You’re at a party and someone offers you a Coke. You decline, saying “I don’t drink soda-it’s really bad for you”.
Or how about at a birthday party and you decide to skip the cake because you are “watching your figure”.
Or at an office breakfast and you make a comment about how the donuts will give you all heart attacks.
Now think about this:
How do you think those comments make other people feel? Commenting about how unhealthy or bad a certain food is, especially in the company of others who are consuming the food or have worked hard to make the food is FOOD-SHAMING and it needs to stop.
Food shaming is something we are all guilty of at some point or another. Even if it is done inside the mind. Have you ever saw someone who appears over-weight eating at an ice cream cone and thought to yourself, “maybe he shouldn’t be eating that..” Have you ever judged yourself and felt bad after eating 4 slices of pizza?
Why are we so judgmental about food?
Even when consuming stereotypically “healthy” foods, people feel the need to comment. Ever order a salad when out with friends at a BBQ restaurant, and then been accused or sarcastically teased for being “no fun”, “so healthy”, or “on a diet”.
This article sums up how we should deal with this cycle of judgement:
Letting go of “good” food/”bad” food thinking is key to embracing a healthy, shame-free approach to eating—but that doesn’t mean that you have to consume ice cream and cookies whenever you have the slightest desire to indulge in something sweet.
“There’s nothing wrong with having healthy food preferences,” says Tribole. “The issue is when it becomes rigid and when you take on an all-or-nothing attitude.”
In other words, if you’re choosing between the fruit bowl and a chocolate chip cookie and you would legitimately be happy with either one, then by all means, choose the fruit bowl. But if you find yourself really, really wanting the cookie and you go with the fruit because you’re judging your sugar craving, that’s when your decision may lead to dissatisfaction—and maybe even overeating or secret eating later.
“The first step is to acknowledge that food judging isn’t helpful, even if it’s well-intended,” says May. After that, it can be helpful to try some of these techniques to break free of the food-shaming cycle:
– Notice when you (or someone else) is entering judgmental territory
– Remember that you’re the only expert on you and what you need to be eating
– Remind yourself that eating “perfectly” isn’t worth sacrificing your mental health
– Give yourself permission to get pleasure from food
We at Positive Eats believe that there are no bad foods and that the sooner we can break out of this food-shaming business..the happier and healthier we will all be.
What do you think? Who is on board with us to end food-shaming?