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In the Media | My New Year’s Resolution? Ignoring Every Weight Loss Ad

Written by: Danielle Sinay
Published by: Glamour

body image new years diet culture

January is meant to be a fresh start, but the month always looks the same: a 31-day-long barrage of New Year’s weight loss ads falsely promising a “new you” for the new year.

This is never not triggering, and you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to surmise that repeatedly telling people they’re not good enough has negative consequences. But worst of all? It seems inescapable. I’ve curated my online feed with such great precision my bio should read, “Bond, James Bond,” yet it hasn’t kept the yearly barrage of discounted “detoxes,” “cleanses,” or the newest buzzword, “reset,” from emerging in my targeted ads—or personal inbox. 

It’s not as if you can simply turn off your WiFi and move on. “New Year, new you” gym deals are tacked to every other telephone pole, well-meaning workplace weight loss contests are broadcast next to water coolers, and chain pharmacies strategically store questionable diet pills in the checkout lane. I even watched my husband ignore a “fat burning supplement” ad on ESPN last night, just before scrolling past a promoted fitness ad on Reddit that read: “Only hot people sweat.”

“The diet, fitness, and wellness industries know exactly when to capitalize on our windows of vulnerability, and they strike when the iron’s hot, psychologist  Samantha DeCaro, PsyD, director of clinical outreach and education at eating disorder recovery organization The Renfrew Center, tells Glamour. “People are vulnerable because many of them feel some pressure to create a new year’s resolution, and in a culture steeped in health-ism and anti-fat biases, it’s no surprise that many people vow to become healthier and mistakenly believe the intentional pursuit of weight loss is the most effective way to do it.”


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