Morning!  The Husband and I worked really late at the clinic, so I took the night off and shopped online for a new backsplash.   And today, we got up early to deal with some closing issues.  We have a meeting with the bank and another inspection.  Whew.  Buying a house involves a lot more than just picking one out, that’s for sure.


I thought Friday morning would be a good time for a friendly little debate, don’t you think?  Here are some other Great Debates on Healthy Tipping Point (some serious and some not-so-serious): 



Yoplait was recently attacked by the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) for this ad, which features a woman ‘internally debating’ whether she can have a slice of cheesecake and then opting for Yoplait yogurt.  (Warning: may be triggering if you have a history of eating disorders!)



Her debate includes wondering if she could have the cheesecake slice if she ate it “while jogging in place” or if she had a small piece “and eight slices of celery.”


After NEDA pointed out that this glorifies distorted attitudes towards food and validates disordered thinking as normal, Yoplait pulled the ad and apologized.


Personally, I HATE Yoplait and Kellogg Special K ads because they play on woman’s fears that they aren’t good enough unless they are skinny.  I also think ads like this reinforce the idea that good girls don’t eat dessert, or you have to bargain with yourself before you eat a dessert. 


Did you know that women have 13 negative body image thoughts per day ON AVERAGE?  The last thing we need is companies like Yoplait trying to make us feel bad so we are compelled to buy their product.


I realize that making healthy choices involves occasionally eating dessert in moderation or straight-out opting for the healthier choice, but if someone really wants a slice of cheesecake, they should just eat the slice of cheesecake!  Not beat themselves up over it.  In the past, whenever I really berated myself for food choices, it only made me feel worse and more likely to make not-so-healthy choices (like Fat Talking or overeating).


One of the topics that I regularly address during Operation Beautiful presentations is Photoshopping. 


There is a lot of statistical evidence that reading fashion magazines makes girls feel badly about themselves (70% feel worse after reading), and 2/3 of teenagers say their ideal body type is a model or celebrity’s (which are nearly all underweight according to their BMI number). 


I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of the media and businesses making me feel bad so I buy their products.  I hate these stereotypical messages about women and ‘indulging.’  I hate the message that women need to debate and bargain with themselves before simply enjoying food.  Food is wonderful.  It’s not suppose to be a source of torture.  These commercials imply that it’s totally normal to be tortured over food. 


By the way – Yoplait yogurt is essentially junk food that is rammed with artificial ingredients, including multiple artificial sweeteners.  Personally, I find the portrayal of Yoplait as the ‘healthier alternative’ to be laughable.  If you want a yummy yogurt that will actually make you healthier and keep you fuller for longer, try Chobani, Stonyfield (the non-Greek version is closer in price to Yoplait), Fage, or Oikos.


So here’s the debate: Did NEDA overreact to the Yoplait ad?  If you have an ED, do you think ads like this are triggering?  If you don’t, do ads like this make you feel bad or do you just ignore the messages?



  • Jenn @ LiveWellFitNow June 17, 2011, 7:49 am

    I’ve seen this Yoplait add a few times and I continued to have a multiple reactions…

    From someone who has struggled with disordered eating and an eating disorder in highschool/college, I immediately thought- this could be triggering for someone out there who is knee deep in their struggle. From that place, I was pissed that Yoplait would mock what happens to sadly be a common frame of mind for many women.

    Yet another part of me said- well, I know so many women out there who think they are the only ones in the world who have those types of thoughts. Disordered eating and body image struggles are often very lonely. So maybe seeing this ad one woman might say- so maybe I’m not alone in this?

    Then I got mad all over again because regardless of who gleams anything valuable from this ad, the root issue here is our society is positively warped! The media, magazines, photoshopping, articles on losing 10 pounds in 10 seconds…all of it creates a subnormal that no one can ever reach.

    No wonder we don’t know how to nourish and truly care for out bodies. Commercials remind us all day long! The media reminds us all day long.

    So, to bring my ramble to a close: I absolutely think Yoplait was right to have removed this ad. Though some may have found it funny, I think it is a very sad demonstration of what “normal” is for many men and women out there.

    And I could not agree with you more- Yoplait yogurt is crap food. 😉

  • erin June 17, 2011, 7:50 am

    hey caitlin! hmm that’s really interesting, i’ve never thought of the commercial like that before. thinking about it now it does make sense. i am currently in recovery for an eating disorder and i used to bargain with myself before i ate. though i have never thought of these commercials as anything more than just commercials, i see how they could be triggering and alter women’s thoughts on how they’re “supposed to” handle desserts.

  • Meghan June 17, 2011, 7:54 am

    No I don’t think they over reacted and I am SO glad they pulled the ad. Lately I’ve seen a lot of ads that are ‘in the minds of eating disorders’ and they are incredibly triggering. Truth be told I did think that’s what “normal” women thought when they looked at dessert, that they restricted for the rest of the day or justified eating it. It’s ridiculous that our culture is so diet obsessed it’s no wonder eating disorders and disordered eating is so rampant. I hear diet talk and fat talk everywhere- work, school, tv.

    And your right yoplait yogurt is disgusting. It’s like 3rd ingredient is HFCS which is bad for you right??? I’m pretty sure I read that too.

    It’s so hard to stay healthy in a culture that is unhealthy and triggering. I don’t watch that much tv (no cable 🙂 ) but I do see ads on hulu, and I’m glad that the NEDA is standing up to the media.

  • Baking 'n' Books June 17, 2011, 7:55 am

    I’ve seen that commercial yes. I thought about that – but then I went on with my day. It does seem over-reacting a bit. BUT yeah, I’m just sick of the media period. Period. There is so much I could say/write here – but I don’t have the energy and it would be a book (hey a book idea! 😉 ) – but I just get tired of even thinking about it. Yes, it’s led to my own binging/over-eating on crap foods (like last night) and trying to deal with that today feeling like crap makes seeing these images even more difficult. Contributes to my poor self-esteem.

  • Errign June 17, 2011, 7:57 am

    I’ve seen that commercial before & before reading this post, I’ve just watched it and said “well that was a stupid commercial for a product that I’ll never buy anyways”, but you do have a point! I don’t like that society/media tells women when they can or can’t have dessert, or that they’ll be fat or bad people for eating dessert, or that YOGURT is dessert. I’d much rather have an un-chemically sweetened large chunk of chocolate cake than 100 measly calories of petri dish, myself.

  • Jamie June 17, 2011, 8:01 am

    As someone who has had distorted eating before, I can definitely see how that commercial would be a trigger. I’m glad that the commercial was taken down! While most of us realize and accept that there is photoshopping and airbrushing, it drives me crazy that we just accept these beautiful women (and men!) being changed because all their hard work isn’t good enough.

  • Kristyn June 17, 2011, 8:04 am

    NEDA definitely did not over react in my opinion….when I first saw that ad, I was like seriously, Yoplait? And just zoned out while it continued to play. It’s ridiculous to put that message on tv…everyone can have dessert! And no one should have to debate that based on celery sticks or jogging in place. It puts a negative attitude out there, on top of the negative feelings some girls might already have about themselves. Way to go, Yoplait. Plus, you’re right, the ingredient list is GARBAGE. It’s people like them and Special K with those “challenges” to lose weight that continue to put fat talk on the map in our society. Great post, Caitlin!

  • Lara June 17, 2011, 8:06 am

    I definitely think the ad capitalizes on disordered eating, and could possibly be triggering. But I don’t think it’s anywhere near the worst commercial I’ve seen in this regard, so it’s kind of silly to me that this ad is being pulled but somehow all the others like it are okay!

  • Molly @ RDexposed June 17, 2011, 8:07 am

    I agree with you! We need to focus on the celebration and joyfulness (actual word?) of eating! Let’s skip eating things with artificial sweeteners and truely satisfy ourselves with something natural!

    Also, say no to calorie counting! It’s such a mind game!

  • Tashia June 17, 2011, 8:12 am

    I’m actually so glad that they said something. I remember when I first saw that commerical it made me so angry. As a person that has struggled with an ED, it frustrates me that large companies seem to push this idea that disordered thinking about food is ok or that happiness comes from being skinny. Props to NEDA for standing up and letting them know that this is not OK.

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey June 17, 2011, 8:15 am

    I am totally with you on this one. I’m actually kind of appalled by this commercial. Media has such an effect on women, and when young girls start noticing commercials like this, it can lead to disordered thoughts. Is cheesecake “bad”? Absolutely not. There’s no “good” or “bad” foods out there. I think though they definitely portrayed what really does go on in the mind of a disordered eater, even if they didn’t mean to portray an ED. Great great post.

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat June 17, 2011, 8:16 am

    I’m with you on disliking these ads. I don’t have an ED, but I don’t like the way they make you feel like you shouldn’t eat something, or need to burn it off. Special K is the one that grinds my gears the most, but I think all of the companies that use these ads need to consider that they’re not making their target audience feel good – they’re making them feel guilty for indulging in treats that they enjoy and there’s no need for that!

    • kristin June 17, 2011, 11:22 am

      Special K really pissed me off- showing healthy sized women on the commercials needing to “lose weight”. I remember when I was a teen I went on the “special K diet” when I didn’t need to lose weight. Instead of these rediculous commercials modeling unhealthy attitudes they need to show healthy women eating REAL food not this packaged articial crap like special K or yolplait.

  • Khushboo June 17, 2011, 8:16 am

    Like u, I agree about these ads- they are a bit nuts! One slice of cheesecake is not going to break the scales! However I do think NEDA took it too far! Although I’m not a fan of artificially sweetened yogurts myself, I think Yoplait made as best of an ad as it could based on its product! I don’t mind eating higher-calorie yogurts if they are more wholesome BUT I wasn’t always like that! So for people who are in that same mindset as I used to have, Yoplait does have the appeal as being a lower-calorie alternative. So in their defense, why not capitalize on that!

  • Ellen @ Undercover Runner Eats June 17, 2011, 8:16 am

    I have/had anorexia and, watching that commercial, an eating disorder seriously never even crossed my mind.
    I know that yogurt commercials are marketed toward women, and most women in the US are dieting or want to lose weight, so I understand at least the motive that Yoplait had in designing their commercial, but I think that banning it is a little extreme.

  • Kristen June 17, 2011, 8:17 am

    Definitely overreacted. People are way too sensitive. To me, and someone who lost 70 pounds and kept it off for 2 years, the ad points to self control and trades people need to make when they eat junk food. Every day people need to make healthy decisions and if every day you go with the cheesecake, it adds up.

    • Lucy June 17, 2011, 9:56 am

      I agree 100% with you! When you’re on the “always been and always will be” overweight path, you DO have to make these kinda choices.

      I lost 110 lbs, and I did not eat cheesecake while doing it. I understand that the girl in the ad doesn’t need to lose weight, but at some point, if you want to make healthier decision, you have to make some sacrifices.

    • ashley @ cooking for john June 17, 2011, 10:37 am

      i agree with you kristin, it is all about moderation, and you do need a certain level of self control. however, the yoplait is not a healthier alternative!

      since i’m assuming neither have us have suffered from an ED, it’s hard for us to really relate. i can definitely see how this ad would act as a trigger for someone with an ED and am glad they pulled it. 🙂

    • Sarah for Real June 17, 2011, 11:01 am

      I appreciate your perspective a lot Kristen. I agree people can be WAY too sensitive in general. I also think these ads are preying on women who are not as sensitive and analytical about food and commercial messages.

      I don’t think the ad people sat down and said, “oh this is something lots of women do so let’s put it in an ad because it’s cute.”

      I think it’s more like Caitlin suggested, that it was done with malice, meant to make women feel that Yoplait is the only answer to their constant failure to have the perfect body. The ad people’s goal is to make you see a need for their product, this time it’s at the expense of our self-esteem.

      And Caitlin, I totally agree about Yoplait being garbage. But I want to add Greek Gods yogurt to your list! It’s my favorite 🙂

      • Natalie June 17, 2011, 12:33 pm

        I’ve never worked in marketing & I’m guessing most of us reading this haven’t either. I like to believe that most people are good, honest people. I don’t think that the marketers sat down & decided they wanted to hurt women. If that was the case I don’t think they would’ve taken down the ad so quickly or apologized. Of course they wanted to make yoplait your 1st choice. It’s their job to sell yogurt. If they don’t do an effective job, they’re out of a job. Most of them are just trying to take care of their families.

        I can see how people might have this be a trigger for an eating disorder, that’s why I don’t think it was an over reaction for them to remove the ad.

        On the other hand we can’t say it’s healthy for her to always just eat the cheesecake that’s in the office fridge. One slice isn’t going to brake the scale but say that that she works in a large office. One that has treats (from birthdays, retirements etc) every. single. day. Are we saying she shouldn’t feel guilty if she eats a piece of cake every time she sees one? That will make a difference on the scale & her health. There needs to be a certain amount of self control.

        I think they may have taken the theme of self control too far but don’t all commercials do that?

        • Sarah for Real June 17, 2011, 12:54 pm

          You’re right Natalie, maybe I went too far using the word “malicious”. I think the individual employees are just doing their jobs and probably don’t wake up every morning thinking of new ways to sneakily abuse the female population.

          However I can’t look at the Big Food companies as a whole and not think of them as malicious. They take the cheapest government subsidized crap they can find, lobby to keep it government subsidized and endorsed (that’s how dairy circle ended up on the new government dietary suggestions plate), and then try to market it to us as “food” (and not just food in this case, but “health” food no less) just to increase their bottom line.

          They are giant companies for a reason, and it’s not because they are producing truthful, cute advertising.

          I think they removed the ad because their PR people decided it was the best thing for the company’s bottom line.

  • Kate June 17, 2011, 8:18 am

    I knew celebrities were photoshopped, but wow. After seeing the picture of Kim Kardashian I googled other celebrities…they’re all like that! I really thought these celebrities were THAT gorgeous! I guess I was a bit naive… I feel a lot better about the way I look now!

    Regarding the Yoplait commercial…I don’t have an eating disorder, but that commercial is exactly how I feel EVERY day. So, I found it pretty funny and something I can relate to! I think it’s more about making healthy decisions rather than being skinny. Let’s face it, yogurt will always be more healthy than cheesecake!

  • Julia June 17, 2011, 8:21 am

    Caitlin – I love this post. While I don’t think that this commercial should be banned from being aired, I do think it’s wise that Yoplait took the commercial off. It gives me hope that the NEDA brought the issue to attention, but makes me wonder why many other negative body image commercials are still present. I think it’s a great idea to show healthy alternatives to unhealthy foods, but should not be done in a way that makes a person feel less about themselves if they do not choose the healthy option. Thanks for bringing this to attention! It should be an interesting debate.

  • michelle June 17, 2011, 8:22 am

    13 negative body image thoughts per day? That’s it. That’s a good day for me. How sad is that?

    I no longer read magazines (except for Runners World), especially “health” magazines because of how I end up feeling afterwards.

  • Monika June 17, 2011, 8:24 am

    As someone who has struggled with anorexia throughout high school, that kind of ad would be very triggering to someone who is struggling. It is disgusting that companies can run campaigns like that knowing the problem of eating disorders in this country.

  • Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me June 17, 2011, 8:25 am

    Media drives me crazy in general. Everything is photoshopped and you can’t believe anything you see in magazines. And think about these impressionable younger kids. Girls want to be just like these “perfect” celebrities and boys think women should look like that. It puts SO much pressure on women. Pressure that I certainly feel at times, as I’m sure most women do. It is so frustrating!

    • Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me June 17, 2011, 8:28 am

      I also can’t even read Cosmo anymore. If I have to read one more article about how to “please my man” I’m going to scream! Why do women have to live for that crap? But that’s a whole different debate haha!

      • Casey June 17, 2011, 8:41 am

        I got a subscription to SHAPE because it was ridiculously cheap, and now I know why. It has the same friggin’ articles in every issue! Taking a 15 minute walk during your work day will boost your energy, get annual check-ups, and eat your whole grains, fruits and veggies. Uhhhh, yeah, I already knew that stuff! I definitely won’t be re-subscribing!

      • Katherine June 17, 2011, 10:05 am

        hahah your man’s 10 new erogenous zones you didn’t know existed!

        • Casey June 17, 2011, 12:04 pm

          ummm we knew they existed because you told us last month!!

      • Julia June 17, 2011, 1:09 pm

        theres a comedian jessi klein who did a funny stand up re: the same complaint about cosmo…i just have to share:

        ““What I love about Cosmo is that it is a magazine that is pretending to be your best friend, but Cosmo hates you. So much. Cosmo just wants to undermine you, and make you insecure. Like, two real stories from the cover of Cosmo recently, one of them was how to drive a man wild in under 60 seconds. I’m just like, when would I ever need to do that? When would I ever be in that kind of a rush? Am I at a tollbooth? It just makes me have this fantasy, of me being the editor of Cosmo, where I can take over, and rip away the veil of friendship and just go right at the hate. Don’t hide it any more, so we can just run stories that are like “Are you pointless?” You know, or like ”Is your soul fat?” “How to lose the last five pounds of your soul.”

  • Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga June 17, 2011, 8:25 am

    I’ve seen this discussed on a few other blogs already and for me personally, I just tune these kind of things out. It’s like really? Are you kidding me? It’s so ridiculous to me that I just tune it out, move on, next.

    But I am an adult woman with a healthy relationship with food. If I was 13 or coming out of recovery, not sure I could be so move-on and dismissive about it all.

    If we are going to expect that commercials like that get banned, then I think the print ads in most women’s magazines from fashion to fitness mags are then susceptible to “outcry” and people wanting those pulled, too. I think some print ads are FAR worse and more triggering than this one, but that’s just me.

    No matter what happened, or what should have happened, it’s a great debate and things to ponder.

    • CaitlinHTP June 17, 2011, 8:28 am

      **Like** the first two paragraphs of this comment

    • CaitlinHTP June 17, 2011, 8:28 am

      **Like** the first two paragraphs of this comment

  • Cara June 17, 2011, 8:26 am

    I don’t think NEDA overreacted on bit. I think that many womens idea of healthy eating is already so skewed and I hate how Special K and Yoplait skew it even more by making people out to be ‘bad’ if they have dessert. Dessert is a part of healthy diet, obviously sometimes you need to make the healthy choice, but if you really want dessert have it. From experience, you will just end up wishing you had it anyway, no yogurt can take the place of a creamy slice of cheesecake.

    I have previously struggled with an eating disorder and while I don’t find it triggering I can see how some may. It all around just promotes unhealthy habits and mind sets, which is what I have a problem with.

  • Staci June 17, 2011, 8:28 am

    As someone who certainly struggles with body image issues, I really, really appreciate your post. To be honest, I don’t think the ad would have played any mind games with me. I’m pretty de-sensitized to what food manufacturers are trying to imply with their products but, to the contrary, I think the ad could trigger a negative emotion for others.

    I totally agree, too, that Yoplait is crap. I’m a Fage gal myself.

  • Katy (The Singing Runner) June 17, 2011, 8:35 am

    I actually wrote my own response to this ad in my post last night (and I also titled it the same. ;)) I don’t want to “link bomb” your post here, but I went into more depth with my argument on my blog than what I am going to respond here:

    As someone who has suffered from disordered eating patterns in the past, I personally didn’t find the ad “triggering”, but I found that I could relate to the woman in the ad. The internal monologue is all too real for me- I remember those days. However, I can see how the ad can be triggering.

