Not so Top Sante

Until recently I was of the opinion that the issue of the media putting pressure on women to be thin was talked about more than it was actually happening. There are many articles, television discussions and public debates about the media's obsession with weight and the effects of this on women. Aside from the hundreds of oh-so-original 'bikini diet' articles gracing the covers of magazines this summer, though, I wasn't sure whether the issue was given too much emphasis.
The fact that girls are aware of their bodies and weight from as young as five has a lot to do with the media and the attitudes it causes - but for adult women, I didn't see that the problem was as prevalent as it's made out to be. But then I bought this month's Top Sante magazine and changed my mind.
There may not be a lot of articles explicitly telling us that thin is best and that we shouldn't be eating - but sometimes that message is still implied through thin models, diet advice and obsessing over the weight of celebrities. This month's issue of Top Sante took it a little further, with an article telling readers that having two days a week where you only consume 500 calories is good for you.
The article, titled 'Could you live on just 500 calories a day?' informs the reader that scientific research proves that limiting your calorie intake to just 500 calories, two days a week, will make you live longer and combat disease.
The article gives examples of low-calorie options that you can eat on these days, and has the diary of a staff member doing the diet. Her verdict is that she's willing to do it again as she lost five lbs, despite not 'technically needing to lose weight'.
 Only on page three of the article does it warn sufferers of diabetes not to do the diet because it can lead to a coma, and in extreme cases, death. And nowhere does it mention perhaps adding more calories if you lead a very active lifestyle.
The article isn't balanced - it does contain a short argument disputing the diet's claims, saying that research has only been done on animals and it can be dangerous for those suffering with eating disorders - but it still proceeds to give an in-depth account of the diet and a positive verdict.
I usually ignore the front cover of Closer magazine, which differs every week between 'Jordan's shock weight loss' and 'curvy celeb shocker' - but Top Sante is an intelligent magazine for women who care about more than the latest TOWIE scandal.
It might just be me - but getting through a day with only 500 calories passing my lips would not just be unproductive, but frankly dangerous.

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