By Marie Claire published
Sadly, disordered eating affects millions of women in the US, and we will continue to cover it with thoughtful consideration. We've been reading through each and every piece of correspondence we've received regarding both this piece and the greater issue at hand: women and our complicated relationships with food. We've created this forum designed to help accommodate your voices. We've not only highlighted comments and blog posts that reflect both your negative and positive reactions, but we also encourage you to add to the debate in the comments section, or by sharing your own personal stories with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org for possible inclusion here or in a future print edition. We're making a commitment to continually address these issues both online and in the magazine going forward, and most importantly, hearing your side of the story. Now, sound off! We are listening.
Posted by: jhans
For saying what I've been thinking for ages. It's a bitter pill to swallow, but I think you hit the nail on the head!
Can't even recognize those blogs
Posted by: jcserendipity:
I read several of those blogs and can barely recognize them as they are portrayed in this article by Katie Drummond. To me, this appears to be a desperate jealous attempt to steer women back to buying printed magazines. It is the death rattle, if you will, of your declining industry. Not to mention the unbelievable hypocrisy of it all! How many thousands and thousands of women have been harmed by the rail thin models that have been gracing your magazines pages for all of these years? Talk about blame-shifting!
Posted by: runnerforever1
I'm a food blogger who definitely does not fit the "healthy blogger" mold. However, I've run across all of the above blogs more than once, and each time I've thought that these girls are pushing the limits of healthy living. It actually makes me uncomfortable to read them. It isn't healthy to pour salt on dessert. It isn't healthy to throw away cookies. It isn't healthy to eat a wrap with one piece of turkey on it. I'm a competitive ultramarathon & marathon runner. My food blog has things like pizza, chocolate chips cookies, and crock pot dishes. At the end of the day if I ate like some of these girls do I would be exhausted & unhealthy. I think we need to remember most of the people who are defending these girls are bloggers who have similar blogs. There is a whole blogging community that pushes the boundaries of "healthy." Most of which aren't that healthy. Having a blog where you photograph every meal & post it is unhealthy in and of itself. It is an obsession with what you are eating. Posting a recipe once a day? Healthy. Photographing every morsel you put in your mouth for the world to see? Unhealthy. Especially because as bloggers we're responsible to know and understand what our words do to our readers. Repeat images of half empty plates only makes some readers think "Oh, I need to eat that little." and the cycle begins.
Limited Research Katie Drummond
Posted by: Avocado1566:
In my teens and through my early twenties I struggled with anorexia and bulimia. I wish that I had a blog like The Healthy Tipping Point to illustrate what normal, healthy eating was. I'm fully recovered now, and in the midst of a graduate degree in holistic nutrition. I would recommend this blog for clients any day. Caitlin Boyd is a model of health, and her popularity stems from her creativity in the kitchen and sweet personality that is reflected through her words. Your research is limited. How many nutritionists, dietitians and doctors did you interview to prove your faulty thesis?
Respect The Power of Transparency and Informed Opinion
Posted by: smichm
As a blogger who knows many bloggers (some even "celebrity bloggers") I think it is very important for readers to have informed background on the side of the blogging business that they don't always have. You don't always know the whole story on the bloggers, usually just their own side, and there is nothing wrong with having someone speak of a different opinion, especially an educated one like the one stated in this article. Like it or not, now, you have the power to make an educated decision as to whether you want to follow the blog/blogger or not. If you disagree with the educated and informed difference of opinion stated here, then that is OKAY. You are allowed to disagree. Put down your pitch forks and thank the editors and writers for helping to shed some light on the subject. What you do with that information is up to you.
Posted by: erin_S4:
I cannot believe how one sided and unrepresentative this article is! I'm an individual that has struggled with disordered eating and finding the healthy living blog community has helped me remember many times that I can be healthy and happy without putting myself through ultimately hellish hurtful behaviors. Shame on Ms. Drummond.