    I don’t think NEDA overreacted- I think that they took action and I commend Yoplait on taking ownership by pulling the ad. BUT there is work still to be done. This is only one ad among thousands that promote the need to be “skinny” or anything of the sort. Have you seen the TJ Maxx commercial where the girl says, “I get this season’s designer clothes, that I absolutely need, and I still get to eat.” Really? That ad actually made me more upset and rubbed me the wrong way more so than the Yoplait ad.

    • CaitlinHTP June 17, 2011, 8:37 am

      It’s cool to link bomb!

      If you want to check out Katie’s post on the same topic, here it is:

      • CaitlinHTP June 17, 2011, 8:38 am

        Funny we titled it the same!

    • Amy June 17, 2011, 8:56 am

      I think the “I still get to eat” comment meant more … “I can still afford groceries”. 🙂

      • Marisa E June 17, 2011, 9:14 am


      • Katy (The Singing Runner) June 17, 2011, 10:02 am

        I agree that is what it meant, but when I first saw the commercial, I didn’t see it that way. But maybe I’m just dense. 😉

  • Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life) June 17, 2011, 8:36 am

    I really struggle with these kind of topics. I hate that there are so many messages out there made to make woman feel bad about themselves. I am a true believer in your Operation Beautiful message and think it’s sad that so many women are effected by negative marketing.

    However, (stop reading here if you’re sensitive) not necessarily in the yogurt commercial case, but sometimes I feel like society is over sensitive. I feel like people want governmental control to regulate everything so no one gets hurt feelings. Sometimes I wish people would grow more of a backbone and not get upset over every message they find slightly insulting.

    I don’t mean for that to sound harsh, but I just think we need a balance of personal responsibility AND responsible companies and advertising.

    • Emily June 17, 2011, 10:04 am

      Just to clarify, it’s my understanding that Yoplait themselves pulled the ad in response to the criticism from the NEDA. No one pulled the ad on their behalf.

    • Christena June 17, 2011, 2:34 pm

      I do think society is over-sensitive about many things. But in my mind, these adds are just plain irresponsible and deceitful because Special K & Yoplait make JUNK FOOD. Their food is fake, not good for you, but they are promoting it as “health food.”

  • Miranda @ Working Mom Works Out June 17, 2011, 8:37 am

    I saw the ad last night after I saw your tweet yesterday about it. Sad fact: I had never really thought about it before. We see so many ads like that on a daily basis. I think I’m immune, or I’m used to media treating women like stupid idiots that can’t make smart decisions on their own. I hate it.

    My brother was over last night and we were watching MSNBC. He hates TV and commercials. Every time a commercial came on, he would say to the TV, “But what are you trying to sell me??!” A lot of times commercials aren’t clear as to what they’re selling first. They want to establish a certain feeling in you and then BAM – here’s the product you need to continue feeling this way.

    The Yoplait commercial is selling their CRAP yogurt and selling their idea about weight management that continues to make us feel like crap. So we’ll keep buying their crap.

  • Sarah June 17, 2011, 8:38 am

    The sad part is younger girls see commercials like this a lot…if it’s not for Yoplait, it’s for Special K, diet soda, “quick fix” diet supplements, or (in this part of Florida at least) cosmetic surgery centers. I work with sixth grade girls every day and without fail, they ALL internalize and believe these messages. It takes a lot of work to re-train them to see themselves as healthy, beautiful girls, and even then, I’m not always confident how long my efforts with them will stick when they go home and watch TV and see things like this.

    As a society, are we really comfortable with putting these types of ideas in girls’ minds–that being a woman means having conflict about food? Do we want to normalize this kind of internal debate and guilt? That “you’ve lost weight” is a compliment?

    The worst part of this ad is that both women are at a healthy weight. The message that it sends is that women need to be hyper-vigilant about our eating choices even if we ARE at a healthy weight. There’s no freedom in that.

    • CaitlinHTP June 17, 2011, 8:39 am

      I 1000000000000000% agree with this comment. Perfectly stated.

      • Sarah June 17, 2011, 8:40 am

        I figured you would 🙂 I love your passion for these topics, Caitlin, and I can’t WAIT for the OB tween book! I hope there is a bulk order option because I am buying some for my students!

    • Amy June 17, 2011, 8:59 am


  • Kelly June 17, 2011, 8:38 am

    I am actually MORE bothered by Special K Ads than I am by this specific one. I hate how Special K claims you can lose weight by eating cereal or lunch, dinner, one snack and then dinner. Well dud..two bowls of cereal and one snack is around 500 calories. If I only ate 500 calories until dinner I would lose weight too and be a royal bitch.

    I also HATE the Kashi adds. Everyone thinks Kashi is SO healthy and their cereal is basically processed crap. The whole “as much protein as an egg” is a complete marketing scam and the quality of protein per actual food serving is so off!

  • Jill June 17, 2011, 8:39 am

    I haven’t suffered from an eating disorder but try to leave the healthiest lifestyle that I can. I don’t think NEDA overreacted whatsoever. As soon as I saw that commercial I thought how screwed up it was that we have to such a debate to eat something we’re craving!! Have a little bit – and move on. If you don’t, you’ll just keep craving it the next day and then the next until you splurge.

    I wrote my Honors college thesis about the History of Women’s Body Image in Advertising and I came up with some amazing stuff! It was such an interesting project and I learned so much. It’s sickening what the media has led us to believe about celebrites and what a ‘normal’ body looks like.

    • Amy June 17, 2011, 9:00 am

      That sounds like a fascinating thesis! One of my favorite research areas in college too. 🙂

    • ashley June 17, 2011, 2:30 pm

      i want to read your thesis!

      • Jill June 17, 2011, 2:34 pm

        I still have it on my computer — let me know your email and I can send it to you 🙂

  • Angela (Oh She Glows) June 17, 2011, 8:39 am

    I havent seen that ad here in Canada but I agree that it sends the wrong message. Running while eating cheesecake? What were they thinking?!

    Another commercial that I don’t like is the Quaker Cafe Squares commercial. Have you seen it? The woman in the commercial ‘fights’ with herself over snack time. It just perpetuates the idea that eating should be a battle for women!

  • Hayley @ Oat Couture June 17, 2011, 8:44 am

    I don’t really think the commercial is such a big deal on it’s own. NEDA definitely overreacted, however I think seeing lot’s of similar commercials, magazine articles, photos etc etc day in day out all add up to us women having fairly unrealistic body goals and warped images of ourselves. However, and I might get lynched here but there are two sides to this. If some of these models and celebrities said sod it, no more retouching then they would constantly be in magazines alongside stories of fat, cellulite and imperfections. With people saying stupid things like ‘do you see how fat ***** is?!’ It’s a difficult one! Great debate topic though! 🙂

    • Dana P. June 17, 2011, 12:32 pm

      Two of my girlfriends in college would constantly talk about actresses and their weight. They would mention “so-and-so looks like they’ve gained weight” or “he got fat!” and I would think to myself “what must they think of me?” At the time I was a size 14/16 and that was the smallest I’d ever been. It really ate at my self esteem.

  • Samantha @ Health, Happiness & Skinny Jeans June 17, 2011, 8:47 am

    I’ll admit I was really bothered when I saw this commerical. Instantly I thought “ugh, why do we (women) do this to ourselves? If you want the cheesecake eat the damn cheesecake and then move on to healthy, wholesome foods again!”.

    It really struck a cord for me because it perpetuates a need to justify, analyze, rationalize, stress about and feel guilty for our food choices. The commercial is playing on this unhealthy mentality and using it to market their goods and sending a message that this is normal, reasonable or maybe even quirky yet cute behavior. Young girls watching the commercial will receive the message that they can’t have cheese cake and should opt for diet foods like that yogurt instead. It’s just sad!

    Now, if an ad wants my attention show me a person who selects wholesome REAL food over something sugary and void of nutrients and explains why (“I want to run faster, be stronger, live longer”) Thats a product with some integrity and a message worth listening to!

    Thank you for sharing this with your readers. Its an important discussion to have.

    • Emily June 17, 2011, 1:44 pm

      “Now, if an ad wants my attention show me a person who selects wholesome REAL food over something sugary and void of nutrients and explains why” – THAT I would love to see! Goodness, I wish more people like you worked in advertising.

  • Holly @ The Runny Egg June 17, 2011, 8:49 am

    I saw the commercial and didn’t think twice about it – only because I tune out when I see those or Slimfast commercials — it doesn’t apply to me. I think it could be triggering, but I don’t know since I don’t have an ED.

    I’m glad they pulled the commercial though.

  • Kara June 17, 2011, 8:50 am

    I didn’t think this ad was any worse than those ads with women having cinnamon bun butts because they didn’t have a 130 calorie Nutragrain bar for breakfast instead.

    Ideally, I’d like to see ALL of those types of ads taken down, so I’m happy that Yoplait was forced to pull that ad.

    There is this Lean Cuisine ad that really pisses me off: 12 inches of ANYthing is too much food…with a picture of a sub. First of all, that’s a total “That’s what she said joke” just waiting to happen and secondly, I eat 12 inches subs and someone survive. It sure fuels me better for double digit runs than some pathetic 280 calorie frozen “dinner”.

  • Melissa June 17, 2011, 8:50 am

    They make me feel horrible. It was watching commercials like those that made me have a beginning to ED … I realized what I was doing and stopped it before it got any further. I just ignore them now because when you’re young you don’t know the difference between reality and fantasy and of course back then computers weren’t as popular so we didn’t see as much photoshopping as we do now.

  • Ally June 17, 2011, 8:53 am

    That commercial really didn’t make me feel much of anything when I first saw it. Perhaps I’ve become desensitized to that portrayal of women’s internal monologue when it comes to food, because for so many years I had a lot of what my yoga teachers call ‘mental noise’ around food like that. I would tell myself “no, you cannot have that chocolate”…cut to a few hours later I’ve eaten the entire bar plus a ton of ice cream and other stuff.

    Do I reach for the yogurt instead of the cheesecake? Yes. As a former food addict, I have had to retrain my body to reject processed sugars and high fat foods (although I’d go for a Chobani instead of a Yoplait too Caitlin!). When you finally say to yourself “You can have as much as you want of that, any time, every day, for the rest of your natural life”…the temptation begins to fade. I wish more people realized that, so we wouldn’t have women like the woman in the commercial who worries more about a bite of cheesecake than more important things, like her self-worth and creativity and kindness and inherent humanity.

  • maria @ Chasing the Now June 17, 2011, 8:54 am

    I didn’t watch the ad, but I think I’ve seen it before or one similar. I don’t think it was an over-reaction by NEDA, either. Why would it be okay to send that kind of message to a consumer?

    Yoplait sucks! Not only is most of their products full of junk ingredients, but the Greek yogurt they sell isn’t even really strained!

  • Charlie June 17, 2011, 8:54 am

    I personally just ignore the message but still think they were right to remove the commercial. Unfortunately, they didn’t remove it everywhere since it is still playing here…

  • Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health June 17, 2011, 8:58 am

    I LOVE YOUR BLOG 🙂 Ok, anyway, I do not think that NEDA overreacted one bit. I do not have an eating disorder, but I do have negative thoughts about my body quite often and things like that can only make it worse. I just started blogging, and I’m hoping that by doing so I can overcome my warped thoughts of myself..I’m ready to love who I am!

  • Brittany June 17, 2011, 9:01 am

    And Marie Claire attacks YOU!?! They’ve got more important things to address when the women of our country are being shown commercials that tell them they *shouldn’t* have a slice of cheesecake! The message of this commercial goes way beyond just eating healthy food or indulging–it condones beating yourself up about food and depriving yourself of life’s simple pleasures. Frankly, it makes people feed BAD about themselves. Does it work? Maybe. Is it an evil force rendered to control our minds and our actions? Pretty much…

    Thank you for the positive messages you send your readers and thanks for reassuring us that we need not compare ourselves to anyone but simply to strive to be the best versions of ourselves.

    • CaitlinHTP June 17, 2011, 9:03 am

      Thank you girl. I appreciate it.

  • Bree June 17, 2011, 9:03 am

    Are you sure they pulled the ad?? I just saw it last night…ugh. Good post – I was wondering why they were allowed to do an ad like that.

    • CaitlinHTP June 17, 2011, 9:04 am

      They said they did – maybe it is still airing in some markets?

      • Bree June 17, 2011, 9:24 am

        I hope it’s gone from everywhere soon!

    • Misty June 18, 2011, 12:50 am

      The ad hasn’t been pulled in the St. Louis market – I *just* saw it. Maybe it’s a gradual pull. I sure hope so.

  • Melissa @ TryingToHeal June 17, 2011, 9:06 am

    I got an email from NEDA asking for support to pull that ad. I hadn’t seen it yet but when i did, oh it was like a nasty flashback. i’m glad they pulled it, and think it could have been done differently obviously to get their message across. but i agree, it’s packed with crap anyhow so who would want to eat that instead of the real dessert!?

  • Sherri June 17, 2011, 9:07 am

    FULLY agree Caitlin!

    It wasn’t until I started reading HTP and other healthy living blogs that I got a grip on what eating “healthy” should mean. Thank goodness there is at least one outlet for girls and women that can show us what a waste of time ‘fat-talk’ is. I think it is so much more important to focus on FUELING our bodies and staying active – and you simply cannot do that with fake, “non-fat” foods that are full of chemicals and preservatives.

    PS: Yoplait IS crap – also love Fage Greek Yogurt!

    • Emily June 17, 2011, 1:48 pm

      I, too, only began to really fuel my body after reading HTP, KathEats, Edible Perspective, etc. Before discovering the healthy living blogosphere, you can bet I would have gone out and bought all the dessert-flavored Yoplaits, simply because I didn’t know any better! These days, I thrive on whole, natural, REAL foods, and I’ve never been happier. Thank you, Caitlin and the other healthy living bloggers, for providing a source of true food- and fit-spiration. 🙂

  • Samantha June 17, 2011, 9:08 am

    I don’t think NEDA overreacted at all!! It’s completely true that that commercial was unnecessary and feeds on the Fat Talk that girls struggle with. Just like you said, if you want a slice of cheesecake that much, have a slice of cheesecake! Don’t worry about “jogging in place” or “cancelling it out” with some freaking celery! Enjoy every last bite of it, savor the flavors. Just because you want a slice doesn’t mean you have to binge or you’re going to have it all of the time! I’m a full believer of “everything in moderation.” My mom makes the best cheesecake in the world, so when I go home for my brother’s birthday and there’s some cheesecake on the table, I’m going to have a slice!

    As for me personally, I usually just ignore the messages that are sent with these commercials. I do however, make sure I check out the ingredients in the product before I actually buy it. I stopped eating Yoplait a few years ago simply because it’s chocked full of artificial sweeteners. Sorry, but that’s not healthy. I love my Chobani.

    Great post, Caitlin!

  • D June 17, 2011, 9:08 am

    I think it’s an overreaction!

    First…there is a huge difference between being weight-conscious, and having an eating disorder, and using the word “triggering” and saying “ED” implies an actual eating disorder, not a fat day. And eating disorders are not about the skinny girl on tv debating over cheesecake. People fight so hard to show that eating disorders are a mental illness, and to suggest that ED sufferers would be adversely affected by a dumb ad for cheesecake, sort of negates all of that, if that makes sense.

    Secondly, if this ad ruins someones day or makes them think that dessert is “bad”, that is hugely concerning. Is this the fault of the media, or the fault of personal insecurity? If women are worried about their daughters feeling badly after watching this, maybe they need to focus more on teaching their daughter about how to have a healthy mindset, etc. If you are a sensible, rational woman who doesn’t base your self-worth on what the TV tells you, you shouldn’t be affected by this. And if you ARE negatively affected, then I think you have some INSIDE work to do. And blaming the media and trying to remove any trace of “offensive” ads is ridiculous. There are SO many things out there that could be “offensive” to other people, but we don’t talk/care about those because it doesn’t play to our insecurities. But ads like this get a ton of focus on healthy living blogs, because they clearly play into common insecurities. We don’t complain that car ads would make a poor person feel bad. Or that sports and athletics ads would make someone who was disabled feel bad. We don’t say “oh I bet those thousands of ads showing heterosexual couples are soo upsetting to gay people”. No, healthy living bloggers only get offended by weight-centric ads, which, in my opinion, shows that there is a ton of unresolved emotion in that area.

    Third, think about the comment in your post about how yoplait is crap and other yogurt can “make you healthier”. I don’t mean to criticize, because I understand your point, but that could be equally offensive/triggering/upsetting to someone. If we shouldn’t spend out lives debating over cheesecake, should we be concerned with eating organic greek yogurt all the time? Sometimes these subtle messages have more of an effect on women that blatantly cheesy and dumb ads like the yoplait one.

    I think I just wrote a short story there. Whooooo!

    • shelby June 17, 2011, 11:06 am

      :::SLOW CLAP:::

    • Liv June 17, 2011, 11:18 am

      “If you are a sensible, rational woman who doesn’t base your self-worth on what the TV tells you, you shouldn’t be affected by this. And if you ARE negatively affected, then I think you have some INSIDE work to do. And blaming the media and trying to remove any trace of “offensive” ads is ridiculous.”


      • Liv June 17, 2011, 11:20 am

        Also, I personally do not like the commercial simply for the fact that I hate Yoplait BUT, the bigger issue is as D stated above, if a commercial about yogurt is going to cause you to question your self worth the last thing you should be worried about is a commercial.

      • CaitlinHTP June 17, 2011, 1:04 pm

        I think my concern with ads like this is NOT everyone viewing this ad is a secure person or an adult. I think of my Girls on the Run girls and really worry about what type of message this stuff sends! I do think companies should be socially responsible… Well, I hope they will be more so in the future 🙂

    • Beth June 17, 2011, 11:19 am

      I completely agree – very well-written! You expressed a lot of the ideas I had – especially the comment about how other yogurt can make you healthier – I felt like that did the exact same thing the advertisement did.

    • Hillary June 17, 2011, 11:40 am

      You are a strong woman who seems to have a great body image. The unfortunate truth is that many women are not in the same place. Women are sensitive because of media images, magazine ads, and “get skinny NOW” gimmicks. Ads of this type have been blasted across TV, billboards, etc. for so long now that it is second nature to take these so-called “subtle messages” to heart, many women do feel they have to be SKINNY to feel good. Is that bad parenting or society? My vote is a media-driven society.

      Skinny does not equal healthy, though. Yoplait is not good for you, nutrigrain bars and special K will not make you skinnier, although the media is definitely good at making us think otherwise.

    • meg c June 17, 2011, 11:42 am

      I wish this comment could somehow go to the top of the page. Bravo.

    • Ally June 17, 2011, 12:09 pm

      I love this comment. You are 100% SPOT ON!!

    • Julia June 17, 2011, 12:14 pm

      You are completely right.. I do think “healthy living” bloggers might have unresolved issues with food. Look at some of the other VERY popular healthy living blogs– one in particular beats herself up over eating too many cookies / bars, when all she does is nibble one small piece after lunch. And shows ‘dessert’ as one half a square of chocolate! How is that ANY different from this ad? I also remember one time when someone asked the blogger if she had gained weight and it caused a huge uproar. I’m sure the same issue wouldn’t have been the case if someone asked if she had lost weight. Healthy living bloggers are not necessarily good role models either!

      That said, Caitlin, even though you have a “Healthy Living” blog, I think you portray a very realistic, and healthy image and i wouldn’t bucket you in the category I have described above. Same with Tina from Carrots n’ Cake– i think other bloggers could learn a little from the two of you.

