coffee Habit

Bad Habits Die Hard

Some bad habits are really hard to shake. All the subtle and overt forms of weight bias and shaming provide good examples. They are particularly persistent because they are so deeply embedded in our culture. And yet, if you look, there are plenty of encouraging signs.

Beach Body ReadyJust yesterday, an obnoxious weight loss ad became a target for the anger of more than 50,000 people who demanded its removal from the London Underground. Clearly, people are no longer willing to put up with advertising that promotes bad ideas about body images and suggests — even subtly — that people who don’t conform are somehow unworthy.

Not only is the ad coming down, but the Advertising Standards Authority in the UK is launching an investigation. The perpetrator doesn’t seem to be getting the message and issued a statement saying that “Getting ‘beach ready’ is not a new concept.” That’s right. It’s old, tired, and increasingly offensive.

On a more positive note, the Obesity Society’s journal — Obesity — is acting decisively to bring its scholarly publication into line with the society’s position requiring the use of people-first language for obesity, just like any other chronic disease or disability.

The journal published a letter this week from William Dietz suggesting that “journal editors assure that all articles published in Obesity use people-first language.” Editors Donna Ryan and Eric Ravussin responded with thanks for Dietz pointing out the lapse. A quick scan of the contents of the latest issue makes it plain that people-first language is now a more consistent standard. It’s not easy to whip a bunch of independent-minded researchers into shape.

Bad habits die hard, but their days are numbered.

Click here to read more about the beach-body hubub. Click here and here to read more about people first language in Obesity.

Coffee Habit, photograph © Hugo Chisholm / flickr

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2 Responses to “Bad Habits Die Hard”

  1. May 01, 2015 at 9:23 am, Ellen Glovsky said:

    Here’s a way to think about the “Get a Bikini Body” slogan.

    • May 01, 2015 at 2:42 pm, Ted said:

      Well-said, Ellen, even though it would not work for me. But that’s ok.