SIX WEEKS TO OMG! WTF?
We predict you’ll be hearing a lot more about this one…
If your teenage daughter is skipping breakfast, drinking black coffee, exercising then sitting in an icy-cold bath for 15 minutes and blowing up balloons, it’s a sure thing she’s got her hands on the latest diet that’s caused an uproar in the UK – Six Weeks to OMG: Get Skinnier Than All Your Friends.
Dieticians and experts on girls’ self esteem have slammed the diet, both here and in the UK as being “exploitative”, “ludicrous” and “dangerous”.
The book is released in Australia today.
However, it started out as an e-book on Apple’s iTunes earlier this year – so your teen may already have it. In just weeks it had sold more than 120,000 copies, five times more than the Dukan Diet.
The book rights have been sold to US and publishers world-wide for “seven figure sums”.
Not only has the regimen been criticised for being nutritionally dubious – it says that comsuming “broccoli carbs”, fruit and smoothies are all as bad as drinking Coke – but the tagline “get skinnier than all your friends” is said to be inciting unhealthy competition between girls (and boys).
“There’s no stopping point for this competition… There is only the never-ending cycle of getting skinnier than your friends until you all completely disappear. By which I mean potentially die,” wrote Marianne Kirby in the Guardian.
Here in Australia, Dr. Samantha Thomas, health sociologist at Monash University, says the diet’s message is “dangerous” because it taps into young girls’ vulnerability.
“It sends the dangerous message that having a low body weight equals popularity,” she told The Hoopla.
“It preys on young girls especially, who are very vulnerable because they are just starting to think about diets. This book appears to tap into that. We know that there is a direct link between early-age dieting and eating disorders.”
The exhortation from the author that parents might not understand and not to tell them you are following the OMG! diet is irresponsible, she says.
“We are trying to encourage parents and children to have a focus on wellbeing… not weight. To have an open discussion.”
The writer, Paul Khanna (left) is a London gym instructor who publishes under the pen name “Venice A. Fulton”, is set to be a millionaire.
He chose the name “Venice” because California is the “home of healthy culture, of macro-fitness”.
“I was unaware of what I was unleashing,” he says of the storm of criticism around him.
But he believes he is a trail-blazer. There are some who think his diet just might work.
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