Posted by: patty3210
I am shocked by the defensive and exaggerated responses this article generated. Accusing an author of libel or defamation is an awful and disrespectful thing to do. Do you think that Hearst doesn't have a team of lawyers and fact checkers and would expose themselves to liability on such grounds? The outrageous and personal attacks may have something to do with the fact that the article doesn't actually have any errors to attack so those angered by the content have no choice but to voice their anger in the wrong direction. By using their blogs to generate income, these bloggers expose themselves to both praise and critique - the same way that this article's author is exposed to praise and critique. If you can't take the criticisms that are inherent in making yourself a "public figure" in the blogosphere, don't be a blogger, and learn to respect other writers who express differing opinions.
Posted by: Healthy29:
I can fess up to only being a follower of KathEats. However, with that limited view, I want to say that I love her blog for portraying a HEALTHY, WELL-BALANCED, ACTIVE lifestyle. I love that there are pictures on her site of healthy foods that look so delicious and colorful! It INSPIRES me to include even more veggies in my daily diet. In a country where an outsized proportion of the population is obese/overweight, it should be EMBRACED that young women are out there showing how rewarding and fun it can be to live healthfully. "Then there's the effect on readers. "The sheer number of food images and intense exercise descriptions can be particularly triggering to eating-disorder-prone followers," says Dr. Robyn Silverman..." someone is prone to an eating disorder, it is highly unlikely that Kath's blog (the only one I am familiar with) will be the final push. If anything, it may push someone to get off the couch and feel inspired to start working out! And KUDOS to that type of inspiration. Women's mags should be CELEBRATING the women who are out there trying to promote healthy eating habits, a love for fitness and a love for self. Marie Claire, this is quite the disappointing "bash" article!!!
Posted by: shubba
If you prepare dessert, pour salt all over it, and then blog about your experience, people are entitled and obliged to point out the negative influence you are having on society. Take Katie's advice before you irritate unsuspecting dinner party guests and anyone else who might inadvertently stumble across your terrifying world of denial and celery sticks. It's time to let go and discover a sense of humor about yourself. Don't photograph the process.
Posted by: aggiedgoodman:
I am completely shocked at the angle this article has taken. I have been following most of these girls since I started my own food blog 2 years ago. It has actually become a Sunday night ritual for me to check in on each of their blogs to get me in the right state of mind for my upcoming week. They motivate me to run and be active (which I already am), to make healthy choices (which I try to) and to keep things interesting in the kitchen (I cook everyday and it can get boring!). I see nothing but POSITIVE when I am reading these blogs. I get new ideas, motivation and inspiration. These girls are putting their lives out there in a way that is helping people. On a side note, when I was in college and for a short while post college, I struggled with an eating disorder. I am now 34 years old and a mom of 2 young children and have not had those feelings in over 10 years. If I had blogs like these to read when I was struggling, I can honestly say that they would have HELPED me NOT hurt me. I didn't have anyone in my life at the time to teach me about healthy food and exercise. These girls are real people and totally relatable. When I read their blogs I see balance, not extremes. They are enjoying life and taking good care of their bodies at the same time! Shame on you Marie Claire and Katie Drummond for trying to shed a negative light on something that couldn't be farther from negative. Let's be real...the models used in your advertisements are more than likely not living the healthiest lifestyles. Don't knock down "normal" girls who are just doing their thing and living their best lives and are generous to share it with those that want to listen and learn.
Posted by: sb383506
I'm honestly still trying to figure out my stance on this article, seeing as how I am not familiar with most of these blogs, but considering how much dialogue this article has sparked, it looks like the author did something right.
Posted by: mrs_coffee
I see you've angered the minions. You should know better than to print something negative about these women. If you've read their blogs then you know how self-important and self-absorbed they are. They revel in the blind worship of their followers. I have a few healthy living blogs that I read, but none of the "Big Six" are among them. I prefer people with a healthy attitude toward food and exercise. People who don't feel guilty for eating a cookie or some french fries. The defensiveness of the people in question (and their followers) speaks for itself, IMO.
