Summer Diet Culture | KNX News Interview with VP of Clinical Nutrition Services
Body image dissatisfaction is experienced by individuals of all ages and genders throughout the year, but summer diet culture pressure can be especially triggering. Julia Cassidy, MS, RD, CEDRD-S, Alsana’s VP of Clinical Nutrition Services, recently sat down with KNX News 97.1 FM to discuss summer, diet culture, and body acceptance. Listen to the interview and read the transcripts, below.
SUMMER DIET CULTURE PART 1
MALE ANNOUNCER: It is bathing suit weather.
KNX 1070’s JAN STEVENS: Did you cheer or groan? Studies show that more than 90% of women aren’t happy with some aspect of their appearance. Julia Cassidy with Alsana, an eating disorder recovery center, tells KNX people feel self-conscious about their bodies all year long.
ALSANA’S JULIA CASSIDY: …however, [body image issues are] definitely heightened during the summer. With exposure and wanting to be out in the sun, this is when more restricted eating or disordered eating starts taking place to have a “beach body.”
STEVENS: There are ways to help people who are self-conscious of their shape…
CASSIDY: From a society perspective we need to encourage body acceptance of all body types, and take out the primarily weight stigma and fatphobia when we’re talking about different body shapes and sizes.
STEVENS: Cassidy encourages not dieting…
CASSIDY: …letting ourselves enjoy food, and eating whatever we intuitively want to eat, taking out any good or bad associations or moral judgment from food.
STEVENS: having a healthy body image, she says, isn’t about what your body looks like but how you think and feel about it. Jan Stevens, KNX News, 97.1 FM
SUMMER DIET CULTURE PART 2
MALE ANNOUNCER: It’s summer and a lot of people do not want to dress for it.
KNX 1070’s JAN STEVENS: They don’t the way their body looks. Julia Cassidy with Alsana, an eating disorder recovery center in California and other states says body insecurity doesn’t affect just females.
ALSANA’S JULIA CASSIDY: There are many teenage male athletes who have to make a certain weight. That’s when bulimia typically takes place. And now, with the hyper-focus of being in the gym all the time, males are going through an experience and the same type of body image and body distortions that females do.
STEVENS: More and more men feel the same way.
CASSIDY: There’s a stigma about having a dad bod. You know, having a dad bod is actually great! You’re a dad; enjoy life with your kid. You don’t have to meet the mold of what society thinks we need to look like.
STEVENS: which applies to both men and women…
CASSIDY: We change and grow over time. Through the life cycle. We need to pull back, right? And just have grace and patience and compassion for all of our different body types.
STEVENS: Cassidy says if you feel kind of ‘meh’ about your body, show the same kindness to yourself you would to others who feel challenged. Jan Stevens, KNX News, 97.1 FM.