Philosopher Kate Manne condemned the evils of dieting in a Monday essay for The New York Times.
Under the headline “Diet Culture Is Unhealthy. It’s Also Immoral,” Manne, an associate professor of philosophy at Cornell University, denounced her own struggles to lose weight.
- Manne blamed her dieting on “internalized fatphobia,” “oppressive patriarchal forces, cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker and philosophy’s tendency to “fetishize thinness.”
- Citing the moral theories of consequentialism, Manne argued that “dieting inflicts real moral costs, real moral harms, ones we largely impose on ourselves (albeit under the influence of potent social forces).”
- “We are at a moment during the year when many people will try, and even regard themselves as duty bound, to go on a diet,” she continued. “But if dieting is a practice that causes a great deal of harm — in the form of pain, suffering, anxiety and sheer hunger — and rarely works to deliver the health or happiness it has long advertised, then it is a morally bad practice. It is plausibly not only permissible but obligatory for individuals to divest from it, to condemn it and not to teach it to our children, either explicitly or by example.”