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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Women and Healthy Eating....

I was asked to day about a topic that many people alwyas ask me about- How do I think the media and women's magazines are affecting women's eating disorders..I am going t oshare some of my answers with you here..Eat healthy and you will have a wealth of health....
Even though we seem to have recognized that there is a problem with the media encouraging women and younger and younger women eating disorders and claim to be toning down magazine content and using not emaciated models,, there is still extremely mixed messages.
There is also an extreme difference between just staying healthy and eating healthy and eating to stay in shape and healthy and starving yourself to lose weight. We have grown to think that starving to lose weight is also a way to eat to stay healthy and fit. But the two have nothing in common. However, women’s’ magazines seem to play upon this- and- in one article tell us about taking the right amount of vitamins and minerals and in the next two pages may be giving us a way to lose 10 pounds in a week ( a sure way to deplete your body of vitamins and minerals). And then the next page could be a double chocolate brownie that most women will eat and then feel guilty. The worst part is that most will eat a miniscule amount of calories the next day to punish themselves for eating that brownie. .

However, what the magazines need to do is to connect these topics in a healthy way. For instance if you eat in moderation you can have a small piece of double chocolate brownie and still stay healthy and happy and in shape. You won’t feel so deprived that you are going to gobble down the first chocolate brownie that comes your way.
We should not be made to feel guilty for eating that small piece of brownie. So even though there are stories about losing weight and then a heavy recipe in the same issue, they are still sending mixed messages.

We are definitely sending the wrong message and trying to provide a quick panacea that will sell magazines. But there is never a quick fix without repercussions. Losing a lot of weight in short periods of time is a sure way to make you unhealthy.

I have noticed some magazines like Prevention using ‘real looking models’ in their recent issues-that is refreshing!
People need to get in touch with food and learn about it and not abuse it. We need more articles on how to ‘know’ food and not just dump a bunch of ingredients in a bowl or open up a vacuum sealed pack and call that a meal.

Many European countries are trying to spread positive messages to young women. In Spain, they banned overly thin models from participating in Fashion Week.
In Italy, eating disorders are a growing problem, they are organizing initiatives to promote healthy eating .One recent program during fashion week in Milan was a cook off with fashion models presenting cooking classes of gourmet Italian foods. The press is trying to begin to send messages to the public to equate food with staying healthy and eating healthy.

If you want any more on this topic just send me an email, I would love to hearthoughts and ideaso nthis topic form all of you out there. You can email me at

Modeling and living in Europe for some time led to my interest and studying of nutrition and the culinary arts. I got caught up in the unhealthy eating practices so common in the modeling industry and was not feeling so healthy. At the same time I was also learning the real Itlain way fo eating . Spending some time in Italy while modeling there I began to also study the culinary arts and eventually coupled that with my education in nutrition. I then began to eat healthy, stay active, eat more than what I was normally eating but I was not gaining weight and feeling better. It is the Mediterranean diet..all things in moderation…pasta, freshly made cheese, fresh breads, fish, fruits, nuts, veggies, olive oil, wine and an occasional gelato. I could not believe that I was actually eating the most luscious food in the world and still eating healthy, staying fit and not gaining weight.

Ciao for now..Maria

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