13 Extremely Harmful Ways Celebs Have Contributed To Diet Culture

This post contains discussion of disordered and restrictive eating, weight loss, and body dysmorphia. Every body is different, so before please consult a doctor before getting diet advice online. 

1.Earlier this year, Rebel Wilson spoke about her weight loss journey and promoted a program where she was told that humans "don’t really need as many calories as [they] think."

closeup of rebel at an event
Mike Marsland / Mike Marsland / WireImage

"The truth is your body doesn’t need a lot of calories and I know that might sound crazy to some people, but if you eat right and you eat small portions you’ll be just fine," she said. "I learned that you really only need about 600 calories a day, you don’t need 1,500 or 2,000."

closeup of rebel after her weight loss

Shortly after Rebel's interview came out, registered dietician Sammi Brondo debunked this quote saying that a 600-calorie-per-day diet is "completely unnecessary and most likely unsafe."

<div><p>"We also have to take into account the fact that our bodies burn calories at rest — most adults burn much more than 600 calories at rest, even if you are doing nothing all day but laying in bed, and we need to replenish those calories. Six hundred is just far too few. Even if it's considered a 'detox,' it's just not enough food," she explained.</p></div><span> Karwai Tang / WireImage</span>

2.Kim Kardashian faced scrutiny after sharing that she crash-dieted in order to lose weight so that she could fit into her dress for the Met Gala. While on the red carpet, Kim said that she lost 16 pounds in 21 days. "I didn’t starve myself," Kim said. "But I was so strict."

closeup of kim at the met

She explained that in order to do this she "would wear a sauna suit twice a day, run on the treadmill, completely cut out all sugar and all carbs, and just eat the cleanest veggies and protein."

Mike Coppola / Getty Images

Registered dietician and eating disorder specialist Elaina Efird told BuzzFeed just why this method of weight loss is "not sustainable at all and should NEVER be the goal or attempted."

kim giving an interview at the met

3.Back in 2018, Kim Kardashian also did an Instagram sponsorship for appetite-suppressing lollipops and received extreme backlash from users who called the ad "abhorrent" and "irresponsible."

closeup of her at an event

Many commenters pointed out that a majority of Kim's fan base was made up of young people who might be influenced into buying products like these in order to fit into "ridiculous beauty standards."

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Even Jameela Jamil took to Twitter to share her distaste for Kim's behavior. In a now-deleted tweet, Jameela said, "No. Fuck off. No. You terrible and toxic influence on young girls. I admire their mother’s branding capabilities, she is an exploitative but innovative genius, however this family makes me feel actual despair over what women are reduced to. ☹️"

the message shared on social media

4.Before her 2018 Coachella performance, Beyoncé promoted the 22 Days Nutrition diet that helped her lose weight after having her twins Sir and Rumi. Beyoncé followed the program for 44 days and said, "In order for me to meet my goals, I’m limiting myself to no bread, no carbs, no sugar, no dairy, no meat, no fish, no alcohol — and I’m hungry."

closeup of beyonce at an event

Angela Lemond, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, went on to explain that this diet is not sustainable for anybody and she doesn't recommend following it to lose weight. "We have to remember that food is energy for our body, and we should not be afraid to eat whole wholesome foods, and we should focus on the foods that we should eat versus ones we shouldn’t eat," she said.

beyonce on stage at coachella

5.Earlier this year, Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, and Sean Hayes released a docuseries Smartless: On the Road that took viewers behind the scenes of their country-wide podcast tour. Throughout the series, Will, Sean, and several crew members were quick to call out Jason's obsession with the food he ate himself, as well as what those around him ate.

jason at a sxsw event
Tim Mosenfelder / Getty Images

During one scene, Jason called Will a "fat fuck" and a "chunk" as he ate, also commenting on the amount of sauces Will put on his meal and the size of his bites. In a later scene, Will even admitted, "I feel like I've put on some weight on this tour. My body dysmorphia, which has been aided by my friend, is pretty bad."

jason saying, you haven't even finished chewing the first bite and you put a second one in

6.Lizzo received a lot of backlash after she shared she was doing a juice cleanse on Instagram back in 2020. Amidst the cleanse she also shared "before and after" photos of her face and body. her defense for the cleanse was that she “drank a lot and ate a lot of foods and fucked [her] stomach up in Mexico," and hoped to "reset" her stomach.

closeup of lizzo
Johnny Nunez / Getty Images for Black Music Action Coalition

Several fans left concerned comments on her post, but Lizzo responded saying “I look and feel like a bad bitch,” and that she was proud of herself and her results.

before and after photos of lizzo
@lizzobeeating / Instagram: @lizzobeeating

7.In 2020, Kelly Ripa participated in a "What I Eat In A Day" video for Harper's Bazaar, and shared some questionable and restrictive eating habits. In the video, which has been deleted from the Harper's Bazaar YouTube channel but still exists on it's Facebook page, Kelly explains that doesn't eat any "chewing food" until after she's done filming her show Live With Kelly and Mark. Her first "chewable food" of the day is a cut-up apple with nut butter, and the rest of the day is very heavy in greens.

closeup of her at a white house event

Kelly also says throughout the video that she loves to snack on a "handful" of nuts throughout the day. She said she "never" eats more than a handful at a time, though she does have multiple handfuls as the day goes on.