      • CaitlinHTP June 17, 2011, 1:05 pm

        Thanks Julie. I try to keep it real and healthy and show that you can be healthy and enjoy food without restriction. I know some people think daily blogging is weird but I know that other people are inspired to create new recipes, and that’s fun too! Boils down to: different strokes for different folks, try to be a responsible blogger, and be a responsible reader, too 🙂

    • Mia June 17, 2011, 12:30 pm

      I do wonder what health blogging does to a person’s mindset. I have no doubt that most health bloggers have a healthy relationship with food, but imagine your life revolving around writing about what you eat, your exercise habits and body image issues…it’s all you end up thinking about throughout the day. So clearly health bloggers are going to especially attuned to these kinds of commercials, because it is their life’s work. Personally, I don’t like to think about eating healthy/exercising…I just DO those things without talking about them or thinking about them, so I don’t find these commercials any more offensive than commercials for cleaning products that ALWAYS show women doing any of the cleaning (When is the last time you saw Mr. Clean commercial where the guy was cleaning the kitchen?!).
      So, I don’t know if it’s unresolved issues with food that is driving this fascination, or just an unfortunate side effect of the job. But then again, one can argue that certain predispositions would drive a person to become a healthy living blogger in the first place, so who knows…
      As for the Greek yogurt comment, I always feel like I’m under attacked by my more “progressive” organic friends for choosing mass produced processed foods…It sucks, and I feel like I constantly have to defend my choices. Buying organic foods is unfortunately a privelege that I am currently not privy to, and most Americans aren’t either.

    • Crystal June 17, 2011, 12:34 pm

      Personal insecurity is not something people are just born with–aren’t there external forces that influence it, even just a little?

      Yes, mothers can teach their daughters about self love and having a healthy body image. But what teenage girl only listens to her mother? If you ask middle school girls who their role models are, most of them aren’t likely to reply “my mom.” Many girls are influenced by the media, regardless of what they are told by family members.

      Also, many of these ads don’t just jump out and smack people in the face with their messages. They’re not that stupid. Instead they subtly point out that as women, we are not good enough unless we are thin (and can resist “bad” foods), can clean up our kids’ juice spills with smiles on our faces, and get dinner on the table, all while having perfect hair and clothing. Every little detail is planned out.

      • D June 17, 2011, 12:50 pm

        I definitely see your point.

        As far as your last paragraph – where does it ever suggest we are not “good enough”? You said it yourself – every little detail is planned out – so you are fully aware that these are highly orchestrated advertisements. And that’s all! They are shiny, happy ads designed to sell a product. They are, most likely, dreamt up by men in suits who really don’t care or know about how women really feel regarding body image and the media. These are not personal attacks! We have a CHOICE in how we view these ads. Just like photoshopping – we can choose to acknowledge it for what it is (a fantasy world), or we can choose to internalize some message that may or may not be behind it. The point of the media, and advertisements, is to show a world where problems don’t exist. It’s to suggest that whatever ailment or issue you’re having, you can solve it with their awesome new product. We all know, as reasonable adults, that this isn’t the case. No amount of yogurt can make you happy, just like a guy who drinks a certain beer is no more likely to get female attention, no car is going to get you out of traffic jams, etc. But this is the POINT – it is about illusion! Why are grown women acting like we don’t have a choice in believing these ads? Just because a commercial shows a woman cleaning up spills with a smile on her face, doesn’t mean we need to think that is gospel and that we are terrible, useless people if we can’t do that. Who really wants to watch a tv show or commercial where everyone looks like crap, is dressed in pjs, scowling and yelling at their husbands and kids? TV is fantasy world, so we should enjoy it for what it is and not LET it dictate how we view our lives.

        And as for your first point, yes external forces impact insecurities, absolutely! But, my point was just that a dumb commercial shouldn’t be one of those forces. Your parents, siblings, spouse, teachers, etc all have an influence, so we should focus on REAL life and our real interactions and how we are handling those, rather than our relationship with Yoplait. Celebrities and the media are one small part of the “forces” we come into contact with. I think parents should focus more on their kids’ friends, teachers, school, boyfriends, etc because those are the real influences on our insecurities. You can’t control magazines and tv, but by setting up a good foundation, you are ensuring that girls are capable of looking at a Yoplait ad and seeing it for what it is – a poor attempt at a humorous commercial that is conjured up to play on stereotypical female insecurities. And more importantly, they know that this ad will get people talking. Hell, even PULLING the ad gets people talking!

        • Amanda June 17, 2011, 7:02 pm

          It’s really only a choice if you know about it. For example most people don’t realize the amount of photoshoping that goes into magazine covers. So they can’t choice to acknowledge it for a fantasy world since they have no idea it’s been tampered with.

          I think the point is that confident woman are not going to be affected by this ad and will choice to ignore it or realize its false. But many woman or girls for that matter aren’t at that point yet. For example a few years ago when I was in HS or even college this ad might have affected me differently than it did watching it just now. Now I realize it’s all just a game advertisers are playing to get my money. Before I might have thought, that is how I’m supposed to think about food, or cheesecake is “bad” I can never eat that.

          I also agree that parents should do more to help build their child’s confidence and what influences their child. But not all parents are perfect and we can help reduce the amount of crap girls see each day. Just my opinion.

    • Brittney June 17, 2011, 5:28 pm

      I love this comment. I think there are way too many people overreacting to this commercial. Like D said, if we pull this commercial, should we pull other commercials that may make people feel bad about themselves? Also, and this may be me reading too much into a commercial, but how do we know that the women featured in it didn’t have a huge slice of cake the day before or that she has a party this weekend and knows that there will be lots of desserts there she’ll want to eat? In those cases, maybe it would be best to pass up the cheesecake and have the Yoplait as an alternative to satisfy her craving. I just hate when people say “just eat the *insert food here* because I think that mentality can lead to splurging too much. I mean, if I followed that mentaility then I would be eating dessert for every meal, which I think most reading this blog would agree would not be the best choice.

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) June 17, 2011, 9:09 am

    I don’t have an eating disorder, but I do have body self image issues. I don’t let these types of things mess with my anymore. I’ve really worked on coming to terms with being happy with me. I feel like focusing on the positive and not dwelling on the negative is the key to being happy with yourself!

  • Marcy S. June 17, 2011, 9:16 am

    I do not think this is an overreaction! I hate this commercial!!! I am a very strong women who has never been one to be influnced by ads or magazines or anything.. In high school and most of my adult life until 2 years ago wore a 14 or larger and never once thought “if I looked like a model”, but I know many people are easily trapped into thinking that way… and its understandable with how much the media puts it out there! I chose to get healthy on my own after seeing family members in the hospital for issues caused by weight. I chose to try to be as healthy as possible (ok I’m addicted to homemade sweets) but I try not to by anything prepackaged… The stuff is awful for you and they push it like its a miracle.

    I hear people all the time saying that they didn’t eat lunch so that they could have dessert at dinner.. Don’t they know how bad that is for you?? Your body needs food throughout the day… starving yourself to save up for something is awful.

    Thank you so much for writing this post!! It made my day to see another persons passion against the media.

  • Lisa @ lisa letting go June 17, 2011, 9:17 am

    I struggled with an ED for 3 years in college and it is often still a daily struggle for me. However, I actually never thought of the Yoplait ad as triggering. That’s just me though and I could see how someone who is actively fighting an ED could have a very negative reaction to such an ad.

    While I didn’t take offense to the ad, I did think “hmm…that’s totally how I think of things sometimes”. See, I still struggle with guilt when I eat certain foods!

    Therefore, I am glad it was pulled! Also, I agree, Yoplait is junk food in disguise. I used to love the stuff, but it’s no wonder considering it’s barely better nutritionally than a bowl of sugary cereal or ice cream!

  • Marcy S. June 17, 2011, 9:17 am

    Opps one more comment I want to add…

    To me it seems like a lot of people get their health and nutrition info from commercials and TV. I didn’t know much about nutrition until going to the gym and taking a nutrition class… I think this is something that needs to be focused on in schools… because it seems like a lot of people out there think things like special K and yopliat are perfectly nutritious foods, just beacuse they haven’t been taught any differently.

  • Wendi Matt June 17, 2011, 9:21 am

    I’m sure that I’m going to repeat what everyone else has said, but I do appreciate the fact that the NEDA made some type of effort to make a note on this ad. While some people do not struggle with eating disorders, this type of message still effects the psyche of women. It’s not another voice to combat what Yoplait has put out there. Some may feel it’s an overreaction but sometimes, you have to over react in order to find a place in the middle. (p.s. I don’t think it’s an overreaction).

    We are constantly getting mixed signals from the media about liberated women, but then we have shows like the biggest loser who focus on an bland, over the top strict diet in order to win a weight loss competition instead of implementing a healthy diet that one can follow forever. The one day that they told a Arnold (is that his name) that he can’t put olive oil on his fish, just soak it in water, I WAS SO APPALLED!!

    I’ve had to take control of my own body image by NOT PARTICIPATING in viewing women in the media. I love fashion, but I’ve had to steer clear of fashion magazines because I realize that they can sometimes make me feel bad. I’m glad we have a group out there supporting a healthy view of women.

    • Emily June 17, 2011, 2:04 pm

      I agree that shows like Biggest Loser really distort the general public’s view of “healthy eating”, and it probably contributes to the sad reality that most people give up on healthy living because they think it has to be boring. “Salt is the enemy! You can never eat bacon again! More than half a teaspoon of oil?! You’re going to gain weight!” I was reading an article in OK Magazine the other day (I was bored in a waiting room… trust me, it wasn’t my first choice) about a recent Biggest Loser winner, and it showed her diet, which was the same nearly every day… Salads, plain chicken breast, and plain fish galore, and in my opinion, it wasn’t nearly enough to sustain the amount of exercise she said she was doing. I saw an episode of I Used to be Fat a few months ago, and I was stunned when the trainer FORCED the kid to keep going after he threw up multiple times in a drinking fountain…! Personally, I just can’t follow shows like that, because the messages they send just appall me. I don’t understand why the guys in charge ever thought exploiting someone’s weight loss was a good idea… but people just eat it up, and that sort of scares me.

  • Wendi Matt June 17, 2011, 9:21 am

    p.s. yoplait is so full of sugar, it’s funny that’s supposed to be the healthy alternative.

  • Jenny June 17, 2011, 9:24 am

    My initial response was to say, yes NEDA overreacted because this is just one commercial. It’s a symptom of the bigger problem. But then I realized, no. If they can get one company to change its mind about the way that they brand a product, than they are making more progress than I am and I should applaud them.

    I HATED myself growing up. I didn’t have an eating disorder, but I sure did have a negative relationship with food. I never changed my habits, but I felt guilty over anything I ate, whether it was a piece of fruit or a piece of cake. I thought I was fat. I thought I had bad skin. I thought I had bad hair. Looking back at pictures of myself, I know I was a beautiful, normal teenage girl. I wish I could go back in a time machine and say “Put down that Teen People right now!” I compared myself to everything I saw, and I feel so bad for little girls now because I think the media has gotten so much worse.

    So, no. I don’t think they overreacted. I’m glad somebody is standing up and saying that this sort of unhealthy obsession with body size is wrong.

  • Carol June 17, 2011, 9:24 am

    When I first saw this commercial I thought yep that’s me. I’m almost always in a battle with myself:) I’m trying to get better at it. My hubby is probably the most patient man alive. Even on my worst day he tells me how beautiful I am. Still I think ok I indulged now I need to work it off.

    I also can’t wait for your tween book. I also teach 6th graders like one of the other readers and plan to buy a copy for my classroom library. This year I had students write positive messages to themselves to hang in their lockers. You are an inspiration to me 🙂

    • CaitlinHTP June 17, 2011, 9:27 am

      Thank you Carol… You are so sweet 🙂 And I am glad you have a supportive man to help you through this journey! Lucky you 🙂

  • ally June 17, 2011, 9:25 am

    I agree generally with what is being said here. It’s awful that advertisers use these tactics of preying on insecurities to make people (women in particular) buy their products. It’s like a big circle, photoshopping celebrities makes us feel as though we aren’t good enough, then these ads come along telling us what kind of choices we need to make to look better. That being said, if we’re going to say that we shouldn’t label foods as “good” and “bad”, lets not label Yoplait as “crap food”. If you happen to prefer it, or if you buy it because you can’t afford the more expensive yogurts that were mentioned, that’s cool. Eat what you want to eat.

    • CaitlinHTP June 17, 2011, 9:29 am

      My issue with this is that Yoplait is portrayed as the healthier alternative to cheesecake when it is seriously just junk food. Yoplait isn’t “good” compared to “bad” cheesecake… I realize that this is kind of labeling Yoplait as “bad”, you’re right.

      • M June 17, 2011, 10:52 am

        i wouldnt say its just as bad as cheesecake. what about the saturated fat?

        • Amber K June 17, 2011, 1:27 pm

          I actually think cheesecake is better. You don’t have to eat a huge slab of it and it’s made from actual, real food.

      • Maeve June 18, 2011, 1:20 am

        I actually really like the Yoplait Light dessert flavors. I had one at lunch…and I had key lime pie after dinner. It really doesn’t need to be this dichotomy. There’s room for food like Yoplait and Special K right along with organic greek yogurt and real, delicious cheesecake.

  • *Andrea* June 17, 2011, 9:27 am

    love that you brought attention to this! i saw the add a few days ago and it struck me as a manipulation of insecurities as well. just like Quick Trim adds or diet commercials. what people really need is a celebration of the wonderful qualities of food- great tastes, smells, wholesome ingredients, etc. not restriction or shame!

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen June 17, 2011, 9:29 am

    Thank you for telling it like it is about what Yoplait is actually made of! I was just in a conversation with a friend about what his kid (1.5 yrs old) eats and he was going on and on how they feed him “good” snacks like yogurt and stuff and it was making me cringe b/c people immediately think yogurt is “healthy” no matter what kind. WRONG! Most of it’s crap like you said!

  • Faith @ lovelyascharged June 17, 2011, 9:29 am

    As someone who recovered from an eating disorder, I dislike the message sent by this commercial, but I’m not triggered by it. Women are going to make healthy or disordered choices regardless of how a company chooses to market its product. I think it’s a crappy message to send, sure, but the disordered voice will be there regardless of a poorly assembled and thoughtless commercial.

  • Emily June 17, 2011, 9:30 am

    Thanks for writing this blog post! Sometimes I think I overreact to ads, but in general, I really think are directed at women to make themselves feel bad so they will buy the products to make themselves feel better. Unfortunately, I think they media has found a way to make money by making women feel bad about themselves (and men for that matter too), and I wish that there was a more positive way for these companies to advertise. I have always found the Special K ads and Yoplait ads completely ridiculous, especially the ones that tell you that you can lose weight by substituting those products for two meals a day.

    I agree that fashion magazines present a lot of negative images to women, but I actually find that certain women’s “health” magazines are just as bad. I know when I open Vogue, I’m going to get really skinny models trying to sell high end fashion, but it really irks me when I read ridiculous claims in women’s health magazines of how you can lose 10 pounds in a month simply by doing one thing that isn’t changing your lifestyle. I don’t think all health magazines do it, but it really makes me mad sometimes when I see it on magazine covers.

  • Liv @ The Salty n' Sweet June 17, 2011, 9:31 am

    I TOTALLY agree with you that this sends a bad message to women, and especially young girls. Although it may be that many women already have this kind of debate going on in their heads, it’s ridiculous that Yoplait is advertising those thoughts as normal. It’s not and shouldn’t be normal to think that you’re being “good” if you don’t eat junk food. And yes, yoplait may taste like dessert, but that’s because it’s loaded with sugar and artificial flavors.

  • Colleen June 17, 2011, 9:35 am

    As a former bulimic, ads like this infuriate me. I’m so glad Yoplait pulled the commerical. It’s encouraging to know that when we make a conscious effort to stand up for healthy body image and protest the thin ideal, companies will respond. Great job, NEDA and let’s keep it up!!

  • KitKat @ Pursuit of Happiness June 17, 2011, 9:38 am

    To be honest, whenever I see these types of commercials (Special K especially) I don’t take them seriously. If anything I think they are silly because come on, a yogurt compared to cheesecake? Yeah oookay. But I also felt this way with the Extra campaign with the gum flavored like Key Lime Pie and Mint Chocolate Chip. As much as I love Bob (from Biggest Loser) I was more than disappointed when he suggested when you want ice cream or dessert have a stick of gum! I mean, seriously?

    I actually find these commercials more patronizing than offensive (in terms of triggering eating disorders). Do we ever see commercials for Men like this? No we see Hungry Man dinners that are huge and filling for them! But women will have yogurt and celery. I’m glad it got pulled, but it definitely wouldn’t have had an effect on my self image at this age. However, put me back in 6th grade when I was insecure about my body and I bet you I’d run out and buy Yoplait yogurts…

    I respect companies and commercials that focus on health and nutrition. I read somewhere once that advertising and media that portrays a calming and positive message will have much more of a lasting effect than one that scares you or makes you feel badly. So hopefully other companies and commercials will just outweigh these!

  • Sammi June 17, 2011, 9:40 am

    I HATE that Yoplait commercial! I actually hate any commercial that tries to sell the ideal body image or a diet product.

    But about the Photoshop thing.. I have to tell you. I work at a Retouching place and intern at a fashion photography agency and it’s not just Celebrities or Art Directors that want their photos edited.. it is every man/woman that comes in for a corporate head shot. And they are the ones that want the most done! Chin reductions.. neck reductions.. wrinkle extraction. Most of the time we have to draw the line because the image does not correctly represent them at the end. The Retouchers just do what they are told!

  • Kristen (inspiredbydooce) June 17, 2011, 9:48 am

    I’m a little torn.

    I don’t think NEDA over reacted by asking for the ad to be pulled. I think we all have the responsibility to hold the media accountable for the messages they send. Self-talk like that isn’t healthy- just like smoking isn’t healthy (and that’s why you can’t advertise cigarettes like they used to anymore).

    On the other hand maybe we are getting too sensitive. But if we are, I think we’re too sensitive because we are being BOMBARDED with information and messages and so many things that can mess with our heads. There will always be a straw that will break us…

    Regardless- I think holding the media accountable for the messages it sends is a very good thing.

  • Emilie June 17, 2011, 9:49 am

    I think a crucial point – apart from the fact that these commercials can INITIATE disordered eating habits with young women in particular – is that it KEEPS women and men with eating disorders in their disordered ways of thinking about food.

    I have an eating disorder, and while I rationally know, that the constant analyzing and debating what and what not to eat isn’t healthy, this commercial keeps me locked in the idea, that “everybody does it, so the fact that I do it isn’t disordered, it’s just normal”. Instead of challenging my disordered thinking towards food, the commercial strengthens it. It justifies my way of thinking as perfectly normal, and therefore contributes to keeping my locked in my habits. If everybody feels and acts the same towards food as I do, to the point where it is apparantly enough of a norm to use it in a commercial – why should I change anything?

    This commercial is “convenient” and “comfortable” when you have an eating disorder, because it agrees with your eating disorder, that analyzing and debating you food is a norm. It does NOT inspire you to change your way of thinking about food and yourself.

    • Jen June 17, 2011, 1:24 pm

      Emilie, I completely agree with this comment – you expressed my thoughts perfectly.

