The misconceptions of dieting and personal health

Teddy Lewis, Sports Editor

In today’s society, the attempt for a healthy lifestyle has become increasingly sought after. With social media influencers promoting dieting trends, it is easy to always be chasing “perfect” body standards. While dieting and striving for health can be positive, they can also have a darker side. Dieting and obsession on being healthy can become toxic, damaging health both physical and mental.

Diets attached to a “perfect” image have been a hot topic of dieting culture. Teens are especially susceptible to the body standards promoted on social media. This can lead to restrictive eating, counting calories and following popular diets, with the thought that it will lead to a happier and healthier lifestyle. For some dieting does bring improvements to health, but for many it’s detrimental. A good idea can quickly lead to an unhealthy obsession with looks and size.

These unhealthy obsessions can have severe physical consequences. All bodies need nutrients: vitamins, minerals, fats, carbs etc. that we only get through food. These nutritional deficiencies lead to weakened immune systems, and negatively impacted growth in teens and young adults.

The toxic pursuit of the “perfect” body can, for many, harm mental health. Comparing oneself to unrealistic standards may lead to low self-esteem, body hate, and even depression. The pressure of choosing food to follow a diet can lead to depression and anxiety.Eating disorders, like anorexia and binge eating, can occur in response to the toxicity of comparing bodies. Anorexia causes people to eat very little on purpose to lose weight and binge eating is the opposite, eating large quantities of food even when the body doesn’t need it. Both can be detrimental to the health of teens that fall victim to toxic dieting culture.

Unlike most fad diets, a balanced diet contains all the necessary nutrients, prioritizing a diverse array of foods. A balanced diet, alongside regular exercise can lead to a healthier, happier and most of all realistic lifestyle.