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223: Diet culture – seeking a quick fix – with Molly Carmel

Diet culture is a pervasive phenomenon in our society today, characterized by an obsession with weight loss, body size, and appearance. It is an insidious and dangerous cycle of unhealthy behaviors and attitudes that can have a profound impact on an individual’s mental and physical health.   

At its core, diet culture is an abusive relationship between an individual and a billion dollar marketing mechanism that profits off of the insecurities and vulnerabilities of people who are trying to lose weight. 

Diet culture perpetuates the idea that we must look a certain way to be accepted, and it creates a cycle of intermittent reinforcement and learned helplessness, where individuals are constantly seeking a quick fix and are left feeling hopeless when they fail to attain the “ideal” body.   

The roots of diet culture can be traced back for generations, with women in the 1940s being told to starve themselves with diets consisting of only vodka and broccoli. Over time, this harmful message has become even more pervasive, with children as young as five being taught to be conscious of their body size and appearance. 

This is evidenced by the prevalence of fast food advertisements, which have been shown to have a greater influence on children’s food choices than the advice they receive from parents or health professionals. 

Difference between Constant and Intermittent Reinforcement 

 Humans are naturally drawn to rewards and reinforcement, so it’s no surprise that these concepts are used in a variety of ways. One of these ways is the difference between constant and intermittent reinforcement. Constant reinforcement is when a reward is given every single time, while intermittent reinforcement is when a reward is given only sometimes. 

Both types of reinforcement can be used in different contexts, such as in the example of diet culture. Diet culture uses intermittent reinforcement to try to keep people in its cycle. The idea is that people will continually try to get the same result (losing weight) with each diet, but only sometimes reap the desired reward. This intermittent reinforcement can lead to a feeling of learned helplessness, where people become desensitized to the harmful means they are using to try to lose weight.   

Constant reinforcement, on the other hand, is used as a reward system, such as when a parent compliments their child every time they do something right. This helps the child to understand what behavior is expected of them and reinforces it in a positive way. 

In this podcast, you will learn:

  • What is Diet Culture
  • Anorexia, food addiction, body building culture
  • The difference between “scientifically created food” and other food
  • The different factors that contribute to eating disorders
  • How to treat eating disorders for both men and women
  • What is Orthorexia, and how is it different from veganism
    and so much more.


ALLIN15 (for coaching program) / WADE20 for Breaking up with Sugar Course




Tiktok: @realmollycarmel

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