  • Emilie June 17, 2011, 9:49 am

    I think a crucial point – apart from the fact that these commercials can INITIATE disordered eating habits with young women in particular – is that it KEEPS women and men with eating disorders in their disordered ways of thinking about food.

    I have an eating disorder, and while I rationally know, that the constant analyzing and debating what and what not to eat isn’t healthy, this commercial keeps me locked in the idea, that “everybody does it, so the fact that I do it isn’t disordered, it’s just normal”. Instead of challenging my disordered thinking towards food, the commercial strengthens it. It justifies my way of thinking as perfectly normal, and therefore contributes to keeping my locked in my habits. If everybody feels and acts the same towards food as I do, to the point where it is apparantly enough of a norm to use it in a commercial – why should I change anything?

    This commercial is “convenient” and “comfortable” when you have an eating disorder, because it agrees with your eating disorder, that analyzing and debating you food is a norm. It does NOT inspire you to change your way of thinking about food and yourself.

  • Nikky June 17, 2011, 9:51 am

    I hate ads like this, I honestly never thought twice about them until I started working at my current job though. I have a co-worker here who is absolutely gorgeous. Guaranteed though, she’ll spend at least half an hour a day telling everyone about how she has to monitor everything she eats so that she doesn’t get fat, and oh man, her jeans are snug and she can’t believe she wears an EIGHT. It’s even worse if someone brings in snacks or lunch for everyone. The rest of us get a lesson in exactly how many calories are in the bagels. Or how she and her husband baked a cake, each of them ate a tiny slice, and then she carried it down and threw the rest in the dumpster. All the while, she’s eating yoplait and sugary snack bars because “the greek stuff is too high in calories”.

    Really makes for a depressing day.

    • CaitlinHTP June 17, 2011, 9:55 am

      Whoa. Holy coworker hell.

  • Johanna B June 17, 2011, 9:51 am

    Wanted to share this great tweet I got this morning from @PsychofEating “Call a cease-fire on the war against your own body, your weight, your diet, and your “imperfections”. I replied – Amen.

    I’m glad you shared about the Yoplait ad and I’ve enjoyed reading the comments. Thanks again for shedding light on an important issue for all of us.

  • Ashley O. @ The Vegetable Life June 17, 2011, 9:52 am

    If I were to have seen this ad on it’s own I would not have thought twice about it…. but now that it has my attention I do think it to be glorifying disordered eating. I agree yoplait is junk and full of nassty chemicals like aspartame!

  • Claire June 17, 2011, 9:55 am

    I have seen this commercial several times and honestly I’m glad I don’t have to see it again. Every time I see it, it starts this internal battle between thinking the woman’s thoughts are pointless, if you really want the cheesecake eat the darn cheesecake! But then I think well maybe I shouldn’t be eating the cheesecake, and instead be eating lower calorie treats (since I have recently regained 10-15 lbs after losing a lot of weight the unhealthy starvation way) But then I think that I would never eat Yoplait because of the nasty artificial stuff in it. Then I wonder if I would be skinnier if I ate that artificial junk like Yoplait that is low in calories but high in aspartame and other nasty stuff instead of eating my whole yogurt that is often higher in calories and much better for me. This cycle just keeps going round and round about how I can change my (very healthy) eating habits to make myself skinnier.

    So my answer is that YES this is a trigger for me. I have never thought I had an eating disorder, so I can only imagine the damage this commercial does to girls with actual full blown eating disorders.

    Overall I think this commercial is just one problem in a society at fault. Our society has placed way too much value on being thin, I know it has led to my very disordered eating habits. How different would our world look is value was placed instead on eating whole foods, grown from local organic sources, exercising daily, making time for family, and in general putting our health(and the earth’s health) and well-being before making money and being rail thin.

  • Katie June 17, 2011, 9:56 am

    I think what strikes me as most disturbing about this commercial is that it didn’t register as unsettling to me until you pointed out it’s flaws. I am someone that eats healthily, and has no problem with indulging in dessert sometimes, so maybe it was because I couldn’t relate as much. The reason this is concerning to me, however, is because we get so many messages like this from the media that an ad like this doesn’t jump out at me anymore. An ad that is obviously offensive to everyone is less damaging, because we collectively acknowledge that it is absurd. An ad like this that seems appropriate to so many people implies that we have already been so affected by this form of marketing that we see it (and the message it gives) as normal.

  • Michelle June 17, 2011, 9:57 am

    You know.. I read this yesterday but Yoplait didn’t pull the add. I saw it last night…

  • Tally June 17, 2011, 9:57 am

    Wait. If cheesecake were as healthy as spinach, wouldn’t you be eating more of it (a big slice of cheesecake for breakfast, for example)? And since you’re not, aren’t you making some kind of conscious decision to eat fewer sweets than you would otherwise? I’m not being critical — I’m really asking.

    I mean, if it were solely up to my taste buds I would be eating a bar of chocolate with every meal. Which is what I did until recently, due to which I gained 100 pounds. So I need to think, is this healthy, and do I really want to gain weight now. Or is there another option? My point is that even the healthiest among us must (I believe) have some sort of internal dialogue or decision-making process that leads us to choose healthier foods over cheesecake, at least part of the time.

    Caitlin, I noticed that you eat fat-free yogurt. Why do you do this? It is possible to buy full-fat all natural yogurt.

    Maybe this came out wrong, but I’m not trying to be critical; rather, I’m trying to learn healthy habits, and I don’t see what options there are other than telling yourself not to eat all the cheesecake you want (because it’s not healthy) and to limit your portions of sweets.

    • CaitlinHTP June 17, 2011, 10:11 am

      haha at no point did I say cheesecake was healthy 🙂 it’s obviously not the ideal choice all the time. I think stuff like real dessert is obviously fine in moderation (every other day? or whatever moderation is to you).

      Of course there is a decision making process… I admit that in the post. But the commercial trivializes disordered thinking. Thinking “I can eat this if I jog in place while eating it” is not a healthy decision making process at all. I have a decision making process when I eat dessert, of course, but it’s not about bartering with myself or restricting myself for later meals or promising that I’m going to burn it off later. It’s more along the lines of “I would like dessert. I think I shall have a normal sized portion and enjoy it.”

      I buy fat-free yogurt because it’s just the flavor I like, not because it’s specifically fat free.

      I don’t think you’re being critical 🙂 You’re just sharing your thoughts! That’s encouraged!

  • Cindy Robinson June 17, 2011, 9:58 am

    I love that you feel so strongly about these issues. Through reading your blog and others similar,I am now able to look at fashion magazines and yoplait (just to name a few) and turn away, and know the REAL facts. I can now indulge a little and not feel a huge wave of guilt because you’ve taught me (reinforced, I guess) that eating should be fuel for your body, healhty, and enjoyable, not guilt ridden. I agree, it’s commercials like these that make us feel negative about ourselves. So sad 🙁 I believe education and awareness are keys to positive change, so keep up the good work girl! 🙂

  • Beth @ DiningAndDishing June 17, 2011, 10:01 am

    I must agree with you on annoyance with Special K and Yoplait adds. If their food was real and healthy that would maybe be one thing. But encouraging women to replace what they crave with artificial junk food marketed as a healthy alternative is not okay in my book!

  • erin June 17, 2011, 10:02 am

    i hate all those yogurts that claim good things! sugar free, fat free. REALLy?! a little fat is good for you. the low fat yogurts are way way way better for you in terms of what’s in the yogurts. sugar free – not so much. They still add some form of sugar, it’s just the chemical kind. YUCK! i can’t eat those type of yogurts. i see my parents eating it, and i’m like really, it’s so much better if you just get plain yogurt (fat free or low fat – both have straight up normal ingredients, and there’s very few!) and add in your fruits. I’m eating plain yogurt right now, i added a cup of frozen fruits (no sugar added) along with about 1 tsp of agave. and it’s good! and you get so much more too!

  • Yolie @ Practising Wellness June 17, 2011, 10:03 am

    Hmmm…I commented but it didn’t come up! How weird, lol! 🙂

  • megan @ whatmegansmaking June 17, 2011, 10:05 am

    I think I must be in the minority, but honestly, I thought this commercial was really funny. I think I have a pretty healthy relationship to food (i.e. love vegetables, love eating healthy, love sugar and eat way too many sweets on occasion and regret it – normal) and I thought this commercial was just a funny way to dramatize what can happen in a woman’s mind. Don’t you think we’ve all thought that way, whether it’s correct or not? Seriously, I would like to eat dessert with every meal (even breakfast) every day of the week. But that’s not healthy. And internally I debate sometimes between the “healthy” choice and the “I want more sugar” choice. And therefore this commercial makes me laugh. But then again, I’m not taking it too seriously and I’m certainly not about to let Yoplait tell me how to feel about myself or what to eat. I will, however, let them entertain me for 30 seconds. 🙂

  • Ginger June 17, 2011, 10:05 am

    I’ve struggled with an eating disorder for years. This commercial made me cry yesterday. I rant about it here, if you’re interested.

    • CaitlinHTP June 17, 2011, 10:11 am

      hahah LOVE the title of your post. Thanks for linking!

  • 'Dee June 17, 2011, 10:13 am

    I didn’t really think about the negative messages of that commercial so much as I thought “Oh, for heaven’s sake, that carton of Yoplait has so much chemical CRAP in it! That’s NOT healthy! Eat the cheesecake!” LOL.

    But now that you mention it, it probably is a sad commentary that I didn’t even think about the whole internal debate and negative messaging. I suppose it’s just that common for American women. What a shame.

  • Yolie @ Practising Wellness June 17, 2011, 10:15 am

    What i said originally (i think my computer ate my comment…grrr!) was that I completely applaud your post and thank you for putting this debate out there.
    I think the power of the media is absolutely huge, and it is very scary! The media often contribute such messed-up messages about women, weight and body image.
    I struggled with anorexia in my teens, completely because my insecurites about my body were fed and fuelled by magazines and too-thin actresses on TV. The media perpetuates those insecurities, and even creates them sometimes.
    Of course, not everyone will be affected negatively by advertisements, magazine articles, TV shows etc, but many many people are – and it horrifies me to think of vulnerable girls and young women being exposed to such negative messages about themselves, food and weight.
    Don’t even get me started on the scarily-sexual music videos that are on TV these days too…eeek! It makes me think long and hard about how you would raise a child in such a potentially warped society!
    That is why I am so thankful for people like you who feel so passionately about contributing positive messages. Thank you so much for your efforts, your inspiration, and for voicing what I believe with all my heart…you’re a star! 🙂
    Oh, and yay for NEDA, that’s so good to hear of positive action being taken to moderate potentially destructive advertisements. Bring on more! 😉
    Take care xyx

  • Sarah June 17, 2011, 10:15 am

    I’ve been in recovery for an ed for the past 2 years. When I first saw the commercial, I was more annoyed with the fact that Yoplait was touting their yogurt as healthy. As you mentioned, it’s not, and I think it’s very misleading for women to believe that their gross yogurt is good for them. At the same time, I also remember thinking, “Just eat the cheesecake” – a good sign of my recovery I guess. I wasn’t particularly triggered by the ad and, as some other commenters have suggested, the ad was meant to be funny and sadly I do think it is an accurate portrayal of how some women think. That being said, it doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to promote that way of thinking.

  • Amanda @ The Beauty Notebooks June 17, 2011, 10:18 am

    I had to stop watching that ad about ten seconds in. I hate how obsessive and calculating the women in the ad are about food. Food is meant to be enjoyed! When I was in my early teens, I used to obsess over how much fat was in my food, regardless of whether it was healthy or not. I think my “unhealthy” mindset was due to the marketing of a lot of food brands, which pushed and pushed that “fat-free” was the way to go. (even though fat-free yogurt with artificial sweeteners is filled with just as much crap as some of the regular weird stuff.)
    It is honestly frightening that food companies/the media have SO MUCH POWER over women. While it is up to the woman to walk by a freezer and pick the kind of yogurt she wants, the companies have the power to relay misleading information about women’s bodies in commercials and go so far as to make them feel bad about themselves. There is so much wrong with this picture.

    And don’t get me started about photoshopping. That practice just disgusts me. I wrote a post on my blog about this and how I have been affected by it earlier this year. Please feel free to check it out and share your thoughts:

  • Amanda @ The Beauty Notebooks June 17, 2011, 10:19 am

    I had to stop watching that ad about ten seconds in. I hate how obsessive and calculating the women in the ad are about food. Food is meant to be enjoyed! When I was in my early teens, I used to obsess over how much fat was in my food, regardless of whether it was healthy or not. I think my “unhealthy” mindset was due to the marketing of a lot of food brands, which pushed and pushed that “fat-free” was the way to go. (even though fat-free yogurt with artificial sweeteners is filled with just as much crap as some of the regular weird stuff.)
    It is honestly frightening that food companies/the media have SO MUCH POWER over women. While it is up to the woman to walk by a freezer and pick the kind of yogurt she wants, the companies have the power to relay misleading information about women’s bodies in commercials and go so far as to make them feel bad about themselves. There is so much wrong with this picture.

    And don’t get me started about photoshopping. That practice just disgusts me. I wrote a post on my blog about this and how I have been affected by it earlier this year. Please feel free to check it out and share your thoughts:

    • Amanda @ The Beauty Notebooks June 17, 2011, 10:23 am

      ps just putting it out there, that today I eat Chobani fat-free and 2% yogurt. I still do eat some fat-free products, but I have embraced the fact that healthy fats are good for the soul. plus I just love Chobani and how natural it is. and their commercials that I have seen are always not negative toward women’s bodies, or anyone’s for that matter.

      p.s. just thought of something: why are yogurt commercials almost always targeted toward women?

  • Rachel @ Fit Fun and Fabulous June 17, 2011, 10:19 am

    Great post Caitlin! Speaking of guilt, last night I met a girlfriend up at the gym for a Zumba class and then we went out for happy hour at a Mexican restaurant. After dinner she was feeling so guilty about “cancelling out” all the good work she did at the gym by going out for happy hour.

    I told her to do her best to get rid of that feeling. We’ve gone to the gym together trying out new classes every day this week! Sure we went out afterwards and enjoyed ourselves ONE night, but what about the rest of the week? Can’t we be proud of ourselves for all the hard work we accomplished there? And for that matter, we had a lovely night out eating yummy food and laughing and enjoying girl time. There’s nothing to feel guilty about there, damnit!

    It seems like media outlets these days have just totally trained us to fuel our healthy habits by guilt. It’s absolutely terrible. I try to remind myself that diet foods at the grocery store, magazines, tv, and the weight loss injury is a self-perpetuating cycle, and I simply refuse to be a part of it anymore.

  • Marissa June 17, 2011, 10:19 am

    I always thought that ad was borderline inappropriate. I’m glad I’m not alone. I don’t think Yoplait is trying to market their yogurt as “healthier” though… I think they’re just trying to market it as a low-calorie option/replacement for high-calorie food. Which is basically (sadly) what most women want nowadays. An easy fix so they don’t have to think about nutrition or exercise.

  • Leanne (Bride to Mrs,) June 17, 2011, 10:20 am

    I can’t watch the video right now because I’m at work but I do think in general that these type of commercials (example: special K ads) do more harm then good. I wonder (in general) what our relationship with food/self-image would be like if these ads/magazines weren’t around?

    I also truly wish that photo shopping would stop. Kim Kardashian looks fine just the way she is in the “before” photo… and I can relate more to that photo.

    Wouldn’t it be something if they put warnings (or disclaimers) on photos that were photoshopped letting us know that this is an illusion and not the real thing? I know that will probally never happen, but a girl can dream.

    Also, 13 negative messages per day? I would think the average would be higher then that.. it’s so sad. I’m jealous of guys sometimes because they don’t seem to have as many self-image issues as women do.

    Thanks for talking about these sorts of things Caitlin 🙂

  • Stephanie June 17, 2011, 10:20 am

    I’m glad they pulled the commercial. I immediately hated the commercial for how unhealthy that woman’s relationship with food was. And the fact that they were using it to SELL to women who probably have done the same type of mental arguing over food choices is DISGUSTING to me.

  • Kimberly June 17, 2011, 10:26 am

    Hey! I worry about the sugars in yogurt. I like the chobani yogurts that have fruit in them. Most of those have up to 20 g. of sugar. I assume/hope that it’s natural sugars from the fruit but do you recommend plain greek yogurt? Thanks Caitlin!! Love your blog!

    • CaitlinHTP June 17, 2011, 10:34 am

      So the ingredients in Chobani Strawberry are on this page: There are strawberries, beet juice, and added cane sugar, all of which contribute to the 19 grams of sugar – but its hard to tell what comes from what.

      If you like the flavors but want to reduce added sugar, you could get plain yogurt and mix in fresh strawberries.

      • Kimberly June 17, 2011, 10:44 am

        Thanks so much for the quick response! What do you think about adding the sweetener stevia? From my research I’ve come to the conclusion it should be the safest no-calorie sweetener. However, I imagine it has to be chemically altered to get the product result. I appreciate your time!

        • Kimberly June 17, 2011, 10:49 am

          I’m sorry I should have done so before posting.. I searched your blog and saw you have used stevia! Nevermind! Thank you, lady! Have a great day.

        • CaitlinHTP June 17, 2011, 12:59 pm

          It’s okay! I use Stevia occasionally, I just try not to use it every single day. 🙂

  • jenna{frombostonwithlove} June 17, 2011, 10:31 am

    So the topic of the commercial(though I don’t love it) doesn’t bother me as much as the characters the women are playing. Media like this example continue to paint women as mindless one dimensional individuals who only grapple with *hard choices* like what to wear, yogurt vs. cheesecake, ect…

    The problem is, where as historically the general guy sometimes defaults to these stereotypes, women are starting to believe them – that we all really are bimbos who have orgasmic excitement over *fill in the blank product*. If I see one more commercial where a mother is completely overjoyed because of a mop, swifer, or appliance I will probably throw up a little.

  • Sandy June 17, 2011, 10:40 am

    I couldn’t agree with you more on this topic. I saw this ad on TV a week or two ago and several thoughts ran through my mind, “Are they serious???” “Did they really just promote disordered eating?” But the moment the ad ended I forgot about it. I’m thankful you brought this to light. Yoplait is crap and their ingredients are crap.

  • Kellie June 17, 2011, 10:41 am

    I am in recovery from anorexia and I hate these comercials. I am so sick of reading about skinny (read underweight, unhealthy) celebrities and their height and weight and how they “stay healthy”. Society needs to celebrate women for what they do, not how they look.

  • Mac June 17, 2011, 10:43 am

    My initial thoughts on the NEDA comment is that they over-reacted. But at a second, more sensitive glance, they do have a point. I am lucky to be one who has never had real self image issues, so when I see these commercials I don’t necessarily have negative thoughts like NEDA had. While I do think they have a point when it comes to people with disordered eating, I think with the amount of obese people in the world, it’s not a bad thing for this Yoplait commercial to have people thinking that dessert doesn’t always have to be the calorie laden option, it can be a sweet flavored yogurt. There are multiple angles you could look at this from and I’m sure I could sit and debate all angles, but for the sake of time and space on your post, I’ll leave it at that 🙂

  • Jacquelynn June 17, 2011, 10:45 am

    I am so glad they pulled the ad. Another commercial that drives me nuts is the one that says “Do you wish vegetables didn’t taste so vegetable-y?” I know it’s not a “bad” one for self-esteem, etc, but it just drives me crazy! It reminds me a bit of the Oprah episode where the staffers went vegan. If they had prepared veggies and grains using some of the amazing recipes out there, I think more of the people would have enjoyed the vegan lifestyle. Instead they were given tons of faux meat products (which aren’t horrible, but a vegan diet should be based around whole foods).

