MP warns unrealistic New Year diets are bad for society

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UNREALISTIC New Year diets are bad for society, an MP claimed today.

Scottish Liberal Democrat deputy leader Jo Swinson, who is co-founder of the Campaign for Body Confidence, said health fads and miracle weight-loss products screaming out at people to diet could have a damaging effect on public health.

She said: “After Christmas, the market is awash with dieting advice as people try to lose extra pounds put on over the festive period.

“These drastic diet plans often promote weight loss in an unhealthy way, and the vast majority of people who follow them will end up weighing more than they did before they started the diet.

“It is really important to adopt a healthy lifestyle but I am concerned that this constant bombardment of unrealistic diet advice is having a really negative effect on society, especially young people.”

Ms Swinson said evidence from psychiatrists specialising in eating disorders to a parliamentary inquiry she is currently chairing into the causes and consequences of body image anxiety, clearly stated that extreme dieting was most often the trigger for eating disorders developing.

She said: “I want more focus on encouraging young women and men to adopt a healthy lifestyle, and to recognise that their value comes from who they are and what they do, not just what they look like.”