A leading Australian certified nutritionist has criticised the growing “anti body shaming” and “body beautiful” trends as being detrimental to women leading healthy lifestyles.
Zhanna Gee, founder of holistic health and wellbeing company, Slim By Nature, has raised concerns that women have become too “ashamed” to go on a diet.
“I’m worried that many women have become too ashamed to embrace a healthy lifestyle due to the growing ‘anti body shaming’ and ‘body beautiful’ movements,” Ms Gee said.
“There are a number of women who will attempt some kind of diet without any form of education, or even support from family or friends.”
‘It’s OK to want to lose weight’
The body positivity phenomena recently prompted the founder of Greatist, a health and fitness site, to defensively write, ‘It’s OK to want to lose weight’, in response to criticism.
“Many people in the body positivity movement believe that the desire to lose weight is never legitimate, because it is an expression of the psychological toll of so-called fat shaming,” Ms Gee said.
“So any public discussion of personal health or body size constitutes fat shaming.”
Mrs Gee’s interest in women’s health was born seven years ago after being involved in two separate car accidents resulting in a dependency on pain medication, crippling back pain, weight gain and the onset of depression.
“I started doing research on how to lose weight, which led me on a path to connecting with incredible naturopaths and nutritionists, whom I then worked with to develop and perfect a number of unique holistic formulas and eating plans,” she said.
“At the time, I thought, ‘So many women could benefit from this’ and Slim By Nature was born from there.”
Mrs Gee says the Slim By Nature movement, which includes more than 30,000 women, aims to avoid the stigma associated with weight loss programs, and instead focuses on clean eating, detoxing and fat burning.
“The words ‘diet’ and ‘weight loss’ have such a bad name these days,” she said. “As a company, we want to ensure that women feel safe, and are equipped with the right tools to aid their journeys to leading happier and healthier lives.
“We absolutely support the ‘No Body Shaming’ movement, but we also know too many women are depressed and will try anything to look and feel better.
“The detox and fat-burning programs are just the first step. My main goal for every client is to give them a healthy and happy lifestyle beyond the program.
“I am driven by the passion and desire to nurture, educate, and not only support, but empower women throughout their entire journey.”