Media Mishaps: Fad Dieting — Plead the Fifth or Full Disclosure?

by Bess on March 21, 2011 · 22 comments

Whether it’s the cabbage soup diet (I cringe to picture what one’s urine smells like from that) or the grapefruit diet or Snooki’s cookies or low carb or the no carbs left behind diet plan, fad diets have always held a prominent spot in the media and, like the Biebs, don’t seem to be disappearing any time soon.

Most recently, media outlets including Glamour (Why Is Everyone Going Vegan?), Us Magazine, and Oprah (Oprah’s Vegan Challenge) have been buzzing with what they are touting as a quick and surefire way to drop the lbs: veganism. While my blog’s tagline may be “because vegetables are the new black,” I will not deign to condone the viewpoint that a plant-based diet should be solely looked at as a fad diet. Rather, for many (myself included), veganism is a lifestyle for a variety of reasons, and health (which is not always tied to weight loss) is just one of many.

As for other fad diets, I just saw a headline in the new issue of Health Magazine that said (get ready for this): “Eat your way slim on fast food!”

However, the attention on veganism and other diets (gluten-free comes to mind) in the media — and on blogs — can’t help but leave many bloggers curious to try these tactics out for themselves. And herein lies a conundrum: When you are publicly posting about a new way of eating that you are embarking on for vanity purposes or out of curiosity because of the buzz…do you feel obliged to explain that to your readers…or do you go out of your way to hide this information (e.g. using other justifications like “food allergies”)?

We talk a lot at Hollaback about blogging responsibly. What do you feel is a blogger’s responsibility to their readers when trying on every new hot “diet” for size? Should they be honest about dangerous side effects or relapses into disordered eating…or should that information be kept private?

Do you think the media has gotten out of hand with promoting both fad diets or lifestyle choices as fad diets? And are bloggers doing the same?

Holler back!

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