    • D June 17, 2011, 12:00 pm

      I think it’s unfortunate that you say that a vegan diet “should” be anything. A vegan diet, or any diet, “should” be whatever that person wants. I don’t think it’s fair to criticize the commercial, but then go on to say what the right thing to do is!

      • Jacquelynn June 17, 2011, 12:41 pm

        I agree with you that it should be whatever one wants it to be. I just think that whole foods give people optimal health.

  • Erin @ Naturally Addicted June 17, 2011, 10:46 am

    YES! I love that you addressed this topic today! I was reading the article about this ad this morning and I agree with your stance 100%. I think the commercial is ridiculous… they are basically providing young girls with the message that it’s normal to weigh food options with yourself and desserts are “bad.” I’m so happy the company agreed to pull the ad. Women today really need to just learn moderation and not beat themselves up about eat dessert every once in awhile! Thanks again for bringing up this issue!!
    PS- good luck with the house and closing I know how much of a pain that can be sometimes!!

  • Marissa C June 17, 2011, 10:47 am

    I think an interesting case lately is Kate Middleton–she was so gorgeous and healthy looking and now she is looking way too skinny! The media sometimes mentions it, but it seems like most are “afraid” to say anything because she is a Duchess and such a fashion icon.

  • Duffy June 17, 2011, 10:48 am

    So the one thing I DO appreciate about this commercial is that Yoplait is comparing their yogurt to cheesecake. Not calling it a healthy breakfast or something. Yoplait yogurt should be your dessert. It has as much sugar in it as a Hershey bar.

    Ok – here’s my ONE question, though. I feel like your statistic of 13 negative body thoughts in a day is actually an underestimate – I swear, I think I had 13 just this morning during my barre workout. Are commercials like this by any chance just getting us to admit to what so many of us do anyway? At least we’re talking about it now – rather than keeping it to ourselves.

    I’m not defending the commercial, believe me. It was stupid on so many levels. But I totally have those thoughts. At least if we’re able to see them and identify them as ridonkulous, maybe we can help the next generation of women by looking at the commercial and saying “See – the other woman was right on.”

    • CaitlinHTP June 17, 2011, 1:00 pm

      First of all, LOL to your first paragraph.

      The 13 negative thoughts a day stat is from a recent Glamour study – some women have more, and some have less. I definitely think you’re right – I love reading people’s responses on this because there is not necessarily ONE answer but the most important thing is that we can all talk about it and encourage companies to be more responsible.

  • Ashley June 17, 2011, 10:50 am

    Regarding the ED perspective, I don’t think this commercial would be any more triggering than the other Yoplait or Special K commercials, all of which are based on the same premise – wanting something, choosing to not have it, eating the product instead. I think, if this establishes some sort of precedent in the media, there can be far-reaching implications. But I don’t think it’s bad, trigger-wise.

    My real beef (hehe, so to speak) with GM/Yoplait/Special K is their misleading advertising. In ALL of their commercials, they propose their product as the healthy alternative and IT IS NOT. It’s a low-cal alternative. It’s not healthy. What could possibly be healthy about eating 1c Special K 2x/day as meal replacements?! Nothing. There are tons of women out there being mislead into this frame of mind, and I hate that.

    • Emily June 17, 2011, 2:18 pm

      AMEN. I used to do the low-cal thing just because I, as a naive consumer, thought it was healthier. It’s not. And you know what? Yoplait Light tastes like aspartame. Sugar-free Smuckers tastes like Splenda with a slight aftertaste of fruit. Special K two times a day? Who the hell thought of that? A girl I know is in recovery from an ED right now, and I check up on her daily intake on myfitnesspal from time to time. I want to cry when I see that she’s eating stuff like sugar-free imitation honey, fat-free Kraft cheese, Walmart brand egg whites, Better’n Peanut Butter, Weight Watchers ice cream bars, “light” Wonderbread… the whole shebang. Where’s the real food? No one can possibly get satisfaction out of that kind of diet. IT IS NOT HEALTHY, yet all that stuff is marketed as “better for you!” I really, really hate that.

  • Melody June 17, 2011, 10:50 am

    I have to admit I never thought much about those ads and whether they could exacerbate an eating disorder. What was going through my mind when watching the yoplait/cheesecake ad was: “it is healthier to eat the cheesecake than the chemical laden yoplait. At least the cheesecake is made with real food.” I would also never choose yoplait over a slice of cheesecake!

  • Kim June 17, 2011, 10:50 am

    This is the first time I’ve seen the commercial due to always use my DVR. Because of the topic I was kind of “prepped to be offended” but it really didn’t seem like a big deal to me. Actually, I find the commercials for triple cheeseburgers to be more offensive.

  • Katie @ peacebeme June 17, 2011, 10:52 am

    I saw this ad last week. I’m glad they took it off. At the timeI watched it, the word ‘disturbing’ ran through my head,not because she was choosing yogurt over cheesecake, but because of the dialogue (like jogging in place to work it off, like you said). I am glad it was pulled. I don’t think NEDA over-reacted.

    Totally agree that Yoplait isn’t good for you, yuck. I don’t even like how it tastes.

  • Mandy the Mood Eater June 17, 2011, 10:58 am

    I’m glad that the ad was pulled too – Caitlin, you bring up the right points! As someone who suffered from eating disorders/body dysmorphic disorder plus all the negativity that comes with it … that ad was full of negativity towards a woman’s body image, and you’re so right, it could easily trigger many ladies and affirm disordered behavior. No overreaction here – the NEDA deals with the eating disordered and knows what they’re to look for! They’re right to be on watch for ridiculous junk like this! Everyone has pointed out so many crazy implications in this ad … ugh.

  • poptartyogini June 17, 2011, 11:04 am

    the yoplait ad is pretty terrible. however, the idea that regular (not fat free) yoplait yogurt is junk food is also sending a negative message. in my treatment center, all food is considered good food. no food is junk. yoplait yogurt was just a dairy. nothing more, nothing less. no other label. in fact, we weren’t even allowed in the organic aisles when we shopped. just another perspective from someone who knows a little bit about the ED recovery process.

    • CaitlinHTP June 17, 2011, 1:02 pm

      Interesting perspective and I can tell how this would be so important for someone in recovery from an ED.

  • poptartyogini June 17, 2011, 11:04 am

    the yoplait ad is pretty terrible. however, the idea that regular (not fat free) yoplait yogurt is junk food is also sending a negative message. in my treatment center, all food is considered good food. no food is junk. yoplait yogurt was just a dairy. nothing more, nothing less. no other label. in fact, we weren’t even allowed in the organic aisles when we shopped. just another perspective from someone who knows a little bit about the ED recovery process.

    • poptartyogini June 17, 2011, 11:09 am

      oops. didn’t mean for this to post twice. my apologies!

  • Sheilah June 17, 2011, 11:08 am

    I actually find it more upsetting that the Yoplait ad is normalizing “you lost weight!” as an acceptable greeting. I hate that. Where is a conversation supposed to go from there? How do you reply to that? What if you haven’t lost weight? What if the other person has gained weight? Are you expected to share your weight loss practices? Argh.

    As to the actual topic, I find that I sometimes go through the motions of bargaining with myself if the item in question is, for example, a slice of cheesecake or something along the same caloric lines as that. (Not to be a jerk about this, but as I’m sure you all know, cheesecake has lots and lots of calories and little nutritional value.) If I really want cheesecake I will have it, but I think of myself as a fairly healthy person and also have a pretty strong sweet tooth. It’s fairly easy for me to have a phase of eating a lot more candy/desserts (in addition to generally healthy foods) once I get into the habit. I sometimes feel I need to kind of sit myself down and review what I’ve eaten for the last couple of days (just a highlight reel) and remind myself about whether I’ve already eaten cheesecake three times this week. It’s more of a checking in with myself, I guess.

    As to the ad, I ignore the message, because I know myself better than it does, and I know that if I’m dying for some cheesecake I’ll just eat it, and I know that Yoplait is basically junk food and way less satisfying than both cheesecake and Chobani. It might sound condescending, but it makes me feel bad for the girl in the ad rather than bad about myself. She’s a healthy-looking girl and unless she’s diabetic or has some other medical reason why eating a slice of cheesecake would be catastrophic, I wish she would just take a slice.

  • Beth (Well I'll Be) June 17, 2011, 11:19 am

    I used to eat this Yoplait dessert yogurt like it was going out of style in college. I would see commercials like these and just automatically think that was healthy, instead of reading the ingredients or doing research myself. If I had just eaten a freaking piece of cheesecake or real dessert I probably would have just been satisfied. Instead I was left still hungry and usually ate a second or third one or searched for more food that resulted in overeating. There are so many things wrong with that commercial, but in my opinion it is marketing the yogurt as the “healthier” option is the most ridiculous.

  • Rebecca June 17, 2011, 11:20 am

    I’ve seen this commercial multiple times, and every time I cringe. I want her to just eat the stupid cheesecake. It’s like my dad with ice cream–half the time he says something like, “I shouldn’t.” I HATE that. Shut up. One bowl of ice cream isn’t going to ruin your day. You don’t have to go “run it off.” Stop feeling guilty. And he’s not overweight. At all. Actually, people keep telling me that he’s too skinny and should eat more… But apparently all of his levels are in the normal/healthy range.
    Anyway. I’m not a big fan of the media a lot of times.
    It reminds me of the Gap controversy, or the thing with those crackers that had the slogan about being “too thin” or whatever… Whoever’s in charge of making up slogans and commercials for companies needs to pay more attention to the messages they’re sending.

  • Emily June 17, 2011, 11:23 am

    I haven’t bought Yoplait yogurt in quite a long time for two reasons. One, like you said, it’s junk! HFCS, stabilizers, and God knows what else – I don’t need that in my body, because it ain’t gonna do anything for me. And two, I get extremely angry whenever I see their commercials. Sure, it’s nice that they’re trying to help people make healthier choices, but they’re going at it from an entirely wrong angle – and furthermore, their product isn’t at all healthy! Not one, not two, but three of my friends have suffered from EDs, and as someone who has witnessed EDs in action (and, I admit, occasionally heard the ED voice in my own head), I can safely say that these commercials make women feel like crap. They promote disordered eating, simple as that. “Oh, I can balance this out with celery sticks. Or maybe I can eat it while I jog in place.” It’s as if they’re holding up a flashing neon sign to those with eating disorders saying “Here! Look, you’re normal! Everyone worries about food as much as you do, so keep on keepin’ on!” And the cycle continues.
    Why must advertising campaigns for “health food” these days play on – and thus create – feelings of guilt? It seems like body image is a selling point for everything these days. You can’t turn around without seeing another Photoshopped image, another ad for an entree that “under 550 calories and delicious!” at a restaurant, another headline detailing “How So-And-So Lost 30 Pounds and Kept It Off!” It’s disgusting. Food is meant to be enjoyed and eaten in moderation, yet the big-box companies are selling “healthy” products – most of which are essentially crap – by playing on the low self-esteem of today’s women. It makes me absolutely livid… oh lord, I could go on about this for ages, but I’ll restrain myself.

    • Emily June 17, 2011, 11:45 am

      Another thing that I forgot to bring up – why on earth has “oh, have you lost weight?” become an acceptable way to greet someone? And what are you supposed to say to a person who asks you this? How are you supposed to handle the “oh, you’re so skinny!” comments – I mean, is that supposed to be a compliment?! I’m sixteen years old and clinically underweight (I won’t write the numbers b/c I don’t want to trigger anyone), and let me tell you, I have gotten many, MANY comments on my weight – and a lot of them come from adults. Honestly, I can understand when girls my age comment on my weight… at this age, nearly all of us suffer from low self-esteem and the desire to be “skinny”. But grown men and women commenting on a teenage girl’s appearance? I was throwing my (empty) plate away after lunch at church a few weeks ago when a man – the father of an eleven-year-old girl, I might add – said “Oh, I know you didn’t eat all that – you’re stick thin!” On the same day, I was eating a small slice of cheesecake, and a mother sitting across from me at the table said “I wish I could eat like that and stay as skinny as you!” I sort of smiled and shrugged at both comments, but inside I.was.FUMING. You can’t say that to someone, you just can’t. Imagine if I’d been in recovery from an ED. Comments like that would have sent me straight back into the downward spiral, and that’s basically what the Yoplait commercial was doing, yes?
      Why has it become okay to do this? Nobody would say something like “oh my gosh, you’re so FAT!” to an overweight person – yet it’s okay to say “oh my gosh, you’re so SKINNY!” to an underweight person? Why do companies like Yoplait play on this to sell products?! I’m a big believer in eating what you crave (in moderation, of course) and honoring your body. If the girl wants the cheesecake, she should eat the damn cheesecake, just as long as she’s not doing it every day. Yesterday was 85º where I live, and I had an ice cream cone. Did I feel guilty about it? No. Did I debate for ten minutes in front of the freezer before deciding to eat it? No. Thankfully, I have a very good body image and sense of self-worth, and I think this is thanks, at least in part, to the fact that I very rarely watched TV or read teen magazines when I was younger. The Yoplait commercial and others like it don’t necessarily make me feel bad about myself, but I can certainly see why the NEDA wanted it pulled, and I’m glad that it’s off the air now.
      Goodness, I think I’ve said more than my fair share. I’ll shut up now 🙂

      • Hannah June 17, 2011, 11:59 am

        Emily — THANK YOU so much for brining this up. When I was in high school, I lost too much weight. It was kind of by accident, but once I had lost it, I developed feelings of anxiety surrounding gaining the weight back. And those feelings of anxiety were heightened SO MUCH by the barrage of constant praise I got (and more from adults than my friends even!) I remember vividly going shopping with my mom at one of my lowest weights, and the saleslady going on and on about how slim I was. My mom, bless her, made a very tactful comment about how I had lost a bit too much weight, but the saleslady, completely oblivious, was like, “NO, NO, you can never lose too much weight. She looks amazing!” And let me tell you, I DID NOT look amazing. Nor did I feel amazing. I was tired, pale, and cold.

        Similarly, my mom suffers from ulcerative colitis, and when it first developed a few years ago, she lost a ton of weight. And all ANYONE would tell her, upon meeting her, seeing her, etc., was how amazing she looked because she had lost so much weight. Meanwhile, she felt sicker than she ever had in her entire life, could barely stomach anything, and couldn’t even go into work most of the week.

        J.K. Rowling actually wrote a wonderful article that’s very relevant to this topic, discussing how us women measure each other by how much we weigh rather than our real achievements, like writing best-selling novels! Link here:

        I could go on and on forever, but I’ll stop now too 🙂

        • Emily June 17, 2011, 12:12 pm

          Oh, I LOVE that J.K. Rowling article, and in fact, I often think of it whenever I start comparing myself to others. Now, there’s an example of a really wonderful role model for girls – I truly admire her and everything she said there.

          It is rather interesting, though, that both of us have noticed that many of the weight comments come from adults… In fact, a few of my close friends have told me that I should probably try to gain weight – yet many adult women have enviously (!) commented on my size. What kind of message are they trying to send to their kids, and more importantly, to the girls they’re complimenting?! It just baffles me, and I have no idea what, if anything I can do about it. *shrug*

        • Hannah June 17, 2011, 2:58 pm

          I don’t know why, either. I wonder if some part of it might be the desire to be young again, because skinny = pre-puberty = adolescence. And we also live in a society that is obsessed with youth. Also, there was another really interesting article in the NY Times recently (sorry to keep citing articles haha) about a rising trend of middle-aged women developing EDs later in life. very fascinating…. here’s the link if anyone is interested:

      • Dana P. June 17, 2011, 1:08 pm

        As someone who is fat, I may not have people come right out and say “oh my gosh, you’r so fat” or “You’ve gained a lot of weight” but I do get people–family, aquaintances, strangers–ask if I am pregnant or when my baby is due. That is also not acceptible!!! Somedays I just want to look at someone and say, “No, I’m just fat.” I had one lady in my church who got all excited because she thought I was pregnant and when I said no, she said, “are you sure?” It’s hard not to let those kind of things get to me.

        • CaitlinHTP June 17, 2011, 1:40 pm

          I am sorry 🙁 I want to hug you and punch that lady.

        • Emily June 17, 2011, 1:53 pm

          The same thing happened to my mom a few years back (it happened at church, too – how weird), and I think she was really shaken by it. I’m so, SO sorry that happened to you! Pardon my French, but I’d really love to punch that asshole woman. Women are beautiful no matter their size, including you. <3

        • Hannah June 17, 2011, 3:00 pm

          I want to re-iterate what Caitlin and Emily have said. I am SO sorry that happened to you, and I too want to punch that woman. Since when did people think it was ever acceptable to comment on another woman’s size (no matter what end of the spectrum it falls on?)

        • Dana P. June 17, 2011, 3:27 pm

          Thanks girls! Yeah, I will admit that was mine and my husband’s first reaction too…I think a lot of it boils down to people can be clueless sometimes and not think before they speak. Or, in the case of that Yoplait ad, they don’t think how the message will be interpreted.

  • mary (what's cookin with mary) June 17, 2011, 11:24 am

    “Personally, I find the portrayal of Yoplait as the ‘healthier alternative’ to be laughable.” – I couldn’t agree with you more Caitlin. It’s so annoying to me when I see silly marketing for ‘healthy’ items that really couldn’t be farther from that.

  • Kristen @ The Concrete Runner June 17, 2011, 11:24 am

    What happened to everything in moderation? Isn’t THAT the healthy way to eat? I’m sorry, if I want cheesecake, cheesecake flavored yogurt just isn’t going to cut it – AND I’ll be more likely to overeat later just for the fact that I didn’t eat what I wanted. I have gone through the thinking she goes through in the commercial before and I was so unhappy with myself and the way I looked more than I am now, eating desserts and ‘everything in moderation’. I agree with you – I hate those products for telling women that the only way they will be happy is if they are dieting and passing up the things they truly enjoy.

  • Sarah for Real June 17, 2011, 11:24 am

    This is why everyone should have a DVR! The only commercials I ever see are the ones aimed at old people during the nightly news. I’m not in the market for viagra so it doesn’t phase me.

  • shelby June 17, 2011, 11:25 am

    Yes, I do think it’s an overreaction. The commercial is hyperbole. No different from a commercial for lotion showing a woman next to a crocodile in one frame and wrapped in silk sheets in the next. If everyone took everything they saw on TV literally…well, let’s just say life ain’t an episode of House Hunters, eh?

    Anyway. I feel for the small group of people (recovering ED patients) for whom a commercial like this is triggering, but I do think it’s an overreaction for them to pull it. The world will always made of eggshells for someone.

  • Jill Will Run June 17, 2011, 11:33 am

    I am in recovery from an ED (anorexia nervosa) and have had internal debates like that. I won’t go into too much detail about the inner battles that I’ve waged because I don’t want to trigger anyone else and I don’t want to dredge those up too much since recovery is a hard battle.

    But I didn’t feel like NEDA “attacked” Yoplait, instead they educated Yoplait on the negative impact of their message. And Yoplait did the admirable thing by agreeing to pull it.

    In general Yoplait, Special K and MANY MANY other companies need to stop playing the fear card against women. That’s incredibly frustrating and wrong.

