Big Food Explores ‘Anti-Diet’ Messaging as Obesity Rates Soar

by Ella

As the prevalence of obesity continues to rise, a growing movement advocating for “health at every size” and rejecting traditional dieting approaches has gained traction. However, the influence of this movement is not limited to social media influencers and individuals seeking body positivity. A recent investigation by The Washington Post and The Examination, a nonprofit newsroom focused on global public health, reveals how major food corporations, including General Mills, are capitalizing on the anti-diet trend to promote their products.

Jaye Rochon’s journey exemplifies the complexities surrounding the anti-diet movement. Initially finding solace in the message of “health at every size” promoted by YouTube influencers, Rochon embraced a newfound sense of freedom in consuming her favorite foods without restriction. However, this liberation came at a cost, as she quickly regained weight and faced concerns about her health.


The “anti-diet” movement, which originated as a response to weight stigma and societal pressures around thinness, has evolved into a lucrative market for global food marketers. General Mills, known for its popular cereal brands such as Cocoa Puffs and Lucky Charms, has spearheaded a comprehensive campaign aligning with anti-diet principles. The company has actively promoted research purportedly debunking the harmful effects of “food shaming” and has incentivized registered dietitians to endorse its products through social media initiatives like #DerailTheShame. Additionally, General Mills has engaged influencers to endorse its sugary snacks while lobbying against policies aimed at enhancing food label transparency.


In response to inquiries regarding its marketing strategies, General Mills emphasized its commitment to providing accurate, evidence-based information and collaborating with experts in the fields of science, health, and nutrition.


Meanwhile, online dietitians, many of whom are sponsored by food companies, have embraced anti-diet messaging to cultivate sizable followings on social media platforms. Hashtags such as #NoBadFoods, #FoodFreedom, and #DitchTheDiet have become prevalent, reflecting the pervasive influence of anti-diet rhetoric.


A comprehensive analysis conducted by The Washington Post and The Examination examined over 6,000 social media posts by 68 registered dietitians with substantial followings, revealing that approximately 40 percent of these influencers consistently promoted anti-diet language. With a combined reach exceeding 9 million followers, these dietitians play a significant role in shaping public perceptions of health, dieting, and body image.



Wellfoodrecipes is a professional gourmet portal, the main columns include gourmet recipes, healthy diet, desserts, festival recipes, meat and seafood recipes, etc.

【Contact us: [email protected]

Copyright © 2023