cinderella diet bad for you

The new 'Cinderella Diet' trend is actually really bad for you, and here's why

Many of us spent our days running around in tutus and tiaras when we were little, declaring that we would be princesses when we're older. That's largely thanks to the Disney films we grew up watching; and, while those dreams might have captured our imaginations back then, they usually faded away after we realized that it's not that easy to become a princess and that it would actually be pretty boring. I mean, have you seen all the things Meghan and Kate aren't allowed to do and wear?

But it seems people are starting to embrace their "I want to be a princess" dreams yet again, this time in a more sinister way. Something called the "Cinderella Diet" has taken the internet by storm, a trend which sees people setting their "weight goals" to reflect the frame of the fictional Disney princess. The controversial idea is said to have originated in Japan, where people have been calculating their "Cinderella goal weight" so they can look like the princess themselves.

cinderella diet bad for you Credit: Disney

Need I remind you that she is a cartoon? Whose waist has been greatly distorted through stylised drawing? Similar to the terrifying trend of people paying stupid amounts on plastic surgery to look like Barbie – whose tiny waist and thin legs would make it physically impossible to stand up and support her long frame, btw – the Cinderella Diet also has physical consequences.

To calculate your "Cinderella weight", you take your height in meters, square it, then multiply that number by 18. This number would then become your "goal weight" in kilograms. However, this usually leaves people with a body mass index of 18 or lower, which is officially classified as underweight on the BMI scale.

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Achieved through a starvation diet, being underweight has severe consequences for your health. Not only is being underweight detrimental to your cardiovascular system, your immune system, and your hormone levels, the biggest concern is that this kind of fad might be a warning sign of eating disorders. Research from BEAT shows that the main symptoms of an eating disorder include a pursuit of thinness, distorted perception of body shape or weight, and excessive focus on it.

While some are urging people not to "skinny shame", it seems most people are shocked at the idea of the "Cinderella Diet".

The 2015 live-action Cinderella film starred Lily James, who weighs 55kg (121 pounds), according to Healthy Celeb. Standing 1.7m (5ft 7in) tall, this would make her "Cinderella weight" 52kg (114 pounds) – officially underweight and a health risk.

Certified Dietitian-Nutritionist Gina Keatley told Women's Health: "This is not a diet but an unrealistic goal for body size/weight that can damage your health. Being underweight is just as bad as being overweight."

But first and foremost, the Cinderella Diet sends a very harmful message. "It perpetuates a concept that skinny is better," Keatley says.

Can we just go back to wanting to be like Cinderella because she could talk to animals? Thanks.