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Exploring Diet Culture in America

            When it comes to the diet and exercise culture, Americans spend up to 60 billion dollars in one year just trying to lose weight. This billion dollar industry prays on the need many Americans feel to reach the cultures standard BMI. For many this goal seems difficult to reach, however, Mary Maxfield believes if Americans were to stop over thinking what they eat, they will be more healthy than if they were to spend a fortune on diet trends (3). On the other hand Alice Kemps writes in Prologue Magazine that Americans are taught what are healthy foods vs what are harmful foods by the government (2). Others such as Sara Stankorb suggest that the culture of each decade has affected the way that women view themselves and their diet (3). I support Mary Maxfield's view on the issue. Today's diet and nutrition culture has drastically changed the way the American public view food. Americans have taken the joy out of food and have confused diets with living a happy and healthy lifestyle.
             Mary Maxfield rejects theories that convince Americans everything they are inclined to consume is hazardous to their health. Theories composed by men such as Michael Pollan that implore people to give up processed foods are opposed by Maxfield. She does not believe that people need to hold themselves back from eating; if they were to be free to consume what they wish without weighing the pros and cons, they will discover their own power to distinguish between what they want to eat and what they do not want to eat. Maxfield does not believe that diet, weight, and health are directly related (pg444). She maintains that if Americans felt free enough to decide what to eat, and when to eat it, and how much of it to eat, they will be better off than if they were to focus too much on what is healthy or unhealthy to ingest (pg 446). On page 446 of They Say I Say, Maxfield writes: "Inherently food is ethically neutral; Notions of good or bad, healthy and unhealthy are projected onto it by culture.

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