Have to agree
Posted by: koerner77
While I do think that the article was somewhat mean spirited, there was a lot of truth in it. I used to be a faithful reader of all the mentioned blogs, and I had to stop for my own health and sanity. The blog authors may or may not have disordered eating/ exercise, but I think there is an unhealthy focus on food. As someone who has recovered from an eating disorder reading these blogs made me question myself and begin to obsess. I think that we would all do better to focus on living our own best lives rather than reading about and vicariously experiencing another person's.
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@32down15togo: I am angry at the woman who wrote the @marieclaire article. I'm still trying to understand her perspective. I don't see what she sees.
@AprilBRuns: Good analysis RT @BlogHer What do you think about the @MarieClaire article?
@dorrybird: Is the @MarieClaire article online? I feel outraged and I haven't even read it yet! RT
@lilmissjen: can't say i 100% disagree with this. RT @marieclaire Are some health bloggers putting their readers at risk? http://ow.ly/2O8CL #fitblo
@AVeryMegGirl : I am hurt by what @marieclaire said, it brought up many feelings I haven't felt in a long time
@JanetHelm: A must read! RT @WeightChica: Are some health bloggers putting their readers at risk? http://ow.ly/2O8CL @marieclaire
@dferrari: Note to @MarieClaire: Don't mess with the healthy living blog community http://bit.ly/99XZ4e
@WeightChica: Excelente article increasing awareness about serious flaws in some *healthy* living approaches! Gracias! @marieclaire @katiedrumm
@bonjourbecky: Just read the @marieclaire article attacking fitness bloggers. I disagree, nothing but positivity comes from them, they're a inspiration
@SNE_Tweets:: Health bloggers putting readers at risk? Every1 is talking: http://ow.ly/2O8CL (via @marieclaire) <- Sad that HEALTHY isn't healthy anymore.
@MamaMangia: As both a journalist AND a devout reader of many "healthy living" blogs, I find @marieclaire 's "Hunger Diaries" article simply atrocious.
@donna_de: Dip your toe into the "healthy living blog" world, it can be eye opening, such as @marieclaire article http://bit.ly/a03CF4 and reactions...
@VoiceinRecovery: I dont judge how people seek health. I Do NOT jump 2 conclusions on disordered behavior. I am not a professional. Neither is @marieclaire
I thought it was an insightful article. I've never realized before the bad advise we are getting from amateur journalists. Thanks for taking care of us Marie Claire! We need more sincere press!
Sarah K. Norris
Regardless of the valid concerns it raises (talking about fitness and health at length can be harmful to those in ED recovery) attempting to diagnose women with eating or exercise disorders via their blogs is completely irresponsible and disrespectful to women actually struggling with ED. If I eat a salad for lunch today, will someone think I engage in disordered thinking? Will on-lookers attempt to count my calories and determine if they're appropriate for my height, weight and activity level? As a health & fitness journo, I really find 'The Hunger Diaries' appalling in this regard, not to mention dangerous.
I don't understand why so many women are so extreme with their diet and exercise. I personally am a bigger woman, but I learned after years of dieting, its all about maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle. Unless you want to be a slave to all sorts of diets the rest of your life, you have to develop a plan for your...self that you can do for a lifetime. After adopting this attitude, I have lost weight, but more importantly, I feel great! It may not be the fastest road to weight loss, but losing the pounds too fast could wreak havoc on your body anyway...and why anyone would want to do that is beyond me. And one last thing, regarding the "food sabatoge", its seems to me it would be more logical to keep certain foods out of your home...I began doing that not only for myself, but it has meant that my children automatically reach for healthy snacks, and thats a great moment for any mom!
I don't regularly read MC nor have I read these particular 6 blogs prior to reading this article. Since reading the article, I have skimmed the 6 blogs and they are no different than the "healthy living" blogs I do read on a regular basis. I don't understand why bloggers have any social responsibility at all. They are, in essence, people just writing about stuff. They don't claim to be experts. They just claim to be living their lives. MC seems to be thinking they are doing the community a favor by taking creative license to expose something, but what? That these women are not perfect? Who is? To say they shouldn't be role models or to insinuate they have eating disorders is ridiculous and unfounded. What was the point of this article? It surely missed its mark. How sad.
i really, really don't think any of the bloggers you mentioned are anorexic. however, there is an issue at hand. it needs to be discussed. i personally have become a bit obsessed with food because of these blogs. however, i am not blaming them. yet i realize they have that potential. there are some blogs written by peo...ple with truly warped relationship with food. what can we do to help this?
