Please do not promote “miracle diets” for the New Year, British Women and Equalities Minister, Jo Swinson has urged magazine editors.

Every year throughout the world, magazines are awash with miracle cure diets that guarantee incredible results after weeks of overindulgence during the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Jo Swinson, MP (Member of Parliament) for East Dunbartonshire, says magazine editors must avoid the temptation of falling into the annual diet hype among their New Year resolutions for 2013. The Minister made the request in an open letter to magazine editors.

Swinson urges editors to think twice about the consequences of promoting unrealistic and untested diets on girls and women.

Swinson said “Surely by now we’re all aware that there are no miracle diets or if there are, they are miracles that 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’ so that people can be thin. Not healthy or vibrant, just thin.”

Below is a copy of the letter Swinson sent to the editors of Gossip, Men’s, Health, and Women’s magazines:

“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 of 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 (14 lbs) in 5 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 color, size and age. I think your readers will appreciate it.


Jo Swinson

Ms Swinson was one of the co-founders of the “Campaign for Body Confidence”. She explained that the vast majority of diets fail within a very short time. She re-emphasized that promoting thinness instead of good health is irresponsible.

A worthwhile resolution, Swinson suggests, is for all of us to resolve with colleagues, friends and family to challenge the default setting of self-criticism, and to help each other to do so.

A study carried out by researchers from the University of Arizona, Tucson, USA, showed that conversations in which people see themselves as being fat could be damaging for their mental health. Fat talk can result in lower body self-esteem and higher rates of depression, the authors added.

In their study, published in the Journal of Applied Communication Research (April 2012 issue), lead author, Analisa Arroyo, Ph.D. said that their findings suggest that expressing weight-related concerns, which is extremely common among females, has negative effects. They found that the frequency of fat-talk predicts changes in body satisfaction, depression, as well as perceived pressure to be thin across time.

Written by Christian Nordqvist