Media and government duped by slimming industry
The £2bn UK slimming industry has yet again obtained many pages of free advertising from our more gullible newspapers – and despite cynical exploitation of the anxieties of young women about their weight, will not be held to account at Tessa Jowell's summit on eating disorders.
A Slimming Magazine survey generated the sort of headlines the diet industry loves, such as "Being fat makes us miserable and ruins our sex lives" in the Express, followed by uncritical reports which failed to make any mention of the vested interest Slimming Magazine (which also runs a chain of lucrative slimming clubs) might have in hyping the miseries of being overweight and the benefits of slimming.
Meanwhile, Tessa Jowell has invited representatives of the fashion and modelling industries to be scolded at a Downing Street 'summit' about their role in promoting the thin ideal that leads to eating disorders. The slimming industry, which uses the health establishment's own favoured methods of moralising and scare-tactics to promote weight-obsession and dieting, is not implicated in this process and clearly has the tacit support of the government.