- Story Highlights
- Eating Disorders: Commercials which promote obsessive thoughts about diet can trigger disordered eating.
Yoplait Yanks Eating Disorder Promoting Commercial
After hearing complaints from the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), Yoplait Yogurt has decided to cancel a commercial that normalized the obsessive thoughts and behaviors inherent in eating disorders.
In the commercial, a slim woman stands in front of an open refrigerator, looking longingly at a slice of cheesecake and negotiates with herself about whether she should eat it and on how bug a slice she ‘deserves’, saying:
”What if I just had a small slice…I was good today, I deserve it. Or, I could have a medium slice and some celery sticks and they would cancel each other out, right? Or I could have one large slice and jog in place as I eat it…”
The internal bargaining ends when another, slimmer, woman comes to the fridge and grabs a Yoplait light – and the two talk about how skinny the Yoplait drinker has become.
According to the National Eating Disorders Association, commercials like these normalize the types of unhealthy internal monologues and obsessions that people with eating disorders strive to overcome on a daily basis.
Jenni Schaefer, a fully recovered eating disorders survivor and eating disorders author, says she was shocked when she saw the commercial, saying, "they really nailed it on the head--that's exactly what I thought every time I opened a refrigerator door. When you live with an eating disorder, you divide all foods into "good" and "bad" categories, like the yogurt versus the cheesecake. Pretty soon everything moves into the bad category."
A spokesperson for Yoplait commented on the controversial ad spot, saying, "We had no idea…We aren't sure that everyone saw the ad that way, but if anyone did, that was not our intent and is cause for concern. We thought it best to take it down."