    And thank you for pointing out healthier alternatives. Even if we are trying remember that food is food and if we really crave something we should allow ourselves in moderation to eat anything we want, but if we’re eating something due to its marketed “health” benefits when there are healthier (and tastier) options that’s the direction we should take!

  • Ashley @ the fit academic June 17, 2011, 11:36 am

    Wow – to be honest, I’ve seen the ad on TV and never really thought anything of it! But maybe I’ve been desensitized to it & I’ve never struggled from an ED so it doesn’t “trigger” anything in me.
    It’s really amazing to hear that on average women have 18 negative self-thoughts a day! That’s just crazy! If there’s something the media can do to try to lower that number, I think it would definitely be the most responsible thing!

  • Taysa June 17, 2011, 11:38 am

    I also was not offended by the ad. While I see that it is ridiculous, it’s also a commercial for a yogurt that, as you said, is basically junk food. But then again, I don’t watch TV.

    Frankly, as someone in the process of losing a significant amount of weight, I can say that the thought process is not entirely unlike my own. I am constantly trying to stay close to a certain calorie intake, so when I want to indulge, I try to figure out when I can workout a little more, but finding alternatives that still make me feel like I’ve indulged (such as yogurt) are in the end a better choice. I think that was the message, and I honestly don’t think there’s anything wrong with most of the American population getting that message.

  • Madz June 17, 2011, 11:39 am

    As a recovered anorexic / struggling orthorexic, this is definitely triggering. For me, a lot of the issue was hearing about “bad” foods, and then cutting them out of my diet. I’m now vegan, but if I had watched that before going vegan, I would’ve added cheese and cake and cheesecake to my list of banned foods, eaten more celery and probably replace meals with yoghurt. It is extreme, but disorders like these do that. I think that NEDA was correct in pulling the ad.
    Furthermore, in light of what you said at the end, the advertisement should’ve been pulled ANYWAY, for being a blatant lie about healthy eating! It is misleading and damaging.

  • shelby June 17, 2011, 11:49 am

    I may get a huge backlash for this but…

    We live in a country where 65% of the population is overweight or obese. Many of these people are choosing to eat the cheesecake or the extra large value meal every. single. day. For the majority of people in the United States, choosing to replace a snack with yogurt is certainly a better choice.

    As a doctor, I definitely advocate that my patients should be consuming a more natural snack than Yoplait. However, when working with a morbidly obese patient, satisfying a sweet craving for 100 (easily accessible) calories versus 500 is a huge step in the right direction. Choosing a snack with better nutrient value may be the next step.

    I think sometimes the healthy living blog community forgets that the reality is that America is a sad nation of sick people and it is only getting worse. I understand that the add might be triggering for eating disordered patients but I think anything that suggests an alternative to traditionally fattening snacks is a positive message for Americans.

    • D June 17, 2011, 12:03 pm

      Great point!

      I think it’s all good and fine for thin women to promote “real food” regardless of calories, but if someone is struggling with their weight, let’s not criticize yet ANOTHER food product and say it is bad.

    • Hannah June 17, 2011, 12:08 pm

      Hi Shelby!
      I think you make a wonderful point, and it is definitely something to take into consideration. That being said, I still think there are far better ways to market healthy food (or healthier, anyway, seeing as Yoplait is not exactly the ideal of health food), ones that offer positive messages of reinforcement, rather than ones that perpetrate feelings of guilt and disordered ways of thinking about food.
      Moreover, healthy food can and should taste great, and complete deprivation almost ALWAYS leads to overeating later.
      For example, it would be far better to encourage people to, say, eat a lowfat Greek yogurt sweetened with fruit or a little bit of honey (and one can adjust the sweetness accordingly as he/she make steps to improve his/her health), and then enjoy a small slice of cheesecake, on occasion, without any guilt attached. And the focus should be on what this does for one’s health, both physically and mentally.

      If we continue, as a society, to approach food with the mentality in this ad, it will have negative effects on many people, not just those struggling with an ED. Anyway, just my two cents. I welcome other people’s opinions!

      • Hannah June 17, 2011, 12:12 pm

        also, as I know someone will inevitably point out the increased cost of Greek yogurt, I wanted to add that the main issue here is really not about the Yoplait being healthy or not, but rather with the attitudes/mentality perpetrated in the ad!

        Of course, than there is the whole issue of long-term health costs, which are not accounted for merely in the sticker price of a food item, but I’ll leave that for another time.

    • CaitlinHTP June 17, 2011, 1:07 pm

      I think this is a good point, Shelby – I just wish it wasn’t Yoplait making the point LOL!

  • Crystal June 17, 2011, 11:56 am

    First and foremost, I agree with you that Yoplait is just chemical-laden dairy disguised as a “healthy” alternative to dessert. I’m sorry, but I’d rather be 10 pounds overweight and eat dessert than eat Yoplait yogurt and pretend that it’s as good as the real thing.

    I do think that ad, along with many others, can be a trigger for people with eating disorders. What’s scary is that children are exposed to these ads, and the good food vs. bad food mentality starts to set in. It sends the message that you shouldn’t dare wear a bikini in public unless you slim down (in reference to another Yoplait ad).

    I read a comment yesterday that said yes, this could be a trigger eating disorders, but couldn’t alcohol ads be a trigger for alcoholics? Why not pull these ads too? Somehow I don’t think the two are on the same level….I don’t know.

    I hope that if I ever have daughters I can get the message across to them that they ARE enough, regardless of what the media says. Somehow I think that we are going to have to fight this battle for a long time…

  • Allie Q (Fit Geek) June 17, 2011, 11:58 am

    I’ve facetiously said before that “I’m a victim of the media.” I’m half-joking, half-serious when I say it. The joking part is me not wanting to victimize myself, and the serious part acknowledges that the media probably has shaped my mind to be more self-conscious.

    The issue with the commercial is tricky. I understand both sides of the argument: That people who are obese or overweight should make healthier food choices, and that messages just like this just make us even more insecure and paranoid about food.

    I think Yoplait could have chosen a more positive way to reinforce the message that there are healthy options out there, rather than harping on a woman’s paranoia and guilt.

  • Nicole, RD June 17, 2011, 11:58 am

    I agree with both Shelby’s. The world will always made of eggshells for someone – so true.

    And I tooootally agree that the blog world lives in this little bubble of perfection. Well, it aint real, lemme tell ya. While I may choose the best option for myself (at 2x the cost, mind you), I’m certainly not going to tell someone that their Yoplait isn’t a better choice than the mongo slice of cheesecake. And as silly as that sounds, people have to be able to make better choices, even if it’s not THE best choice. If we don’t encourage the small changes, no one will ever stack up – whether it’s weight or food choices, or whatever.

  • Erin @ The Grass Skirt June 17, 2011, 12:06 pm

    I’m not sure that the ads would trigger EDs necessarily, but I do think that the ads are a bit irresponsible. They send the message that you have to virtual starve yourself or deprive yourself of your favorite foods just to fit into jeans or a bathing suit. I’ve always hated yogurt ads in general for that very reason. Yes, it isn’t healthy to pig out on desserts all of the time, but you’re not a bad person and shouldn’t feel guilty if you’re living off more than yogurt cups and celery sticks. There has got to be some middle ground somewhere that yogurt companies can portray.

  • Lisa Marshall June 17, 2011, 12:08 pm

    What about the fact that both these girls are already thinner than the majority of women in America. This just reinforces the idea that no matter how fit you are, you’ll always be too big, or too this, or too that. You can just never be happy with yourself. The girl that has allegedly “lost weight” in my opinion, needs to GAIN some!

    If a corporation wants to market their food as something healthy, first of all, YES, it should BE HEALTHY! Not artificial and full of sugar and hormone-treated milk. But it should also be portrayed as a food that is NUTRITIOUS and helps you be healthy. Like keeps you full and gives you a good energy boost. Or is a responsible food choice for the planet. Why does it always have to be about – “what will I look like if I do/don’t do/eat/have/take this thing.”

    I don’t watch TV. I don’t read mainstream magazines. I’ve opted out of this crap. If I have a healthy BMI, good health check ups, can run a mile in less than 10 minutes or hang with a Bob Harper Cardio video, then how dare someone tell me I am “fat” or “unhealthy” or “gross” because my pants are a size 12.

    Seeing this just reminds me why I choose NOT to participate in this aspect of American life. I don’t buy these products, I don’t watch these shows, and I don’t let these people decide how I should feel about myself.

    • Jessica June 17, 2011, 12:54 pm

      Agreed! (I need a Facebook-style ‘like’ button here). 😀

    • CaitlinHTP June 17, 2011, 1:08 pm

      I think it’s awesome you choose not to participate in this part of American culture. I choose not to read magazines that make me feel so crappy, and I am. so. happier. because of it.

    • Leanne (Bride to Mrs,) June 17, 2011, 1:48 pm

      I love this comment Lisa! I’m going to start considering what websites/tv shows/etc. I spend my time watching because I don’t need these things to influence my mood anymore!

  • D June 17, 2011, 12:11 pm

    I haven’t read every comment, so I may or may not repeat some..sorry.
    For a short answer, I have no problem with this ad…b/c if you are trying to lose weight, you do have to weigh choices and you will want the unhealthy fattening dessert more often than you won’t want it. I am not a dessert/sweets person – give me carbs/salty snacks anyday so this isn’t something I struggle with often, but I have plenty of friends, of all body types, that do. The reality is, if you want to lose weight – for whatever reason you want to lose weight, health, so clothes fit better, so you are happy with your body – you can’t just eat whatever you want, whenever you want. This ad isn’t saying that you can never choose the real dessert, it’s saying that there is an alternative…if nothing else, that yogurt container is smaller than the dessert portion that you would take.

    • megan @ whatmegansmaking June 17, 2011, 3:57 pm

      I love this post and completely agree (posted something slightly similar further up)

  • Jo @ Jo In the Kitchen June 17, 2011, 12:12 pm

    I remember seeing that commercial and thinking about how awful it was. I know I’ve had that debate (and far worse) with myself, and it was really disheartening to hear it on tv too. Although I don’t buy Yoplait products, I’m impressed that they reacted so quickly and pulled the commercial. Hopefully they will keep things like this in mind when they plan their next commercial.

  • Selena June 17, 2011, 12:13 pm

    I’ve never really thought about the negativity of these commercials…maybe because they just don’t affect me, maybe because I’ve never had an eating disorder…although maybe I have since I have bargained with myself about food before. I don’t know what the answer is, but I do think these commercials are ridiculous and I can certainly now see how this could be a trigger for someone with serious body/eating issues.

    I mostly wanted to say, thank you for all of the work you do. As a mom with 3 little girls and a major fear of how life will be as they grow up and a strong desire to teach them to be healthy, I appreciate it! I will tell you that my 7 year old has already told me that her friends have talked about their “fat bellies”, she fortunately doesn’t feel this way about herself but how if the world does a 7 year old think they have a fat belly…especially when they are a completely normal weight. So, SO scary.

    The lack of education about what is ACTUALLY healthy scares me too. What I see in kid’s lunches at my middle daughter’s daycare scares the heck out of me. Gogurts and canned fruit are part of the other kid’s “healthy lunches”. It isn’t unusual to see the other 4 year olds with lunchables and a Capri Sun. The lack of nutrients and packaging…UGH!!

    • Jessica June 17, 2011, 12:51 pm

      I totally agree with you about the importance of education! Being informed about making healthy decisions is made all the more difficult by ad campaigns like this one, that promote sweetener-laden junk like this as health food. I think that many, many people are unaware of (and lack the means to become of aware of) the full picture regarding the nutritional and (as you point out) environment impact of the dietary decisions they make.

  • Whitney B. June 17, 2011, 12:13 pm

    Great post, Caitlin.

    I do not support Yoplait’s commercial in the slightest, and absolutely agree with those who have already commented on the inappropriateness of making light or fun of the unhealthy internal dialogue that too many of us struggle with on a regular basis. And, for what it’s worth, I’m 100% on the Chobani bandwagon :).

    HOWEVER, I do think it’s important to give the company credit for having pulled the ad. They may have done so only after NEDA helped instigate a public outcry, but the point is that they responded. It’s not often that we see food companies, beauty magazines, or other offenders rescinding offensive images/advertisements. At least Yoplait did the right thing in the end.

  • Jessica June 17, 2011, 12:14 pm

    I completely agree with your analysis of this, Caitlin. I think Yoplait is trying to use women’s fears and vulnerabilities over their weight and body image to their advantage, and that is disgusting. As a woman, I think it is unfortunately extremely difficult to not succumb to thoughts like this on a regular basis, and the last thing we need is for these thoughts to be essentially validated as part of a marketing campaign.

    On a broader level, I have recently really been wondering how to react when friends express these types of thoughts aloud. I have friends who will regularly express their disappointment in their eating habits that day, talk about how they need to work out more to burn off their ‘indulgences,’ etc. (basically the same ideas being expressed in this commercial). While I’m all for making healthy dietary and lifestyle choices, I find these comments very unsettling, and I have no idea how to respond.

  • Jen June 17, 2011, 12:15 pm

    Hi Caitlin
    I’ve never commented before, but I just wanted to say that this post is awesome! (and the rest of your blog) This issue on women’s relationships with food is so important. I’m definitely glad that the ad was pulled. It makes me wonder who the script writers were – any thoughts? Men that think this is how women think? Or women who truly believe that this is the relationship we should have with food?

    I love delicious food so much! So I love reading your blog which helps to reinforce that enjoying food (from healthy things like spinach to decadent things like brownies) are all part of a balanced lifestyle. The hard part for me is that I’m not sure some of my friends have that same relationship with food. I often feel like I’m one of few eating dessert when we hang out. It’s hard to maintain that feeling that it’s okay to eat dessert when many of the women around me do not. All of my friends and I are healthy weights, so it saddens me to think they don’t enjoy dessert. Also, it can make me feel guilty enjoying food in front of them. At the end of the day, I know I’m happy and healthy and my friends are great for other reasons than the food they eat. Everyone makes their own choices. The funny thing is that I always enjoy eating more around my guy friends and brother where NO one shows restraint!

  • Anna Crouch June 17, 2011, 12:23 pm

    Okay, so…although I have never consciously thought of this commercial in the light of being a trigger point for myself, or someone with an eating disorder, I believe it can be! Because let’s face it, no one consciously decides they are going to think of themselves as unworthy. No one initially makes a decision to devalue themselves. They may make the decision to start starving themselves–yes, that is a choice. But the thoughts behind the actions, no, those are not conscious decisions when everything first starts out! That being said, I believe commercials like this create a subliminal message to girls and women of all ages. I believe that after viewing this commercial, and ones like it, a mindset starts to form and the ‘joke’ in this message is seen as the norm–how we should view dessert, how we should view food, how we need to justify eating, how it’s apparently ‘normal’ to fear certain foods. It sends out this hidden message that undoubtedly forms (or continues, heightens and worsens) disordered thoughts. Not everyone may recognize or identify the underlying consequences. Sure, maybe Yoplait didn’t purposefully create this commercial with the intention of subliminally sabotaging one’s healthy relationship with food….it’s just a way for them to subliminally advertise their product, in hopes to attract people to purchase the yogurt. Sorry, I’ll get on to your questions.

    Did NEDA overreact to the Yoplait ad?
    NO! I don’t believe so at all. In addition to it possibly being triggering for some people, it ALSO sends out the message that everyone participates in this way of thinking/talking/justifying/fearing battle with food. It makes one think “Oh…this is just normal. It’s what I must live with, as a woman. Everyone struggles with this…there’s no end to the battle. That’s just the way it is.” Their way of thinking might go from diordered, to being thought of as normal. And then they may never realize they need help. When in reality, NO, it’s not normal! And NO, it’s not healthy! And NO, not everyone constantly struggles with balancing their healthy eats and indulgences. You CAN find a healthy balance. And it doesn’t come by fearing food, and having nasty thoughts toward food.

    If you have an ED, do you think ads like this are triggering? If you don’t, do ads like this make you feel bad or do you just ignore the messages?
    I have been in the recovery process for about 6 months. I don’t necessarily consciously think of this commercial as triggering. BUT, I do recognize that it is a very disordered thought process–one that I have definitely struggled with in the past. At this stage, I know better and when I see a commercial like this I just think “wow, that’s ridiculous.” But if I had seen this commercial as a kid, it TOTALLY would have influenced and altered my perspective and thoughts toward food. Kids are so vulnerable and susceptible to being influenced (in both positive and negative ways), so I think it can definitely be triggering…even if the person doesn’t consciously realize it.

  • Heather June 17, 2011, 12:25 pm

    I agree! Most yogurts are total crap! Fillers, sugar, gums etc. Empty calories in my opinion!

    I am much more satisfied with full fat (I am talking 10% MF) yogurt with berries (that a a low fat flavouried yogurt)….I also am a fan of cheesecake.

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing June 17, 2011, 12:27 pm

    I have a history of an ED and while it’s not triggering for me when I see it, that exact ad HAS crossed my mine when I want a dessert… I always think, well, I “should” have a healthier choice. But that’s bull.. there is NOTHING wrong with indulging now and again!

  • Kristy June 17, 2011, 12:42 pm

    I think commercials in general are crap! They portray life with their product as being better. Messages like, the kind of car you drive gets you noticed(even if that car has you in debt over your head). Stock photos in print advertisments portraying the perfect family. Reality is far different. I don’t feel it is about being over sensitive, we are hit with advertising everywhere we look – Television, internet, billboards, grocery stores, packaging it is endless. And the constant messages of products that will give us the perfect life, body, image, family etc have huge psychological effects on all of us in some way.

    I am with you on the Yoplait – the cover their products marketed to kids with Dora, SpongeBob and the Trix rabbit. Bright colored yogurt with chemicals is nowhere near healthy! We stick with the same ones you mentioned except I cannot find Chobani in our area. The last time I checked Special K had High Fructose Corn syrup- yuck. 🙂

  • kyndra June 17, 2011, 12:55 pm

    i’m recovered from an eating disorder and, personally, i don’t think the ad is a big deal. that’s not to say that i think others are overreacting when they decry the commercial . . . i do see the point they’re making. i don’t know, maybe i’ve just learned to see these ads as the ridiculous tripe they are and not really pay them any mind? and the fact that my view on food has changed drastically probably has something to do with it.

    i know this is going to sound nuts, but i beat my eating disorder by switching to the high carb raw vegan lifestyle. as soon as i stopped pumping my body full of toxic waste and fuelling up on sweet, raw fruit it’s like a switch in my mind was flipped- i no longer had negative thoughts about my body or pretty much anything else. i went back to cooked food a few times and the old patterns immediately resurfaced. i know it sounds very simplistic to say that just changing your diet will “cure” someone of anorexia and bulimia, but in my case (and that of many other women), it’s the truth. check out if you want more info on this.

    • Jessica June 17, 2011, 1:00 pm

      I totally agree with you about ads being ‘ridiculous tripe’ (well put), and I rarely see them or pay them any mind. But A LOT of people do! That is what makes this so alarming to me.

  • Rachel June 17, 2011, 12:55 pm

    Good post! I’ve definitely struggled over the years with the concept that dessert is bad for you and something you should never eat. It took me far too long to realize that having a moderate dessert everyday is perfectly okay! And I agree that ads, like Yoplait’s, is one of the causes of distorted thinking and distorted body images.
    I also think women’s magazines are a HUGE cause of distorted thinking. They make it seem like dieting is normal and skinny is happy. It always drives me crazy when you see ads or articles that proclaim losing weight will make you happy! FYI, if you are unhappy at your current weight you will probably be unhappy at a smaller weight. I think we need to change the association we have as a society with the idea that being skinny means being happy. It is what ads, magazines, TV shows, etc. all perpetuate.

