WW (Weight Watchers) Is Advertising To People With Eating Disorders

I'll take terrible ideas for $500 Please alexI recently wrote about the dangerous downsides of dieting, including eating disorders.  I saw a post that clearly illustrates one of the issues from  Anna Sweeney MS, RD, LDN, CEDRD-S,  known on social media as @DietitianAnna I know her to be an incredible dietitian and a fierce advocate for her clients and for intersectional social justice. She posted:
My client unenrolled from Weight Watchers two years ago. They asked for a reason for her departure. “I am being treated for an eating disorder,” was her response. WW, new name, same game, started emailing her again at the start of the year.

This further reveals a serious issue within the diet industry – they perpetuate eating disorders, they do it with impunity, and they don’t seem to care.

Surely anyone who is a professional within the diet industry should be aware that their product is based on behaviors that are red flags for eating disorders (counting calories – whether you call it calorie counting, “points” or something else –  moralizing food, frequent weigh-ins, using activity as a way to “earn” food etc.)

Even if they don’t care that enticing people into these behaviors can trigger a full-blown eating disorder (and let’s be very clear – they absolutely should care) at the very least they should know that if someone discloses to them that they actually have an eating disorder, they should never, ever, under any circumstances contact them again (unless, of course they are sending an apology and check to compensate for their involvement.)

Eating disorders can be deadly, and they are being perpetuated by an industry with so little ethics that they continue to sell a product that has a failure rate that hovers right around 100%, with a majority of people experiencing the exact opposite of the intended effect.

They lie to us, they harm us, and they have no shame about it. We can walk away from them and never come back.

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2 thoughts on “WW (Weight Watchers) Is Advertising To People With Eating Disorders

  1. This has several parallels with the food industry and people with Celiac disease (like me). Restaurants want me to eat there because they have gluten free OPTIONS (not safe for me). Food manufacturers would rather not pay a pesky fee to certify that something is gluten free, they want me to take their word for it….. And to give them a good review on Amazon. Orange juice manufacturers won’t disclose how they flavor the juice (there is a flavor pack), Coke won’t tell me what’s in it, drug manufacturers won’t guarantee that drugs are safe for me to ingest, purity protocol oats are a figment of my imagination anymore.

    In the US, Celiac is rarely fatal. But continual assaults by gluten do shorten lives and cause associated illnesses. Yet, the local pizza shop wants me to use their coupon this week!

    It’s just so rude.

    It’s like if my Celiac or her eating disorder were a broken leg, and advertizers kept coming up to us and asking us to run a race over and over. It’s like, no… it’s an illness not a preference, choice, or temporary misfortune. At least in the case of the leg, it would heal. I will never be able to eat gluten again. She will have that to deal with from now on.

    So I hope she cares for herself very well, because she deserves better.

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