Clinical director of BodyMatters Australasia and co-founder of Collective Shout, Lydia Turner has a piece on ABC The Drum today defending the position she took in leading a campaign critical of a conference of girls’ educators inviting the CEO of Jenny Craig as its keynote speaker.
Every day in my work as an eating disorders therapist I see the harm the diet industry inflicts on girls.
I see girls’ education interrupted with several bouts of hospitalisation, girls unable to complete their homework as they are triggered by pop-up diet ads on the internet, girls distressed as all of their friends compete to see who can eat the least number of calories at the lunch table.
The diet industry thrives on creating body dissatisfaction and feelings of inadequacy, keeping itself financially well-padded off the backs of women and girls’ health and self-esteem. So when I heard that a major conference of girls’ educators was to have the CEO of Jenny Craig Amy Smith as its keynote speaker, I felt I had to take action.
I wasn’t the only one concerned. I was soon joined by health professionals from all over the world, including psychologists, dietitians, medical doctors and eating disorder experts. Told by the conference organisers, the Alliance of Girls’ Schools, that there was to be no discussion on this issue, I started a petition to oust Jenny Craig’s CEO from the conference. One thousand and two hundred signatures were gathered within the first 48 hours. Despite being called a “witch” and a “bully” by certain radio ‘shock jocks,’ I persisted because this diet industry is killing girls. Read more>
Read more Lydia Jade Turner on MTR blog: ‘Women’s Bodies are not Sex Aids’
See my interview with Lydia and co-director of BodyMatters Sarah Turner on the importance of a health-based not weight-based approach to eating