A few days ago I saw the most disturbing story on tv. It was a segment about “The Feeding Tube Diet.” Nope you didn’t read that wrong.
Although I’m very passionate about cooking, food and food related health issues; I usually try to keep this space light and fun. Sometimes though, I hear something like this and I know that I have to speak up. I need to light a fire and get other people as angry as I am because if enough people get angry we can change things.
You can find out more about “The Feeding Tube Diet” by clicking here, but the gist of it is exactly what you’d imagine; a doctor shoves a feeding tube up your nose for 10 days and you lose 10lbs. A feeding tube! You know that thing they give legitimately sick people.
I was horrified. I seethed. Privileged people are choosing to go without solid food for pure vanity while people in the third world or in the poorest parts of our own country don’t have enough to eat. Perfectly healthy people are choosing to use a device designed to give sustenance to those who are gravely ill. We’ve all at some point had a friend, family member or someone in our community suffer from terrible illness. We’ve seen them forced to use apparatus that healthy people don’t need and I’m guessing none of us have looked at them with envy. The fact that our obsession with size has gone this far is disgusting.
Of course I’m not the only one who is outraged. I read an article today about a 14 year old girl who due to a rare illness is forced to use a feeding tube at all times. As you can imagine she has some choice words for anyone using a feeding tube to lose weight. “They’re making a mockery of it; they make it look so simple. They take it out in 10 days, I can’t take [my feeding tube] out in 10 days,” she says and reminds us that there is nothing glamorous about being sick.
This madness needs to stop!
So what can you do? You can help change the obsession with weight loss in this country. Stop equating a certain size with health and with beauty. Stop criticizing your own body or anyone elses. Don’t buy magazines with headlines disparaging stars for going from a size 00 to a size 2. Don’t participate in conversations that encourage women to think negatively about their bodies. When another woman ticks you off don’t call her fat or ugly or old, be thoughtful and try and articulate what really bothered you about her behavior. Be grateful if you and your loved ones are healthy and well fed.
Tell someone you love that they are beautiful just as they are. Tell yourself the same thing. Be a model for how you’d like the world to be.
You have a voice; use it wisely.
I think this song has a great message for women of all ages, but the fact that Selena Gomez’s target audience is 8-14 year old girls makes it that much cooler. This is the kind of message they should be hearing.
This is especially incredible to me for an entirely different reason: my daughter who is 11, has been tube fed due to a traumatic brain injury she received five years ago when we had a car accident. Because her injuries are so extensive, she lacks the muscle control to be able to eat by mouth. Certainly if she were able to speak she would express dismay at anyone choosing to be fed by any means other than by mouth. Indeed, to someone who is a quadriplegic with no control of her body or environment, it would be unthinkable to forgo the basic pleasure of enjoying food.
Thank you so much for your feedback, it means a lot coming from someone like you. The practice is so offensive to families like yours, who are living with illness.
Ugh, that is horrible. Just horrible. What is wrong with people these days? I just can’t believe people actually go out of their way to have to experience something like a feeding tube – when there are countless people who’d love to be able to eat (like the above commenter’s daughter). So sad.
Sad. And. Wrong. On so many levels.