One of the most popular pieces we’ve ever published on The Daily Banter was a rebuttal to celebrity fitness guru Tracy Anderson’s diet and exercise plan (check it out here).
I wrote the piece mostly in anger after reading some of the ridiculous claims Anderson had been saying about her method, specifically her diet plan and assertion that she could ‘re-engineer’ client’s muscle structure. I worked in the fitness industry for some time so I know a thing or two about diet and exercise; I’m no world authority, but I know enough to understand when someone is bullshitting.
And Tracy Anderson is most definitely bullshitting.
The diminutive Anderson is a walking advertisement for her method. She’s 5ft tall and probably weighs no more than 100lbs – attributes that subconsciously tell other women “if you follow my method, you’ll look like me”. Her affiliation with celebrities like Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow add to her credibility, unfortunately making Anderson a leading figure in the industry.
While Anderson’s exercise claims are ridiculous (you can’t ‘re-engineer’ muscle structure), her dietary claims are so dangerous they prompted the British Dietetic Association (BDA) and eating disorder charity ‘Beat’ to issue a public warning last week that followers of her plan are at risk of developing an eating disorder. Reports the Daily Mail:
The British Dietetic Association and eating disorder charity Beat both voiced concern over the regime, and said Miss Anderson may be particularly popular with impressionable teenagers because of her celebrity status.
Dr Frankie Phillips, of the BDA, said of the plan: ‘It’s extremely low in essential fats, low calorie and low in carbohydrates other than from fruit and vegetables. It also looks to be very time consuming. You would need to spend a lot of time preparing and shopping for the different meal plans.
‘It just means that [followers] might be more at risk of an eating disorder, of developing a disordered eating pattern.’
More explicitly, Mary George, a spokesman for the highly respected ‘Beat’, said: ‘We would urge caution and urge young people not to be influenced by this kind of extreme, or getting to these extremes to achieve a look… In the wrong hands and with young people, whose bodies are still developing, [the diet] is not to be recommended at all.’
Hilariously, Anderson recently warned people not to follow fads, telling fans not to follower celebrities who aren’t experts. “Celebrities are entertainers and they’re not necessarily experts,” she told Access Hollywood. “So you need to make sure that you’re doing what is right for you and you need to be following an expert.”
Given Anderson literally made up half of her career and has provided no information whatsoever on her credentials in nutrition, anyone interested in diet or fitness should stay well away from her.
Predictably, Anderson hasn’t responded to the latest accusations, proving again that her methods are little better than the fitness fads she gleefully denounces.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.