The Student News Site of Great Neck North High School

Guide Post

The Student News Site of Great Neck North High School

Guide Post

The Student News Site of Great Neck North High School

Guide Post

Diet Culture Dangers

As new diet fads gain attention among young people, researchers are investigating the harms behind these popular “hacks.” Diet culture has affected the youth population since the 20th century, but in the past year, the conversation has shifted to the use of drugs. The prescription drug, Ozempic, has taken over, piquing the interest of celebrities and young people trying to lose weight.

Ozempic has hit the market, and along with it a plethora of unhealthy dieting habits. This culture, characterized by an emphasis on the “perfect body” for impressionable youth, has become increasingly toxic.

Modern society constantly surrounds us with messages about the ideal body, the perfect diet, and the everlasting pursuit of thinness. Diet culture has pervaded every corner of our lives, conditioning us to believe that our value depends on the number that shows up on a scale. The toxicity of diet culture becomes evident as we witness the alarming rise of drugs, such as Ozempic, being used by new and younger demographics.

Ozempic is a prescription drug sold at most pharmacies (Credit: Mario Tama).

Ozempic, a drug primarily prescribed for adults afflicted with type two diabetes, has recently targeted another market. The drug promises a coveted thin figure, and the pharmaceutical industry has marketed Ozempic as a miracle weight-loss drug that delivers rapid results with minimal effort. Yet, the truth behind this façade looks quite different from what the market depicts.

Ozempic and other variations of the drug are accredited with having effects on eating disorders and other body image problems.(Credit: Page Murray-Bessler)
Ozempic and other variations of the drug are accredited with having effects on eating disorders and other body image problems (Credit: Page Murray-Bessler).

Health teacher Mrs. Carpenter said, “Drugs like Ozempic, Wegovy, and Mounjaro have become the newest trends in weight loss drugs.” She continued, “Patients should review these drugs, although FDA-approved, with their physicians when it comes to the effects and the potential for being used in the long-term.”

It is crucial to recognize that Ozempic was never designed for weight reduction. This medication is specifically designed to control blood sugar levels in individuals with diabetes. Using it as a weight loss remedy is not only inadvisable medically, but also doubtable ethically. 

The issue of younger demographics taking Ozempic is problematic. Society’s pressure is particularly severe for children and young adults, making them vulnerable targets for diet culture’s predation.

Young people are made to think that they must take medication to obtain the ‘ideal’ body. However, this idea only exacerbates an unhealthy body image and poor self-esteem. It encourages a mindset that intertwines self-worth with body size, an unhealthy attachment that can result in emotional torture all of life.

The potential effects of Ozempic on the human body (Credit: Mexico Bariatric Center).

Senior Diana Davidson said, “I think an aspect of diet culture that isn’t talked about enough is the experience for guys.” She continued, “Many people disguise the experience as ‘gym bro culture.’”

In addition, it is unclear whether Ozempic use in non-diabetic populations might lead to some side effects and long-term risks. Studies on the drug’s safety and efficacy have focused mainly on diabetic patients, with large blank spots on what the drug does to the people who take it solely for weight loss. It is dangerous to hurry and accept Ozempic as a cure-all without a complete analysis.

Junior Liya Hakimian said, “If a healthy person takes Ozempic, it can ruin their pancreases’s ability to produce insulin because your body gets used to the drug producing it for you.”

“Like any drug, there are risk-to-benefit ratios that should be researched and discussed thoroughly before anyone considers potentially jumping on this weight loss bandwagon,” said Mrs. Carpenter.

The rise of Ozempic and other repurposed drugs for weight loss is a clear indication of the devastating effects tied to diet culture. It feeds on the fears of younger generations and perpetuates body image issues; it does not tackle the real causes of obesity and poor health. There is no reason why the pharmaceutical industry’s profit motives should weigh more heavily on the lives of individuals than the most susceptible. Let us reject the seductive power of diet cultures and choose the path of holistic health that values self-acceptance, mental well-being, and sustainable living options.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Daniella Nissim
Daniella Nissim, Managing Editor
Daniella Nissim is one of Guide Post’s managing editors. She enjoys reading, creative writing, and talking with her friends. She is the president of Key Club and treasurer of the poetry club. She is also an avid member of DECA, Habitat for Humanity, and Law Club. If not writing for Guidepost or cramming for a pop quiz, you can find her going to bed at an abnormally early hour.

Comments (0)

All Guide Post Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *