2, 4, 6, 8, stop the diet, educate!

January 20, 2012 at 1:03 PM

On Monday 16th January Emilie, Francesca, and Hannah (Beat Young Ambassadors)  went to a Ditching Dieting march by the houses of parliament organised by Endangered Bodies, a global and local initiative to fight the culture of body anxiety, body hatred and fear that is pervading all parts of our society.

Emilie said: "We met Leila from Beat / My Personal Best at the 'Lion' on westminster bridge, and were joined by around 30 other people including Beat's own chief executive Susan Ringwood, Body Gossip, and other people campaigning against dieting in the media, and the governments 'dieting' policies.

With placards saying things like 'bin the BMI' and 'love your body' we marched across the Westminster bridge by parliament while chanting!  It was a very strange experience, and a little embarrassing at first but we all soon got into the swing of it!

We binned our dieting books into a special bright yellow bin that had been brought along labled 'toxic waste' it felt great to do that! We also posed for photos by the Guardians photographer.

Then we moved into the houses of parliament which was AMAZING! We were all soo excited to see the beautiful building from the inside and it didn't disappoint!

We then after some afternoon tea of scones, went into listen to the heads of slimming world, weight watchers, key nutritionists and Suzie Orbach give evidence to MPs investigating Body image anxiety.

There was some great questions asked, and some controversial answers given! All in all it was a very interesting day out, and it was great to hear MPs taking such a tough line against the 'diet' industry!"     

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Hannah, Emilie and Francesca at the Ditching Dieting protest.

Francesca said: "The ditch dieting protest was a mixture of things for me; it was powerful and therapeutic, awkward yet fun. I went along not quite knowing what to expect; political activism is not really my type but I have come away with a newfound interest. I honestly never thought I would be the person walking the streets of Westminster with placards shouting chants, like ‘2, 4, 6, 8, stop the diet, stop the hate’ but I really enjoyed myself.

"I feel so strongly about the campaign, that doing something so out of character didn’t matter. It felt really good to shout about it, and to march along with a group of people from different realms of life that felt the same. The endangered species organization had brought along a yellow toxic waste bin for all diet related materials that we wanted to get rid of; I got a great sense of satisfaction tearing the pages out of the book I had bought along ‘You want to be thin’ and putting them in the bin. I only wish I hadn’t thrown out so many dieting books and magazines before this date, so I could have done the same to all of them.

"However, the best part of the day for me was going to the Houses of Parliament to listen to the inquiry into body image. Not only were the Houses of Parliament spectacular to look at, but also the inquiry was interesting and got quite heated. It took all my strength not to jump up and shout out in disagreement with comments made by the likes of Weight Watchers and Slimming World. It has certainly made me determined to write to my local MP and make them do something about the sad diet obsessed society we live in." 

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