I really liked your Hunger Diaries article. It highlighted concerns on some of the bloggers' extreme behaviour, without slandering them, as one person below had suggested.
MC, I am OUTRAGED by "The Hunger Diaries" article. Not only did you portray these bloggers in such an untrue light, but where does a magazine that features models and actresses who have or had eating disorders have any place to talk on the issue of health. I see Katie Holmes on the cover and she's ran a marathon. Plus,... she's thin. Did you call her emaciated or say she had an exercise disorder?
The worst part about the article in my opinion is that so much was taken out of context. As a longtime reader of several of these blogs, especially Caitlin Boyle's blog, Healthy Tipping Point, I feel like I literally know these girls. On lung runs, I know Caitlin always has a pre-run PB and banana sandwich, comes home has a big lunch, takes a nap and then has a large dinner. It's obvious this girl does not have a disorder. She's inspired countless girls to feel comfortable in their own skin through her Operation Beautiful blog and continues to inspire on a daily basis.
Those "healthy living blogs" are CREEPY and they aren't even really living if they are chained to their computer documenting every morsel that reaches their mouth!! Way to go Katie Drummond! Who needs blogs where someone drinks "mocktails" anyways!!? Lame-os!
MacKenzie Parker Thorman
Surely I am not the only one who sees such a hypocritical aura surrounding Marie Clarie and Drummond's article. How can you publish an article that bashes these 6 wonderful women for putting themselves out there, blogging about how they got healthy, and helping tons of other women lead healthier lifestyles? The women on the covers of your magazines get "healthy" by having a personal chef, a personal trainer, AND you still feel the need to airbrush away all the "imperfections". I hope your magazine goes down in flames for the way you are treating your (former) fans. PS-Yes, this post was written in anger, deservedly so.
I completely agree with fellow reader & blogger Ashley Gurbal (below). I think the article, while a bit out of place in a fashion magazine with super skinny models, is important and has started a great discussion. The author of the article does not need to be fire, that is absolutely ridiculous. She was doing her job. ...I too used to read most of the blogs mentioned in the article and became alarmed by their obviously unhealthy models of "healthy" living. They set impossible standards and when I tried to imitate their habits, I got an injury and was vastly under-eating. I stand by Marie Claire in their publication of the article "The Hunger Diaries" and I think a lot of people are overreacting.
As a newbie healthy living blogger, I was disappointed and offended by your "Hunger Diaries" article. The reporter apparently researched and followed these bloggers (some of whom influenced me to start my own blog) for the better part of a year, yet somehow her representation of their content is completely inaccurate. ...These bloggers eat. They eat real, nutritious foods, but certainly don't shy away from the occasional treat. I would not read them if this were not so. I also do not appreciate the way the "Big 6" (I've never heard anyone in the community use this term by the way) readers are portrayed in the article. We are not silly girls blinding following the examples of a few no matter what they do. I'm not training for a marathon like Caitlin, but I sure as hell admire her for it and I completely relate to her passion for running. Training for endurance races does not automatically make you exercise-obsessed and to make that assumption is ridiculous.
I wanted to let you know how much I appreciated "The Hunger Diaries." I used to read several of the blogs mentioned but gradually stopped as the disordered eating patterns became more evident and each post became more narcissistic than the last. My subscription runs out in June 2011, but rest assured, I'll be renewing.
Marianne Andrea Husøy
I think a lot of the outrage on the issue comes because a lot of people (myself included) read or follow one or several of the healthy living blogs that were mentioned. With the way the article was angled, I think a lot of people took it personally, because they felt like people they admire were portrayed in a very unfair manner.
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