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife June 17, 2011, 12:56 pm

    I think it is CRAZY that companies that advertise pretty crappy food try to make women feel bad about their decisions. We should be empowering women to be strong and healthy, not skinny and waif-like.

    Besides, what man really wants a woman who has no curves? 😉 And in addition, I believe that eating well makes our bodies feel well, even when we listen to our bodies and eat dessert. I like eating those indulgences because they are special, and I keep them that way.

    Good thoughts!

  • Tiffany June 17, 2011, 1:01 pm

    Honestly? I think this is a load of BS. Its sad that nowadays, there is no personal responsibility. We blame the media, each other, our upbringing…everything but ourselves for our weight issues. WE are the ones who decide what to eat. I found the Yoplait commercial pretty true to life for many females out there, myself included. A lot of us DO want that cheesecake, but know that one slice of that can undo weeks worth of dieting and being ‘good’. I do find it ironic that healthy/food bloggers agree with this ad being pulled and preach about how bad it is that the media focuses on women being skinny to be happy…but have you realized 99% of ALL food bloggers were at a normal, healthy weight, but many became incredibly thin after “diet changes” to become “healthy”? I roll my eyes anytime a blogger starts the whole “be happy at any size” crap because they themselves weren’t happy when they were at a normal weight- why do they have the right to tell people with REAL weight issues to “be happy”?

    • D June 17, 2011, 9:17 pm

      I like this comment!

      Agreed – I would hazard a guess that 95% of healthy living bloggers lost weight right before their blog started, or in the early stages.

      Caitlin, you used to have a line in your “about me” sidebar thing that said you had lost 10 pounds. I’m definitely not criticizing, and I realize (and love!) that your blog has changed. But, like Tiffany just said, it’s hard to find a blogger who hasn’t started out by losing weight.

      • Sarah June 18, 2011, 4:38 am

        I didn’t start my blog after losing weight! Nor did I start it by gaining weight! Whilst I have found your comments interesting, but I can’t help but think they are a little short-sighted. There are plenty of healthy living blogs out there who blog because they are passionate about food and health outside/apart from weight.

        • D June 18, 2011, 11:34 am

          I don’t think that ALL blogs are about weight-loss! And I didn’t mean to stereotype so I’m sorry if that offends!

          My point was just that if you look at the “major” healthy living blogs out there, you will see that the vast majority DID start out with a weight loss story or an ED recovery story. Or, they have a heavy emphasis on weight loss, or they have discussed losing vanity pounds or getting to a “happy weight”. For example.

          -Healthy Tipping Point (again, Caitlin, I totally recognize your blog has changed and is not about weight loss, so I’m not being negative!) started out with a tagline about losing 10 pounds

          -carrots and cake
          -meals and miles
          -oh she glows
          -run eat repeat
          -kath eats
          -meals and moves
          -trying to heal
          -daily garnish
          -eat live run
          -choosing raw
          -heather eats almond butter
          -eating bird food
          -live laugh eat
          -katy widrick
          -brit chick runs
          -healthy ashley
          -healthy and sane
          -health for the whole self

          There is nothing wrong with these blogs, and I happen to read a lot of them! But, I think it is worth mentioning that many, many bloggers who are “passionate” about health also suffered from some eating or image issues in their past or present.

  • Tiffany June 17, 2011, 1:02 pm

    Wanted to ad that I love healthy living blogs as a whole, I just hate the whole “do as I say, not as I do” mindset about how we should feel about weight 😉

  • Kristin June 17, 2011, 1:07 pm

    THANK YOU!!!
    I hate Yoplait!!! It’s pudding disguised as a healthy option because of some cultures it has.
    I have people angry with me because I told them that Yoplait is basically crap- (after she asked me what to eat- so no, I wasn’t preaching my eating habits randomly around)

    As a recovered bulimic- the commercial didn’t trigger any feelings with me and honestly I didn’t think twice about it until I read this post.
    I can say that NEDA may have overreacted, but on the other hand, maybe it’s their job to overreact. There’s all these skewed perceptions about food now that a lot of people are really past the point of no return. It’s hard to unlearn the behaviors and things that mass marketing campaigns have been telling us for the past two decades: that nonfat and lowfat are always better, that diet and sugar free are always better, etc.
    So, although it may be an unconventional route (i.e. NEDA stepping in, and not another agency) perhaps it’s just what all this needs.

  • Jaclyn June 17, 2011, 1:08 pm

    Okay I love that you posted this and I thought the same thing when I saw that yoplait ad. I don’t know anyone that would agree that eating a diet yogurt is “treating yourself.” If you wnat the damn cheesecake, just eat the damn cheesecake!!

    This Media Power issue is especially interesting to me; I am a *now Senior* undergrad studying Communication and have been taking a LOT, almost primarily Media studies classes over the past couple of years. Their messages are so often so loud and (not so) clear, and definitely do have an impact on readers/viewers. I’m glad you posted about this to get people thinking about the power of advertisements.

  • shelby June 17, 2011, 1:15 pm

    Serious question to everyone who is agreeing with this post: if the two actresses in the commercial were morbidly obese, would you feel the same way?

    Just curious.

    • CaitlinHTP June 17, 2011, 1:39 pm

      Heck yes. Just because someone is overweight doesn’t mean they should 1) berate themselves for food choices or 2) feel like they have to eat processed crap to look better. I don’t think the weight of the actresses has anything to do with it (for me).

      • Sammy June 17, 2011, 2:03 pm

        If the weight of the actors doesn’t matter, than why berate someone for what they feel is making a better food choice *for *them*? If you saw me on the street having an internal struggle over whether to eat a piece of cake or a Yoplait, and I chose the later because I’m trying to lose weight, would you come over and make me feel guilty about it?

        • Sammy June 17, 2011, 2:03 pm

          PS..I know they are actors, I’m just putting out a hypothetical. (-:

        • Jill Will Run June 17, 2011, 2:34 pm

          How would we know you’re having an internal struggle? 😉

          But I agree with Caitlin, the weight doesn’t mean anything to me… for me the bad thing is that food is assigned a moral value. Food is food… we all need it, not purely for energy (calories.) It’s something to be enjoyed, to help us feel our best, to build connections with others, etc.

    • ally June 17, 2011, 2:03 pm

      I wrote upthread that I generally agreed and that I don’t think people should be shamed into eating one thing and not another, and I would feel that way no matter what size the actresses were. I don’t care what people eat, in commercials or in real life. People can make their own choices. I do however disagree with the ad being pulled because as it has been pointed out above a lot of potentially triggering crap is out there and we all just have to deal.

    • sarah June 17, 2011, 2:33 pm

      So I think the original ad is trying to make fun of the absurd mind games women play with themselves while dieting, so no, I don’t agree that it should have been yanked. There are a ton of ads out there that are more “offensive” but don’t have as vocal lobbying groups to protest them.

      But I wanted to respond to the hypothetically obese actress situation: I think most people would be MORE offended by seeing an overweight woman fretting about her weight. And that is what gets to the heart of what I see as the absurdity of this situation – Americans are at the forefront of major health and obesity crisis, and yet you seldom, if ever, see obese people in ads about getting healthier. Even those silly Alli commercials feature slender women. The face of healthy America is the gorgeous Michelle Obama. The only time we see really fat people in the media is when they are in 5 p.m. news spots, with their faces blurred out and their rear ends jiggling. I’m not trying to be mean or funny – that’s just what I’ve observed.

      The point is, the more time spent on being offended or weighing whether offense should be taken, the less emphasis is placed on solving the problem we Americans eat like shit, and are spreading our shit diet worldwide. Should women be passing on cheesecake for lunch? Pardon me, but hell yes they should. And could Dannon have made their point better by showing what the average woman will look like if she eats cheesecake every day? Probably. But that’s not marketing. Marketing is using a gecko to sell car insurance, which makes no sense, helps no one, but somehow I still ended up with Geico.

  • mego@watchmegorun June 17, 2011, 1:20 pm

    My bf and I were discussing this last night! Here’s my main beef- the media and society puts too much emphasis on food and weight either way. It’s a losing battle, really. Either they show skinny people trying to be too skinny or its exploiting larger people through reality shows. There are never any in betweens. So, for me its hard to say if they overreacted or not because everything is shoved in your face, that “what’s real” and “healthy” becomes distorted. I take every ad, tv show, etc with a grain of salt. None of that is real, they’re simply fueling the obsession with have appearance and size.

  • Shannon June 17, 2011, 1:23 pm

    Excellent post Caitlin!! That commercial had always irked me but I never took a moment to examine why. So glad people like you are pushing the positive body image movement!

  • Krista June 17, 2011, 1:28 pm

    This type of commercial doesn’t bother me at all. But I’ve never struggled with any type of eating disorder either. In my opinion, I think NEDA over reacted just a bit…..

  • Amber K June 17, 2011, 1:34 pm

    Wow, so many comments! I tried to read through some of them and there are so many different interesting thoughts and opinions! Such an interesting topic. I’d much rather eat a small slice of real food than a tub of chemicals like Yoplait.

    I am so glad that I have a DVR and I never watch commercials anymore. I think it has really helped improve my mood! I wouldn’t have thought that would be possible, but it’s very true. Less commercials, less print ads, (when I read a magazine I rip out the ads that don’t have articles on them) and a happier me!

  • Jen June 17, 2011, 1:34 pm

    I hate the Yoplait commercials; they always play on female stereotypes. I remember a few years ago, there was a series of two single female friends and Yoplait was apparently a substitution for a man and real dessert; they ate their little yogurt cups at a wedding instead of the cake, and commented on how good the yogurt was: “cute best man good,” “burning these bridesmaids’ dresses good,” etc. I hate how companies market food to women for everything but nutrition; it’s a replacement for something else, something lacking, an excuse. Advertising encourages emotional attachments to food, sexualizes eating (anyone seen the Magnum ice cream commercials?), and assumes that women want to lose weight and are thus on a diet, but want to eat sugary, rich desserts all the time. It’s absurd.

  • Lauri ( June 17, 2011, 1:35 pm

    I don’t think NEDA overreacted by pulling the commercial, just watching it kind of annoyed me. I don’t have an eating disorder, but I could definitely see how it could be ‘triggering’ to people battling an ED. This was an excellent post/topic and I agree that Yoplait is pretty much ‘junk food’ marketed to appear ‘healthy’.

    I actually watched the video while eating a real piece of cheesecake (a leftover ‘mini’ dessert from dinner last night) 🙂

  • Felicia June 17, 2011, 1:43 pm

    This was such a great post, but I was really disappointed to see this “By the way – Yoplait yogurt is essentially junk food that is rammed with artificial ingredients, including multiple artificial sweeteners. Personally, I find the portrayal of Yoplait as the ‘healthier alternative’ to be laughable.” It’s unnecessary.

    After discussing eating disorders and shaming women, I’m surprised that you would speak so forcefully/rudely about a product that I myself view as a “safe food” (I am anorexic). I know that it isn’t as good as the yogurts that you mentioned, but it does give me that low calorie sweet fix without causing me to lose control.

    And please don’t judge my eating disorder and say “oh, but you SHOULD eat the cheesecake! Let yourself enjoy it since you have so much weight to gain!” No, that will not happen. Eventually it will, I’m sure, but not today.

    Sorry, this post really just struck a nerve with me. As someone who tries so hard to eat “perfect” it really sucked to be smacked in the face with the fact that something I eat everyday is junk food.

    • Madison June 17, 2011, 4:19 pm

      I 100% agree with this comment. I simply cannot afford to spend $2.00 on one serving of oikos — or $1.50 on Chobani. In fact, I consider eating Yoplait a good addition to my everyday lunch. Is it the best choice, no — and I’m completely aware of that. But bashing the nutritional content of something that others (me) find to be a healthy alternative, while writing a post on how commercials can trigger disordered eating is somewhat unnecessary.

      • Jen June 18, 2011, 9:01 am

        I don’t always buy Greek or organic yogurt myself because it is expensive, and unfortunately, too many of the nonfat yogurts are full of artificial sweeteners. The only way I’ve found around this is to buy plain nonfat yogurt and sweeten it myself with things like cinnamon and sugar, jam, or honey. I know it’s still added sugar, but ar least it isn’t aspartame.

    • CaitlinHTP June 17, 2011, 4:43 pm

      I’m sorry if that comment offends you girls. The comment is a reflection of my own food philosophy. You are entitled to your own as well, of course!

  • Sammy June 17, 2011, 1:51 pm

    You know what? I do not have an eating disorder, and I know this might be a hot button issue for those who do, but sometimes this stuff just irks me. I’ve been reading some healthy living blogs lately that are very much in support of the positive body image (and I think that’s WONDERFUL), but sometimes there is also an underlying message that one should feel guilty for dieting or that they are doing something wrong if they want to watch their calories.

    I am currently dieting (not on a fad diet, just watching my calories and exercising)–I’m not happy with my health, and, dare I say, the way my clothes fit. That doesn’t mean I hate myself or that I think I’m a worthless human being.

    Although I don’t eat Yoplait because the artificial sugar hurts my stomach, I currently would have an internal dialogue with my will power on choosing a better option than cheesecake. I would love to choose cheesecake over, say, a regular yogurt any day, but right now, I can’t. I say if people want to lose weight (and I’m not talking recovering ED women–that’s a different story) and they choose yogurt, why make them feel guilty about it?

    I know we’re talking about a commercial here–and as far as NEDA overreacting, I think they gave a voice for the issue they are set up to raise awareness about and that is therefore NOT overreacting on their part. However, I think the internal struggle the commercial itself is portraying is not that far off an average person trying to lose weight is facing. I know I do! Losing weight is hard and you have to exercise will power sometimes. For some people, indulging in something “bad” is a slippery slope so they choose a “better” choice. There’s nothing wrong with that.

    Sorry I went off on a different topic a bit–I just had to get that off my chest.

  • Dee June 17, 2011, 2:08 pm

    Personally, I’ve seen the ad and it just struck me as an ad, BUT, I think NEDA has an excellent point, and your critique of Yoplait and other companies’ ads is dead on. I’m so glad that NEDA spoke up, and raised some consciousness out there.

  • Shayla June 17, 2011, 2:14 pm

    I saw this today on Yahoo News and I was absolutely appalled by the Yoplait commercial. As someone who has suffered from an eating disorder, it definitely is a trigger and brought ED thoughts back into my head. I’m not saying I acted on them, I’m at a better place now and pushed them away, but those were definite ED thoughts I had and those thoughts in the beginning were once “innocent” in my attempt to lose weight, but then turned into a full blown eating disorder. My sister suffers through this type of talking in her head all.the.time and it breaks my heart. I’m glad they pulled the commercial and I agree Caitlin with everything you said. I’m tired of the media and companies making us feel guilty for how we should look just to by their products and make money. Amen sista!

  • Veronica (Run Write Repeat) June 17, 2011, 2:24 pm

    Just for some perspective, some info on me: I had a pretty gnarly ED that was ruining almost ever aspect of my life. Last summer, i went through intensive residential, day, and outpatient treatment. Now i’m on the other side and so greatful, though I still have bi-monthly therapy and monthly dietitian appointments. So while I’m loving the healthy life, i’m still what you would consider “in recovery.”
    That being said, I didn’t find the commercial “triggering.” I hate Yoplait anyway for all of the reasons you mentioned, so maybe that’s why. I found it sad, not triggering. But there are tons of movies, TV shows, and commercials that have a triggering comment here and there. Yoplait is perhaps more blatant, but really… to the ED person, ANYTHING can be a trigger! the sound of a coworker eating lunch, watching a jogger go by, ANYTHING. so while Yoplait is playing on fragile emotions, i don’t think they should be singled out.
    HOWEVER, like you said… it’s still unfortunate yoplait feels the need to broadcast advertising like that.

  • Veronica (Run Write Repeat) June 17, 2011, 2:25 pm

    oh, and VOSKOS is my favorite yogurt EVER! that wasn’t on your list, so i thought i’d share 🙂

  • Paula @ Eat: Watch: Run June 17, 2011, 2:49 pm

    While I agree with everything you said in this post, I do not agree that Yoplait is essentially junk food. Sure it has artificial ingredients, but in comparison to alternatives – like a slice of cheesecake – it is the better choice.

    Sure plain or Greek yogurt is BETTER. But, I wouldn’t say that someone made a bad food choice for eating Yoplait yogurt.

  • Elyse June 17, 2011, 3:48 pm

    I know I am a bit late commenting on this post but I still wanted to get my opinions out there (:

    Personally, I think that most people are being way too sensitive. Americans are so quick to point the finger at someone else because they don’t want to be blamed for any of their own problems. We are so quick to put blame on other people when in reality, we had the choice to watch the television, eat the yogurt, etc. For example, a few years ago there was a case (or many) where people were suing McDonald’s because it made them “fat”. Well, McDonald’s wasn’t forcing them to eat at their restaurant. People have free will and can choose to do whatever they please. Those people happened to choose McDonald’s. It is our own fault for not making healthy, wise and well informed choices.

    Americans are also too sensitive. Anything that us Americans don’t like/agree with immediately starts an uproar. Everyone is trying to get something banned/changed/off the air etc. We are supposed to have free speech, not everyone has to agree all of the time, but we still deserve to be able to speak our minds. Like I stated in the paragraph above PEOPLE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR OWN CHOICES. We need to stand up and take responsibility for our own stuff. If we are constantly pushing our problems/responsibility for choices/etc. on others then how are we to grow ourselves and learn to function in the world? We need to take responsibility for what we view/believe/see/eat/do etc.

    A lot of what has gotten us into this processed food situation is America’s

    • Elyse June 17, 2011, 3:48 pm

      ahh i wasn’t done yet :[

  • Elyse June 17, 2011, 3:56 pm

    I know I am a bit late commenting on this post but I still wanted to get my opinions out there (:

    Personally, I think that most people are being way too sensitive. Americans are so quick to point the finger at someone else because they don’t want to be blamed for any of their own problems. We are so quick to put blame on other people when in reality, we had the choice to watch the television, eat the yogurt, etc. For example, a few years ago there was a case (or many) where people were suing McDonald’s because it made them “fat”. Well, McDonald’s wasn’t forcing them to eat at their restaurant. People have free will and can choose to do whatever they please. Those people happened to choose McDonald’s. It is our own fault for not making healthy, wise and well informed choices.

    Americans are also too sensitive. Anything that us Americans don’t like/agree with immediately starts an uproar. Everyone is trying to get something banned/changed/off the air etc. We are supposed to have free speech, not everyone has to agree all of the time, but we still deserve to be able to speak our minds. Like I stated in the paragraph above PEOPLE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR OWN CHOICES. We need to stand up and take responsibility for our own stuff. If we are constantly pushing our problems/responsibility for choices/etc. on others then how are we to grow ourselves and learn to function in the world? We need to take responsibility for what we view/believe/see/eat/do etc.

    A lot of what has gotten us into this processed food situation is America’s reliance on convenience foods. Convenience foods also happen to be highly processed. We *vote* with where we put our food dollars. We have basically given these big companies our approval when we have spent money on their products. So therefore we need to be more conscious of what we are buying and in turn, *voting* for.

