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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Speaker stresses body image

“”Food is not your friend,”” said Jessica Setnick, an award-winning author and internationally known speaker.

Students gathered in the South Ballroom of the Student Union Memorial Center on Wednesday to listen to Setnick speak about healthy body image. The Love Your Body Day event, “”Making Food Your Friend Again”” was geared to challenge and enlighten people, according to Laura Orlich, a mental health clinician specializing in eating disorders for Campus Health Service.

It is human nature to compare your own body to others, Setnick said. Advertisements that show very thin celebrities and flawless skin are not realistic and tend to make people feel bad. People compare themselves to the altered images of celebrities in Hollywood in an unhealthy way.

“”We are comparing ourselves and how we feel on the inside to how other people look on the outside,”” she said.

Advertising is used to confuse people, Setnick said. Viewers make up things in their head based on what they hear and see.

“”Over time, we get these messages that say what you eat actually makes you a good person and what you eat may make you a bad person,”” she said.

Setnick showed a slide show of altered images depicting thin people.

“”This sends the message that no matter how you look, you are being watched and you’re not good enough,”” Setnick said.

According to Setnick, 80 percent of eating should be for fuel and 20 percent should be for emotion.

Setnick displayed an advertisement for Hydroxycut, which showed weight loss over an 8-week period. But the Federal Trade Commission removed the ad from broadcast for being inaccurate, she said.

“”They actually took underweight people, got them to gain weight for money, and then reversed the pictures in the ad,”” Setnick said.

An overemphasis on body image makes people feel bad and makes them think they gained weight even if they haven’t, she said. People will judge their feelings and not share them because they feel stupid. Many people, even those without eating disorders, deal with these situations by skipping a meal for a date and getting on the scale when something big is coming up, Setnick said.

Setnick suggests that sometimes getting away from the mirror is the best thing to do.

“”When you go to the mirror for validation, you’ve already lost, because there’s zero chance that the mirror can show you what you really need to see,”” she said.

 

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