Yoplait Commercials Encouraging Eating Disorders?

To their credit, Yoplait immediately pulled the ad after NEDA voiced concerns. (You can read the entire article here.)

Although it kills me to admit it, I actually agree - whole-heartedly - with the NEDA this time! President Lynn Grefe voiced the concerns well: "...what they saw wasn't a woman making a healthy food choice, but one who was caught up in a compensatory exchange about food. "This felt like a 20-second look at the mind of somebody with an eating disorder," she pointed out.

You be the judge:

While I wouldn't go so far as to say that a commercial by itself triggers an eating disorder, this sort of obsessing about food, calories, and thinness should never be portrayed as normal, desirable, or heroic. I say that, of course, from the world-view of a biblical counselor: we are to "set [our] minds on things above, not on earthly things" (such as calories in cheesecake!). No woman struggling against the bondage of eating disordered behavior (or thinking), Christian or non, should have to see this unhealthy and vain thinking thrust in her face, with the underlying message being "This is normal, positive, and desirable."

My advice to the young lady would be: "Just eat the cheesecake and get back to work. That's what your boss is paying you for" (Colossians 3:23).


  1. I've learned a lot this past year but I have a lot more to learn. I do understand your point that her obsessing is not setting her mind on things above. But, as I was watching that commercial I was also thinking of the battle that rages within to resist temptation. So, I'm wondering why you said to eat the cheesecake if she feels guilty instead of resist the temptation and get back to work? Do you mind sharing?

  2. Because eating a slice o cheesecake is not a sin. Eating anything in moderation is not a sin (Col. 2:21; 1 Tim. 4:3-4:4) and I resent the media's attempts to make it look as if having dessert is some sort of moral failing. Biblically, it is not.

    Even as a small child, I remember being inundated (by both the media and my mother) with the idea that food restriction is stoic, noble, and "morally superior" to the "weakness", "temptation" and "sin" of eating carbohydrates. I do not believe for a second that the use of spiritual, moralistic language is accidental. There is NO reason, short of it being detrimental to someone's health (ie if she were diabetic, or clinically overweight and needing to lose weight for health reasons) she should have been putting herself through that mental torment over a slice of cheesecake.

    The lady in the picture was along way from overweight, and not evidently diabetic. People who are not obsessed with food, calories and their weight do not think this way. I firmly believe, both on biblical grounds and from personal experience, that "all things in moderation" in regards to eating is the best policy, and it definitely leads to a decrease in cravings (such as this woman was exhibiting) and obsessive thinking about food.

    Guilt should be reserved for moral failings - true sin before a holy God. Not for eating a slice of cake, and breaking one's own perfectionistic, legalistic set of rules. (I wrote a chapter on the role of perfectionism in developing eating disorders in my book.)

  3. I saw this commercial a couple of days ago. I don't think they actually pulled it!

  4. Marie.. thank you for taking the time to answer my question. I now understand what you meant. I am trying to break so many of my own list of legalistic rules. I can't wait until your book is out even though I'm not a bulimic or anorexia .. I am a binger so it sounds like I'll find help in it's pages.


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