Magazines warned on new year diets
A women and equalities minister has urged magazine editors not to promote "miracle diets" in January after the Christmas season.
Jo Swinson, Liberal Democrat MP for East Dunbartonshire, has written an open letter to women's, men's, health, celebrity and gossip magazines appealing for them to "shed the fad diets and fitness myths" in their new year editions.
The minister wrote: "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 in five days - you should encourage reasonable expectations, instead of dangerous ones, along with exercise and healthy eating."
She ends the letter by suggesting a new year resolution to "celebrate the beauty of diversity in body shape, skin colour, size and age".
Ms Swinson, who co-founded the Campaign for Body Confidence, today added: "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.
"One resolution that is actually worth making, for all of us, is to resolve with friends, family and colleagues to challenge the default setting of self-criticism, and help each other to do so."