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Editors’ New Year’s resolution should be to stop promoting miracle diets

December 27, 2012 8:00 AM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats
Jo Swinson made the request in an open letter to magazine editors, asking them to think twice about the effect coverage of 'miracle diets' has on the health of young men and women.

Commenting, Jo Swinson said:

"Surely by now we're all aware that there are no miracle diets, or if there are they come with a cost.

"Given that most diets fail within a very short time, it is irresponsible for magazines to offer 'tips', 'tricks' and 'simple steps' on becoming thin. Not healthy or vibrant, just thin.

"One resolution that is actually worth making, for all of us, is to resolve with friends, family and colleagues to challenge the default setting of self-criticism and help each other to do so."

Jo Swinson's open letter to the editors of women's, men's, health, celebrity and gossip magazines is below:
Dear Editors,

Every January readers are treated to articles reminding them that they have overindulged during the end-of-year festivities and must resolve to lose their holiday weight.

I am sure that you want to promote a healthy lifestyle for your readers but at this time of year in particular far too much magazine coverage tends to focus on irresponsible, short term solutions and encourages readers to jump on fad diet bandwagons.

As editors you owe more to your readers than the reckless promotion of unhealthy solutions to losing weight. If your aim is to give practical, sensible advice about losing weight - and not how to drop a stone in five days - you should encourage reasonable expectations, instead of dangerous ones, along with exercise and healthy eating.

So may I suggest a New Year's resolution for 2013? Shed the fad diets and fitness myths on your pages and instead celebrate the beauty of diversity in body shape, skin colour, size and age. I think your readers will appreciate it.


Jo Swinson