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J-Lo in the Know: Dieting in America

 by Jennifer Lopez
The Web Devil

 published on Monday, April 12, 2004


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In the past year or so, diets have become an American custom. It seems as though everybody is on some sort of diet and if they are not it is uncommon or--dare I say--abnormal. Diets are like a second language and I wouldn't be surprised if two years down the road "Jenny Craig" is found in all of the dictionaries.


There are numerous diets out there that help people loose weight such as Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, and the famous Atkins diet--All which are dieting programs striving and competing to give people the best results. Since a majority of Americans want to look and feel beautiful and will stop at nothing to fulfill that desire, dieting has swiftly taken over America.


It wasn't until recently when I was relaxing on a Saturday afternoon watching television that I realized the extent of dieting. During every two-minute commercial break there was at least one commercial regarding it. I'm sure you've all seen the Subway commercials and heard of the Subway diet. Or have seen the Jenny Craig commercials, or heard of the weight watcher's program which lets you eat whatever you want as long as you keep a food journal and keep track of your points for every item of food that's eaten. Or perhaps you have a friend or know of someone who is on a diet trying to loose weight when they hardly have anything to loose. Some of you might be familiar with the now infamous Atkins diet which does not allow you to consume any carbohydrates. Several restaurants now have an Atkins diet menu.


If you walk into a grocery store I guarantee you can find diet anything. Diet sodas, low-fat ice cream, non-fat yogurt, and zero-calorie beer. If you look on the cover of any given fashion magazine you will most likely find a headline reading "How to get a flat tummy in five days" or "Two-minute abs", or something along those lines.


Statistics show that almost half the women in the United States, and one in four men are on a diet. Americans spend over forty billion dollars a year on dieting, and diet-related products. No wonder more and more companies and brands are evolving: they make a tremendous amount of money, and we're making them filthy rich.


I would not doubt that American's perspective on body weight has been slightly distorted by the media but is that the main or only reason America has turned into one big fat meal plan, or is that just an excuse?


So why else has America developed an obsession with dieting? Is it truly a health factor or is it more of a trend? It's a scary thing when you can't tell the difference anymore. Welcome to Diet America.

Reach the reporter at jnlopez@asu.edu.



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