Former television actress and ex-wife of rocker Eddie Van Halen Valerie Bertinelli is in the news because she allegedly lost 50-pounds with the help of Jenny Craig and exercise.
The stories being circulated regarding Valerie Bertinelli’s weight loss and “bikini body” serve as a great reminder that celebrity weight loss and exercise programs are long on hype and short on reality.
Bertinelli hasn’t done anything in about 30 years, so it’s a real stretch to call her a celebrity. This story illustrates our society’s irrational obsession with people who have been on television and in movies.
The Bertinelli story is nothing more than a public relations campaign for the Jenny Craig diet program. “News accounts” read like PR releases and talk about her involvement with Jenny Craig and her workout plan that consisted of walking about 10,000 steps per day, which helped Bertinelli lose about 40-pounds over the course of a year.
The story goes that in December of 2008 Bertinelli decided she wanted to go for a bikini body and lose another 10-pounds. Her picture adorns the cover of the recent People magazine and is supposed to serve as proof of her weight loss.
Earlier last week web sites pounced on this “Bertinelli Bikini” story and the Photoshop job that was done on the picture. Are people still this gullible? The phony stories about Britney Spears’ weight loss should still be fresh in everyone’s mind.
Here are the problems with the Bertinelli/Jenny Craig “story.”
- Her overall workout program is suspicious
- The cover photo looks totally altered
- The reported caloric intake to lose the last 10-pounds is a ridiculous 1,200 calories per day
- Running 5 times per week is a bad idea and will do more damage it will provide benefits
- Sticking to this kind of regimen for the long term is demonstrably not possible and as a result these “gains” cannot be maintained
- The message to women is that you have to look a certain way, rather than be healthy
Rather than empower women, this story is another way to make them slaves to the diet industry and the proponents of the weight-centric, appearance-centric approach to health and fitness. Rather than be healthy and happy with what they can do, women are given yet another message that they should care about the scale and their appearance rather than their health.
Let’s see if we get a follow up story in a couple of months telling us how Bertinelli is doing. Don’t bet on it.
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