Women’s Unhealth | Do Magazines Encourage Us To Eat Too Little?

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Now my beloved Zest magazine is no longer, I’m trying out a few alternatives to see if they can fill the lovely, positive, healthy hole Zest has left. Women’s Health seemed a good bet, with its claim to have won awards and its successful Men’s equivalent, but sadly I didn’t enjoy the style of writing, nor the contradictory articles (for example: sushi is a bad choice for lunch due to its high carb and low protein nature, but next page shows the 10 best sushi rolls. OK then).

What really got my goat, though, was the article on the final page: “My life on a plate“. Nicole Winhoffer is a celebrity trainer who, according to the article, does 12-14 hours of exercise a week. Let’s assume that’s 13 hours of running about 6mph – an added 1114 calories a day on top of her BMR – guesstimated at 1200 calories. Unless the portions are enormous, it looks like she is consuming about 1500 calories maximum from the food diary on the page.

OK, so I wouldn’t eat that little for that amount of activity, but everybody is different, and I am not judging Nicole’s intake as she has clearly figured out what’s best for her. However, this magazine is called Women’s Health, and any health and fitness professional probably wouldn’t recommend such a restricting diet – would they? Which is why I was glad to spy the “expert verdict” at the bottom.

No mention that her intake may be too little for a regular female human. In fact, the expert advises Nicole on how to lean out her food even more.

Am I overreacting by being a little shocked about the expert’s advice? What are your thoughts on magazine articles like these?


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