    I feel as though we shouldn’t be labeling Yoplait as *bad* because sometimes that is all some families can afford. I am 20 years old, still live with my parents and am in college. My parents still pay for my food because I live with them. Unfortunately over the past couple of years my dads pay has been cut by a whopping 70 percent. That means that our family simply can not afford to buy organic foods & greek yogurt all of the time. We are on a budget of $7-$10 a day food wise for all FOUR of us. So usually we do have to end up relying on Yoplait to get us by during some snacks, etc. We make do with what we have but I do not think it is right for some foods to be labeled *bad* when it is all some families can afford.

    I hope nobody takes what I have said in the wrong way. I just wanted to show another side of things. Also I have never had an ED so there might be some differences between my opinion’s and other people’s opinions. I fully respect those who have had an ED and are more sensitive to these topics.

  • Elyse June 17, 2011, 3:56 pm

    I know I am a bit late commenting on this post but I still wanted to get my opinions out there (:

    Personally, I think that most people are being way too sensitive. Americans are so quick to point the finger at someone else because they don’t want to be blamed for any of their own problems. We are so quick to put blame on other people when in reality, we had the choice to watch the television, eat the yogurt, etc. For example, a few years ago there was a case (or many) where people were suing McDonald’s because it made them “fat”. Well, McDonald’s wasn’t forcing them to eat at their restaurant. People have free will and can choose to do whatever they please. Those people happened to choose McDonald’s. It is our own fault for not making healthy, wise and well informed choices.

    Americans are also too sensitive. Anything that us Americans don’t like/agree with immediately starts an uproar. Everyone is trying to get something banned/changed/off the air etc. We are supposed to have free speech, not everyone has to agree all of the time, but we still deserve to be able to speak our minds. Like I stated in the paragraph above PEOPLE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR OWN CHOICES. We need to stand up and take responsibility for our own stuff. If we are constantly pushing our problems/responsibility for choices/etc. on others then how are we to grow ourselves and learn to function in the world? We need to take responsibility for what we view/believe/see/eat/do etc.

    A lot of what has gotten us into this processed food situation is America’s reliance on convenience foods. Convenience foods also happen to be highly processed. We *vote* with where we put our food dollars. We have basically given these big companies our approval when we have spent money on their products. So therefore we need to be more conscious of what we are buying and in turn, *voting* for.

    I feel as though we shouldn’t be labeling Yoplait as *bad* because sometimes that is all some families can afford. I am 20 years old, still live with my parents and am in college. My parents still pay for my food because I live with them. Unfortunately over the past couple of years my dads pay has been cut by a whopping 70 percent. That means that our family simply can not afford to buy organic foods & greek yogurt all of the time. We are on a budget of $7-$10 a day food wise for all FOUR of us. So usually we do have to end up relying on Yoplait to get us by during some snacks, etc. We make do with what we have but I do not think it is right for some foods to be labeled *bad* when it is all some families can afford.

    I hope nobody takes what I have said in the wrong way. I just wanted to show another side of things. Also I have never had an ED so there might be some differences between my opinion’s and other people’s opinions. I fully respect those who have had an ED and are more sensitive to these topics.

  • Mara June 17, 2011, 4:40 pm

    I can see both sides of the story. While we are ultimately responsible for what we eat and put in our bodies, it’s also a bit disturbing to see the Yoplait commerical. As an almost-40 year old woman, I didn’t really get offended by it. But I also have a 7 year old daughter who might have seen it differently. As a mom who is trying to raise her daughter to have good self esteem and body issues, commercials like that do raise questions in my mind.

    And not to be a link-dropper either, but have you seen this? This Mom is imposing a strict 700 calorie diet on her 8 YEAR OLD and has been doing this for years. She said she’s rather her daughter have an eating disorder than be fat. it’s the first thing I thought of when I read this blog post. It’s outrageous. It just is another example of the unrealistic pressures the media and society put on women and girls.

  • monicanelsonfitness June 17, 2011, 5:16 pm

    Good debate! I missed it all! haha.

    I feel that if they are going to take commercials like this away then they better prepare to take all the ads and fake crap in mags out too.

    Yoplait and Special K are absolutley crap and they leave you just wanting more and PLUS the real thing in this case cheese cake. So I don’t like the message in this commercial at all.

    Food is a beautiful thing, not good or bad but a celebration! Enough with that attitude! All or nothing.. Live a healthy life, eat what you LOVE in moderation if it is cheesecake and love yourself.

    I love you blog Cailin for the things you throw in here and there. Operation Beautiful is so special and a must for Women today.

  • Hillary June 17, 2011, 5:20 pm

    What upsets me most about the ad is that it presents this disordered thinking as normal, acceptable, and maybe even encouraged. It puts a label on “good” and “bad” foods, or how the “right” choices make us “good” or “bad” on a certain day.

    I used to bargain with myself like the woman in the video—“I can eat that as long as I run for two hours.” Too many months of “bargaining” later, I stopped getting my period and realized that I was hurting myself more than helping myself.

    Food is meant to fuel our bodies, but it’s also meant to be enjoyed. It’s a pleasure, not a punishment!

    Well done for bringing this up, Caitlin.

  • Ella June 17, 2011, 5:33 pm

    I had seen this commercial many many times and I never thought of it like that! I’ve been suffering from an eating disorder for 8 years (well thats a scary number, I was diagnosed at 13) and I don’t really find the commercial offensive or triggering..

    I love food, I love deserts and sweets, if I deprived myself of anything delicious would I be healthy? No. If I had a pint of Ben and Jerrys every night would I be healthy? No again. I’m in the health care field while eating disorders are a huge problem so is obesity, there are a lot of people out there who would benefit in eating a yogurt instead of a piece of cheesecake every day. Although Yopliat is crap, and I can see why NEDA wanted it pulled I just personally don’t see it as that big of a deal.

    • Ella June 17, 2011, 5:34 pm

      Also who eats cake while jogging in place? And what exactly would eating the celery do…

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit June 17, 2011, 5:59 pm

    Thank you for taking a stand and writing this post, Caitlin! That negative self-talk, and associating food with being good or bad is SO damaging and unfortunately so pervasive in women’s minds and speech. Yoplait light IS junk food, full of sugar and probably artificial ingredients and preservative. No thank you to their product AND their insulting marketing towards women.

  • Samantha June 17, 2011, 6:21 pm

    As someone who is actively battling a poor body image due to bulimia, that commercial was not a trigger to me but I can easily see how it could be.

    The commercial that bothers me even more is the PediaSure SideKicks drink for kids one that promotes children performing better athletically as a result of their product. Such a shame that they’re targeting children with all in one drinks and enticing them with promises of performance. I don’t know about their target audience but my 5 year old plays team sports to learn values, teamwork, and have fun, not to have the most RBI’s in t ball!

  • Aja June 17, 2011, 6:33 pm

    Yoplait and Special K annoy me. I’ve had an eating disorder since I was 9 and this kind of stuff just annoys the heck out of me now. While the thoughts shown on the commercial were no where near how harsh they are when you have an eating disorder, I can still see how NEDA would ask them to pull it. At the same time, eating disorders are genetic and a commercial cannot make someone become anorexic or bulimic. It is kind of nice because maybe eating disorders will come a little more forward and people can start to understand them instead of just knowing all the misconceptions.

    It doesn’t even work for the obesity side because the fake sugars in Yoplait light are so terrible for you. Just eat the real freaking sugar. There is one commercial for a fake sugar that promotes it by saying it’s all natural and I always look at it and go, “yeah, so is sugar”.

    I’ve addressed photoshopping on my blog a few times. I’m a photography student and I’m always fascinated by the amount of photoshopping that goes into magazine photos and the tiny amount that really has to go into the pictures.

  • Kate June 17, 2011, 7:19 pm

    I contacted Kellogg’s about Special K a couple of years ago because of the undernourished waif they had on one/many of their commercials who was beating herself up over her weight and skipping meals and so on. What a bunch of crap. I wouldn’t eat Special K if they were giving it away because of ads like that.

  • Alison June 17, 2011, 7:56 pm

    Not all people that deal with “disordered eating” are restrictive. I have spent my entire life sneaking food and bingeing in secret. I struggle with my weight and self-image. Despite how “fine” I appear on the outside – my issues with food affect every single hour of my day and every facet of my life…my work, my marriage, my friendships.

    I just felt that someone should point out that the sentence “but if someone really wants a slice of cheesecake, they should just eat the slice of cheesecake!” is just as triggering to someone like me as the commercial might have been to someone else.

    But it just goes to show – you can’t make 100% of the people happy 100% of the time. You just can’t. I agree with many of the commenters, as far as HEALTHY Living blogs go – yours is the only one that I read and find truly “healthy.” I find your point of view (even if I occassionally disagree) refreshing and honest. Thank you for always “keeping it real.” 🙂

    • CaitlinHTP June 17, 2011, 7:57 pm

      I appreciate your comment. And thanks for keeping’ in real right back!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin June 17, 2011, 8:08 pm

    Thank you for this post Caitlin! I’ve always hated those Yoplait and Special K ads too. I’m just speaking for myself here, but it’s definitely ads like those that contributed to my disordered eating. I’m glad the NEDA spoke up about it – it’s about time!

  • Jessica June 17, 2011, 8:52 pm

    I hate these ads too!

  • rebecca June 17, 2011, 8:54 pm

    congrats on being able to conduct such a civil online discussion. i think it really shows that your readers respect you!

  • BroccoliHut June 17, 2011, 9:24 pm

    Interesting topic of discussion! I have struggled with AN in the past, but I don’t find those ads triggering, although they do propagate distorted attitudes toward eating. Food is NOT a means of punishment/reward!

  • Lauren June 17, 2011, 10:30 pm

    I totally support NEDA and I am glad that the ad has been taken off the air. I have been struggling with disordered eating and thoughts for YEARS now. It started in high school and has continued through college… I’m finally in a place where I’m starting to feel more comfortable around food but its taken a lot of work to quiet the constant script in my head telling me what I can and cannot eat (and how much I need to exercise, etc).

    I think the ad is totally triggering! It reinforces those negative thoughts and sends the message that it’s okay to think that way. I completely agree with you Caitlin that food shouldn’t be a source of torture… it’s meant to be enjoyed!!! We shouldn’t have to go through these mental games and rationalize with ourselves before enjoying dessert or anything else!

  • Kris @ tryingtotri June 17, 2011, 10:47 pm

    Late to the debate, but wanted to chime in. Ever since reading Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food, and Mark Bittman’s Food Matters, I’ve been much more conscious about ingredients – Yoplait yogurt is awful, and it’s all I used to eat! I now buy either Greek or Organic Vanilla regular, and it tastes SO much better.

    I used to be a chronic over-eater, and obese as well. I still have to be conscious of what I eat, and realize that if I want the slice of cheesecake, I might have to run a few extra miles to maintain my weight – but it’s worth it to me, and I’ll eat it if I really want to. The only time I feel guilt about food anymore is when I realize I’ve slipped back into unconsciously eating junk. Choosing to is OK, being mindless is not.

    Media in general creates such artificial expectations for women to live up to, it’s impossible. Women need to love themselves for who they are, period. We deserve it! 🙂

  • Sarah June 18, 2011, 4:33 am

    Wow, good questions and loads of comments! I’m probably repeating what some others have said and I haven’t read the comments yet (will after giving my two pence – I don’t work in cents – worth).

    I don’t think NEDA overreacted, and I think the more adverts that perpetuate women’s issues and insecurities that are pulled the better.

    I did have an ED (8-ish years ago and recently had a minor/semi relapse). I don’t think these adverts and images were triggering for me, and they definitely didn’t trigger my recent semi-relapse. However, I do think that these adverts hinder recovery because the adverts are juxtaposed to weight gain and developing a healthy body image when at a healthy weight. Does that make sense? At the same time, I really don’t care about how people on TV look. It’s a separate reality in my mind… but that may also be because I have an ED past so have had to draw these distinctions.

    When I was teenager though, I remember developing such hatred for my body because of media images. I don’t think this influenced my ED though because for me my ED was a way of coping, of dealing with insecurities (but not re. the way I looked), of trying to gain control in some way.

    There we have it! I’m going to scroll through some of the other comments now x

  • Leila @ Spinach and Skittles June 18, 2011, 11:17 am

    I saw this ad LAST NIGHT! I saw the email from NEDA this week regarding the ad and was happy to hear Yoplait pulled it. Then seeing it last night, with the hubs, ignited me and a lengthy discussion between the two of us about the message the ad sends. I had an ED for years, so I know that negative self-talk and bargaining all too well.
    That being said, the ad isn’t triggering to me at all. I do, however, find it obnoxious and I think it perpetuates the notion in our society that women should be thinking/acting this way.
    And yeah, Yoplait is crap yogurt! Another yogurt to add to your healthy list is Cascade Fresh (, it may be kind of hard to find on the East Coast, but it is delicious and naturally sweetened.

  • erin June 18, 2011, 4:33 pm

    hmm … i JUST saw this commercial a seconf ago.

  • Liza June 18, 2011, 5:51 pm

    I always hated that commercial. I never knew why exactly, and then I realized why when I read this post.

    Caitlin, what is by far the cheapest Greek yogurt you’ve tried? I’m a college student so I can’t exactly buy 6 containers of Chobani or Oikos.. although I’ve wanted to. Is Stonyfield’s non-Greek just as good nutrition-wise and texture wise? Maybe you should do a review/comparison… 🙂

    Much love!

  • Emily June 18, 2011, 6:44 pm

    The ad isn’t really triggering per say, but I don’t like it at all. You’re completely right when you say it highlights thoughts like that, when really no one should be thinking that way. Watching this ad makes me sad because I realize how much of my time I waste with thought battles like that. This commercial makes the yogurt woman seem better because she opted for the lesser of two evils. While this commercial doesn’t convince me to continue down that tired path, I’m sick of ED and I’m glad NEDA had the commercial pulled.

  • delia June 18, 2011, 7:41 pm

    Honestly, I thought the commercial was humorous, but I also don’t have an ED history. It’s interesting reading everyone’s responses.

  • Nicci (NiftyEats) June 19, 2011, 7:52 pm

    Honestly, I don’t understand how someone with ED feels b/c I have never dealt with it. I do find the commercial to be a bit over the top and corny. I like the other commercials with the Wife, on the phone and the hubby trying to find all the treats she’s mentioning. I rarely eat Yoplait but it’s good yogurt when I want a bad that wrong to say. haha

  • Audrey June 19, 2011, 8:00 pm

    As someone who has struggled with anorexia, Ana, past four years, and has had severe body image issues (we’re talking crying in changing rooms because I felt so ugly, fat and worthless) since I was six, yes I do find these types of ads to be triggering. I think they do promote the idea that you are only smart, beautiful or worthy if you’re trying to lose weight and that you can’t enjoy treats without becoming just what I used to cry over. I too have stopped buying from Special K, Yoplait and other various brands because of this (Last year I stopped buying Marie Claire) and have been working really hard every singl second of every day to enter recovery, as I don’t think this is something you can ever TRULY recover from as it is a psychiatric disorder.

  • Kaitlyn June 19, 2011, 8:22 pm

    I have read through a lot of your comments on this subject and find everyone’s point of view interesting and valid. I only post a comment to let you hear one more 🙂

    I have never fully admitted to the rest of the “world” that I have an eating disorder. More people know that I ever dreamed would because of how bad my health became last year. At this time in 2010, I was told that if I did not go to an Inpatient Treatment Facility, I may not wake up again. Since then, my journey towards Recovery from Anorexia Nervosa has been one of many eye-opening experiences and revelations.

    To comment on this issue, I understand why NEDA reacted in such a way to this ad. I think what they were trying to prove had nothing to do with whether or not Yoplait yogurt is good/bad for you or that cheesecake is good/bad for you. I think what NEDA saw in that commercial is what I heard in it…the unconscious message that “in order to be ‘healthy’ and to ‘lose/maintain weight and appearance’ and be accepted in general society, you cannot eat something with a lot of calories and you must be eating things that are lower in calories.” I find that many of the unconscious messages that are promoted by companies such as Yoplait, Special K, etc. revolve around this one common lie that I bought into since my teen years….”body fat is equal to fat in foods.” However, this is scientifically false and until the rest of the world knows that, these ads will continue to hinder people of all ages, shapes, sizes and mindsets.

    Now, do I think that the marketing team at Yoplait and other companies that create these ads sat down and came up with the ad specifically for the purpose of promoting that message? No, I do not. I think that they themselves may have no idea that this message is being sent through this commercial because they probably grew up hearing the same things as well. Unfortunately, the world lives as if this lie about “fat” and “extra calories” is true…and it’s not. So, should Yoplait be blamed for something that they may not have even known themselves?? I’m not sure they should be blamed, but I think NEDA did a good thing in making them AWARE of the message that was being sent to not only people with Eating Disorders but the entire world.

    Whether or not you have a good body image or a bad one, I think it is important to realize that we may have a bigger problem on our hands than many people realize: Sizism…. Caitlin, I appreciate you bringing this on to your blog because this has become a goal of mine: to make people AWARE of the hidden lies that are prevalent in society regarding body image. When I read your blog post on this, I had a feeling some people would disagree with NEDA and some people would agree. But, I appreciate and applaud you for making everyone AWARE of the underlying problem.

    It is not one’s size that should determine their worth…what should determine their worth is their heart.

    And I understand that many believe that someone should realize that these ads are fake and that photo shopped pictures aren’t real, but when girls are young and they know nothing else, how can we expect them to believe anything different? And if their mothers do speak with them about a healthy mindset, they may hear it but peer pressure is difficult and kids at school may not agree with a girl’s Mom. For me, my eating disorder started off as losing a couple of pounds to “get healthy” like the message that was promoted in my gym class during my freshman year of college. Exercise and eating healthier was promoted. So, when I looked online and on TV for “healthier” items, those with “no fat” or “low fat” made the top of the list. Being a perfectionist, my goal then was to be the best at losing weight. Do I blame ads like these for my eating disorder? Not at all! BUT, I DO agree that these ads helped CONTRIBUTE to the negative messages I said to myself if I ate something that was not a “no fat” food.
    I think I could probably go on for hours about the different types of messages that come from a variety of sources and contribute to the negative Sizism that is occurring in the world around us. But I think in the end, what matters, is that people are made AWARE of what is true and what is false. And what is true is that it doesn’t matter if you eat a piece of cheesecake one day and a Yoplait yogurt the next. Neither determine your worth or anyone’s else’s, no matter what their weight, shape or jeans size is.

  • rebecca June 21, 2011, 12:35 am

    Wow, I think they really overreacted. I also think it’s funny that everyone is so concerned with “accepting all sizes” and suddenly the media is evil for portraying “unrealistic standards of beauty” at a time when obesity is at an all-time high. Sorry to be blunt, but if you’re fat, you shouldn’t be accepting it. Human beings were not meant to be fat.

    People are too touchy. If you’re overweight and unhealthy, then yeah, go on a diet. Eat a yoplait instead of the cheesecake, or something else that will help you kick the craving. The girl in the commercial obviously didn’t have a weight problem, but you know what? That yogurt was still probably a better choice. Maybe the artificial crap in the yogurt wasn’t super healthy, but neither was all of the extra fat and calories in the cheesecake.

    This ad is not causing eating disorders. I laughed when I read the “warning” before the video because I legitimately thought it was a joke. Also I don’t think the ad has been banned because I saw it on TV last night.

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