Our society’s obsession with thinness has led its victims down rabbit hole after terrifying rabbit hole. From chugging vinegar and ripping cigs to sucking down tapeworms, diet culture demands that we punish our bodies in the pursuit of weight loss. (It’s almost as if thinness doesn’t necessarily equate to health. Hmm!)
Along the way, wellness charlatans have used tenuous research to demonize entire food groups. We’ll call these “diet boogeymen”—foods like bread, eggs, and tomatoes. They all have one thing in common: they’ve been the enemy of a popular diet at one point or another. We’ve been told these foods are “bad,” a designation that implies anyone who eats them is, by extension, a bad person.
We’re here to argue that there are no“bad” foods. There’s just... food. In that spirit, let’s review some of the most unfairly maligned diet boogeymen of the last few decades.