Magazines warned over fad diets

Magazine editors have been asked not to promote New Year miracle diets because they pose a "health risk" by a junior Lib Dem minister. Equalities minister Jo Swinson suggested they "celebrate the beauty of diversity in body shape and size."

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Swinson's letter to magazine editors

Jo Swinson's letter to magazine editors reads:

Dear Editors,

Every January readers are treated to articles reminding them that they have overindulged during the end-of-year festivities and must resolve to lose their holiday weight.

I am sure that you want to promote a healthy lifestyle for your readers but at this time of year in particular far too much magazine coverage tends to focus on irresponsible, short term solutions and encourages readers to jump on fad diet bandwagons.

As editors you owe more to your readers than the reckless promotion of unhealthy solutions to losing weight.

If your aim is to give practical, sensible advice about losing weight – and not how to drop a stone in five days – you should encourage reasonable expectations, instead of dangerous ones, along with exercise and healthy eating.

So may I suggest a New Year’s resolution for 2013? Shed the fad diets and fitness myths on your pages and instead celebrate the beauty of diversity in body shape, skin colour, size and age.

I think your readers will appreciate it.

– Jo Swinson, Women and Equalities Minister

Minister warns magazines over New Year 'miracle diets'

Jo Swinson pictured addressing the Lib Dem annual conference in Brighton this year. Credit: PA

Women and Equalities Minister Jo Swinson has urged magazine editors not to promote "miracle diets" in January after the Christmas season.

The Liberal Democrat MP has written an open letter to women's, men's, health, celebrity and gossip magazines appealing for them to "shed the fad diets and fitness myths" in their new year editions.

“Surely by now we’re all aware that there are no miracle diets, or if there are they come with a cost," she said.

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