks like, the more negative feelings that person tend to get when being faced with intrusive picuters showing appearance (Onden-Lim &  Grisham, 2012).

For many women fat-phobia begins at the very young age…Recently I found the article that tells a story of a mother, who is keen on controlling everuthing her seven year old dauther eats:
It is mostly about teaching a child to think about how she looks rather than how to take care about her health. Fat-phobia obsession is a serious problem that do not allow many women to live fully and enjoy their lives.

Here is another material on fat-phobia that a young girl has:

Not only for children, but also for adults it is very pretty important to be accepted by society and a particular culture they live in.  It was proved that negative social feedback influences our self-dissatisfaction about a body (Byely et al., 2000; McCabe & Ricciardelli, 2005). People with weight over than the avarage are explicitly or implicitly considered not to be enough attractive and successful. According to  BBC broadcaster Amy Lame, ‘Discrimination, bias and just plain rudeness is directed towards a group of people who are too often regarded as stupid, lazy, ugly and ultimately responsible for their overweight state’ (source:

In my opinion this problem mostly deals with neurotic society supported by advertisements produced by this society.

There is a strong reason to stop for a while and think about who you are as a person, not as a body. To make an attempt to think independently. To look into people’s souls, not on how they look like. To think ‘healthy’, not ‘skinny’. We are all consumers in this world, but is it right to look at ourselves as products and consider other people the same way?…






4 responses

  1. Great blog and you’ve highlighted a really serious issue here. With obesity and people being overweight raising by the day Body image and health is I fear going to become more and more important in years to come. Not only for wellbeing reasons but from an advertising perspective – a certain level of responsibility must be met. A backlash involving Dove’s campaign for real beauty Ii hope is the start of a recognition that creating perception of self-image that are unrealistic are not only unsuccessful marketing strategies but also has dangerous implications for the consumer.

  2. In this sort of advertisements companies do not take

    prices, because they know this kind of consumers do not

    care about price, but they care about their weight.

    Usually, this type of product unhealthy and the

    costumers know it also companies know consumers

    know this product unhealthy. However, companies know

    this kind of costumers care about their styles more than

    their health or money.

  3. I really enjoyed reading this blog (and your previous blog) about society’s obsession with the perfect body image. This topic is obviously of interest to you too, so I thought I’d let you know about a TV programme I saw advertised today for a new series of documentaries called ‘The Body Beautiful’ season, and I believe the first episode ‘I Want To Change My Body’ will be aired on the 19th November 9pm on BBC 3. It will follow Brits who are desperate to change the way they look, and the psychological issues that can arise from a dissatisfaction with our physical appearance.

  4. I love your concept at the end, are we all consuming each other?

    Does each individual have a brand? Do we buy into each other? Are we in the mood for some dave at the moment? Can we look at the world in such a way or are we being to scientific?

    I love this kind of view point, but enough ramble, back to your post!

    Fat-phobia is a problem, and like many diagnosed mental disorders like anxiety management disorder etc it can go un-seen! It is sad that people value themselves as such, but I think the route of evil goes further than aesthetic image, it goes down to the richer, fitter, healthier, attractive, intelligent, wittier, funnier, friendlier, better travelled etc! How brainwashed are we these days to purchase products just to fill these imaginary holes in our lives that these companies have created ??

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