Paul Morigi / Getty Images

Registered dietician and content creator Abbey Sharp made a reaction video of her own in response to Kelly's and explained that the diet feels very "compulsive" because of how limited the food options are. She adds that while all the foods Kelly eats are healthy, the diet is limited in nutrients.

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Kelly later mentions that she does "cheat" on her diet sometimes by eating chocolate-covered nuts. Abbey further explained that the "rigidity and repetitiveness" of the diet meant that there was no "room for regular, mindful treats."

abbey's reaction video

8.Earlier this year, Gwyneth Paltrow was called out by many after she shared her "wellness routine" which consisted of an extremely limited diet. She said that in her routine she will eat dinner early in the evening and does a "nice intermittent fast," adding that she doesn't begin eating until noon. In the mornings she'll "have some things that won't spike [her] blood sugar" like coffee or celery juice. And then for lunch, she has a bone broth soup most days. She said that she likes to have at least "one hour of movement" every day as well, and then spends 30 minutes in the sauna.

closeup of her in a cropped blouse and trousers

Registered dietician Sammi Brondo explained that the diet is "actually not that healthy-sounding at all" because of how little food is being eaten.

gwyneth standing outside

9.Hilary Duff compared her diet to Gwyneth's saying "I wake up really hungry ... Sometimes, I try to just drink coffee in the morning and stave off my hunger."

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She added that she also exercises a lot, and said she does "a lot of cardio" including hiking and tennis. Hilary also discussed her fears of getting "too bulky," saying, "I would love to have the skinniest little pencil arms."

Jon Kopaloff / Getty Images for Vanity Fair

However, it is totally normal to wake up each morning hungry, it's the body's response to not eating food for a number of hours. However, in more extreme cases, intense hunger may be a sign that not enough nutrients are being consumed during the day.

hilary running outside
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10.In 2021, when asked about what she eats when she's stressed, Jennifer Aniston responded by saying, "A chip. Crunch, crunch, crunch." Caught off-guard, the interviewer asked, "Just one?" to which Jennifer elaborated, "Usually. I'm good at that. I can have one M&M, one chip. I know, that's so annoying." She later added that her go-to alcoholic drink is a margarita that is "clean, [with] no sugar."

closeup of jennifer
Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

Several Twitter users felt that this idea of indulging in one single chip or piece of candy was encouragimg disordered eating.

Twitter: @farty115

11.In 2022, Aaron Rodgers talked about completing a 12-day Panchakarma cleanse, which consisted of drinking 2 ounces of ghee in the morning, taking laxatives at night, and abstaining from sugar, alcohol, and sex. The cleanse is meant to remove toxins from the body.

closeup of him

According to registered dietician Bonnie Taub-Dix, there are no evidence-based health benefits to cleanse diets. She explained, "We were given livers and kidneys to help with detox, we don't need to do something like this to make yourself healthier."

aaron throwing a football

"Cleanses are short term practices that bring unrealistic results. The focus is to lubricate your system and push foods out, when you should be focusing on what you're putting into your body," she added.

Michael Owens / Getty Images

12.In 2019, Jennifer Lopez promoted a 10-day "no sugar, no carb" challenge while sharing her own progress on Instagram. Her reasoning behind the challenge was to "reset" her body and claimed that the diet made her realize she was "addicted to sugar." "You will lose a bunch of pounds on it, you will lose inches because...once you get rid of that sugar and those carbs it just starts coming off," she added.

closeup of her at an event

The challenge is also meant to help boost energy and overall mood.

Dave Benett / Jed Cullen/Dave Benett / Getty Images

However, when Carson Daly tried the diet he admitted he couldn't last more than 24 hours. His main gripe with the challenge was that it "didn't make sense" to him. He added, “I thought it would be easier because I don’t eat a ton of carbs anyway… there’s just a lot of sugar in everything, it turns out. So when you start making these micro decisions in the day you’re like, ‘This sucks. My life sucks now.'”

jennifer on a show
Nbc / Nathan Congleton / NBC via Getty Images

13.Finally, earlier this year, Chris Martin shared that he stops eating past 4 p.m. and was inspired to only eat one meal a day after learning that's what Bruce Springsteen does. "I was on a really strict diet anyway. But I said, 'Bruce looks even more in shape than me.' I was like 'Well, there we go, that's my next challenge.'"

closeup of him

"I don't actually have dinner anymore," said Martin. "I stop eating at 4 [p.m.], and I learned that from having lunch with Bruce Springsteen."

Bruce Glikas / WireImage / Getty

Abigail Roberts, a sports nutritionist, said that this kind of dieting is an "extreme" type of intermittent fasting. She said, “For the general population, consuming only one meal per day can potentially pose health risks, particularly if done for weight loss reasons and without sufficient knowledge of nutrition."

closeup of him singing on stage

This kind of diet doesn't come without consequences either, she said, “Eating one meal per day may increase the risk of binge eating during that meal, causing digestive discomfort such as bloating and constipation."

Sergione Infuso - Corbis / Corbis via Getty Images

The National Eating Disorders Association helpline is 1-800-931-2237; for 24/7 crisis support, text “NEDA” to 741741.