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THE NEW WAVE OF FOOD AWARENESS

TW: Mention of disordered eating

For decades now, January 1st has been synonymous with not only the start of the New Year but the start of "diet season". But young people are pushing back against this entire notion. In response to the increasingly toxic rabbit holes of harmful content full of diets and food shaming that apps like TikTok or Instagram can make us dive into, content creators are bringing new approaches to light. They are deconstructing the harmful ideas around eating, questioning the moral assignments of food, and combating all the fruitful terrain for eating disorders found in society and social media. Here are some of the most recent concepts they're championing.

INTUITIVE EATING

The truest enemy of calorie counting and food tracking, intuitive eating represents an alternative to face the moment of having a meal, building from the principles of mindfulness and listening to yourself and what you want to eat. With some influencers like mental health activist, Victoria Garrick, using funny videos to explain how this mindset works, to registered dietitians like Sam Previte destigmatizing eating fast food, the #IntuitiveEating hashtag on TikTok has already accumulated over 815.8 Million views positioning itself as a growing reference when thinking about food trends.

BODY NEUTRALITY

We can't stop talking about the body neutrality approach, the alternative to the body positivity movement that has literally more than doubled in TikTok views since our last reporting. This angle focuses on the search to remove the body's appearance from the self-worth equation and to shift the conversation away from it completely. Bodies are not inherently good or bad and instead we should focus on their functionality, what your body can do for you. In writer Jessi Kneeland's words: "Your body should be the least interesting thing about you." Taking it a step further, Canadian author and influencer Emily Roach shared on TikTok this theory applied to destigmatizing nudity when it comes to parenting and reached over 2.8 million views.

INTERSECTIONALITY OF THE ANTI DIET

Re-examining the origins of diet culture and its impact on non-white communities, the attention to highlighting this corner of the anti-diet movement has been the focus of many content creators. Eurocentric ideals of beauty that are unattainable to people from different ethnicities have been haunting young people for way too many years, influencing even the standards held for what types of food are considered “healthy” and shaming communities that are food deserts for not having access to fresher ingredients. Young people are aware that in order to dismantle the toxic culture around diet like anti-diet activist Kate Sutton posts, it is necessary to address its inherent racism. That’s why people like @encouragingdietitian on Instagram takes a more holistic approach to food relationships where food is never shamed and cultural struggles are addressed (all with very cute illustrations!).