Example of how media is keeping you from your weight loss goals… and making you mentally unwell

  • Emotional reasoning is common in people with depression and anxiety. It is when you confuse feelings for facts
  • A popular news source published an article that includes emotional reasoning in their wellbeing section
  • Emotional reasoning takes away your power and keeps you from goals

Media distortion

An example of emotions presented as facts is in a Washington Post article titled “13 percent of Americans over 50 are addicted to processed foods.” The opening paragraph states:

“Thirteen percent of the over-50 population, or about 1 in 8 people over 50, cannot control their consumption of highly processed foods.”

Someone reading this article will think they cannot control what they eat which will lead to complacency and hopelessness. They will get stuck.

The Washington Post article included reference to a study from the University of Michigan so it seems legit.

The Reality

The opening from the report from the University of Michigan states:

“Highly processed foods like sweetened beverages,
chips, and fast food can be addictive for some
people, just like cigarettes and alcohol. Symptoms
of addiction to highly processed food include
feeling a loss of control over consumption…”

As you can see, there was no actual loss of control over consumption, there was a feeling of loss of control.

Whats the big deal?

The feeling of being unable to control food consumption was more prevalent in people who felt isolated and described themselves as having poor mental health.

The Washington Post is forwarding a thought distortion of people with poor mental health and posing it as a fact in their wellbeing section.

Most people don’t click on the study. They read a short snippet in the Washington Post, a trusted source. It validates them in their emotional reasoning—that they can’t control their food consumption—and they call it a day.

This strengthens the same thoughts that are keeping them from weight loss goals and in a looping of negativity and failed diets. Which can lead someone to thinking they are a failure or they can’t achieve things.

The media is a multi-trillion dollar machine that benefits from you not controlling your food consumption or your emotions.

You can control what you eat, and you can reduce cravings for processed foods. I know, I am coming up on 10 years of maintaining a 40lb weight-loss.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto

Leave a Reply

Enjoy 50% when you preorder cognitive distortion workbooks browse workbooks
%d bloggers like this: