Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hey kids!

Want to develop a lifelong obsession with eating? How about an eating disorder? Or at the very least years of self-loathing toward your body? Have we got an idea for you! Start writing down everything you eat. That's right--every single bite you eat goes into this handy-dandy food journal that the folks at the Washington Post think you should keep.

Start now! Before you know it, you'll be on your way to a lifetime of unhappiness!



Rachel said...

Hey, you're back! Good to see you posting again.

I think that food journals can be useful for some people, namely those with emotional eating problems who use them in conjunction with therapy to determine when and why they binge on certain foods. But, I don't think that these kinds of exercises are useful for children, and especially when they are unsupervised.

Bookwyrm said...

Now, now. That's unfair. Food journals are not intrinsically evil; I think you might be bringing your own emotional content to them.

In addition to people with emotional eating problems, food diaries can be invaluable in trying to narrow down allergies, food intolerances, and diet-related triggers for things like migraines and acid reflux. New diabetics may find a food journal useful in figuring out how various foods affect their blood sugar levels, instead of how they're expected to affect people in general.

Currently, I'm trying to improve my diet by adding daily green and orange vegetables, fish twice a week, and stuff like that. I'm using a modified food journal for that (I list the things I intend to eat daily, and then can mark them off when I've done it) and I find that's helpful in meeting my goals, as well.

Harriet said...


I have nothing against food journals per se. What I have a problem with is encouraging ALL CHILDREN to keep them. Children who are impressionable, who take away the not-so-subtle messages embedded in the concept of food journaling as it is presented: cut down on BAD foods, eat more GOOD foods. Then obsess over every single item you put in your mouth.

Like dieting, food journaling should be something an adult chooses to do if it's useful for her or him.

Apple Berry said...

Food JOurnals aren't necassarily evil but if you say to an unhappy self loathing teen, watch EVERYTHING you put in your mouth, they will in desperation. Or a child. We did this in Yr8, when I was 12, in school and I wrote every mouthful until my tutor was like, "V, a kiwi has nothing in it!" Then at 15 started the obsessive, oh my, I had a bite of XYZ!

HOwever it depends, but considering a vast amount of Americans are obese, I don't think it's too shabby an idea.

lilacsigil said...

I've used a food journal pretty successfully to help with binge eating problems, in conjunction with anti-depressants. But I'm not some perfectly regular kid (or even a fat or thin kid) who should really get started on that eating disorder early. Thank, Washington Post!