Katie (_stormthesea) wrote in ed_ucate,

Something I was thinking about...

I recently read an article (it was probably Reader's Digest) about weight loss. The article very specifically said that the key to weight loss was to never associate food with emotions; that there should be no such things as "guilty foods" and "comfort foods," because food should be used only as energy for the body.

Most people with eating disorders have a very skewed view of food: it's shameful, it's a "reward," it's something to feel guilty about. There are certain types of food that are always going to have that comforting, "just like mom used to make" style (chicken noodle soup, pot roast, etc.)

Some of these foods are marketed that way, too. This afternoon, I was watching a commercial for "Hidden Valley Ranch" (ranch dressing) that showed a girl thinking back to a warm summer day eating salad with her family, even though it was winter and she was eating alone. Obviously ranch dressing isn't going to make your life 100% excellent, but if enough people believe it will, would it become the socially accepted idea that ranch dressing will make you feel better?

Do you think that food should have emotions associated with it, or do you think that if food were viewed as merely energy, the obesity levels (in countries where these levels are above the accepted average) would be lower? Do you believe that EDs are partially influenced by the emotions surrounding certain foods?

I know that I myself have "guilty foods," which I automatically feel guilty after eating. There is a definite difference between a chocolate bar ("guilty") and a carrot ("healthy"), but eating one chocolate bar isn't going to hurt me that much, just like eating one carrot isn't going to make me magically hale.

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