Dietainment and Our Kids

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Our daughter’s are beautiful and smart, funny, and kind. As parents we know these amazing little girls and young ladies will grow into amazing adults. Maybe it’s because of all we see that it hurts so much when our daughter’s don’t have this same vision.

No matter how hard we try to build up our daughter’s with positive images, there’s a world out there that we can’t control. A world that bombards our daughter’s with negative messages on body image, what defines the ideal beauty and how it can be achieved. The folks at Multi-Grain Cheerios call it Dietainment – unhealthy diet messages disguised as harmless entertainment.

As a mother of three, two daughters and one son, I have had to address the issue of “dietainment” when we stop at the magazine rack at the bookstore, wait at the streetcar stop, even walking through the mall to buy new clothes. But what about the moments when I’m not there, like in the school yard when the girls pour over instagram feeds or when my daughter heads out to lunch or a movie with friends? And it’s not just girls. I’m mindful of my son and his self-esteem based on the lean, muscular, six-pack physique images he is exposed to also.

Think your children aren’t affected by this “dietainment” trend? Hear what these young tweens have to say about what they see in the media they ingest everyday:

I don’t think this is a lost cause though. As parents we can make our voice heard.

First by signing the online petition hosted on www.worldwithoutdieting.com, letting Canadian media know that we want things to change.

Once the Petition reaches 10,000 signatures, the Petition will be submitted by General Mills to Canadian media companies such as (but not limited to) Bell Media, Rogers Communications, Shaw Communications, Corus Entertainment, Quebecor Media, AOL Canada, Canadian Broadcasting Corp, TVA Group, etc., as a proof point to show the number of Canadians who are concerned about Dietainment.

Currently more than 16,000 Canadians have made their voice heard. That’s a small amount considering the population of youth across the country affected but you can change that by adding your voice and telling others to do so too.


Second, and more importantly, talk to your kids about the images they are exposed to. What types of media do they view each day? What messages do they see? What are the kids talking about in school? Who do they think is a good role model for their age group and why? Show them the video messages from tweens sharing their thoughts on body image in the media, read the Beauty Redefined Blog post on the use of Photoshop in advertisements and magazines, and the TIME magazine piece on celebrities who are making a stand.


It would be a wonderful world if our children, heck even ourselves, weren’t bombarded with messages that most women are not thin enough, tall enough, athletic enough to fit into today’s perceived notion of beauty. Talk with your kids about how others shouldn’t dictate who they should be. I’m not just all talk. I’ll be having this same conversation with my kids, showing them these videos and talking about their body image fears and beliefs. I’ll be sharing that experience, what I learned through my kids and a few ideas on how we plan to minimize the impact of “dietainment” in our home. Who do you think is a good role model for young people today? Do you think “dietainment” is impacting your daughter or son’s self-esteem or perception of beauty?

This post was sponsored by Multi-Grain Cheerios but as always the thoughts and experiences expressed are my own. Images sourced from the Multi-Grain Cheerios Dietainment campaign. 

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