Gwyneth Paltrow Addressed Backlash Surrounding Her "Restrictive" Food Habits
Warning: discussion of restrictive eating.
Gwyneth Paltrow addressed backlash surrounding her food habits.
For context, earlier this week Gwyneth made headlines for her response to a question about her "wellness routine" on The Art of Being Well podcast with Dr. Will Cole. In it, she says that she'll start the day with coffee, exercise for an hour, have soup or bone broth around midday, then have a paleo dinner with "lots of vegetables" around 6 p.m. before fasting again until the midday the next day.
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Two dietitians I spoke to said that her routine "definitely screams disordered eating," but more on that later.
When asked about the backlash on her recent Instagram story, Gwyneth replied, "I think it's important for everyone to know I was doing a podcast with my doctor. So this is a person I've been working with for over two years now to deal with some chronic stuff. I have long COVID and the way it manifests for me is very high levels of inflammation over time."
"This was a transparent look at a conversation between me and my doctor. It's not meant to be advice for anybody else. It's really just what has worked for me and it's been very powerful and very positive. This is not to say that I eat this way all day every day," she continued.
Now, for transparency I wrote a piece that criticized Gwyneth's account of her eating habits — so I'd like to take a moment to consider her response. For one, if Gwyneth does not eat like this every day, she did not make it clear — the question she was asked was, "What's your wellness routine look like now? A day in the life?" which implies, you know, it's most days.
Overwhelmingly, when I spoke to two registered dietitians about Gwyneth's description of what she ate in a day, they both made it clear that there weren't circumstances in which such a restrictive low-calorie diet would be a good idea. "It's not even the type of thing where I could be like, 'Oh, well maybe if you are this and this, this might be enough food for you.' This isn't enough food for anyone, this is so light and just so minimal," Sammi Haber Brondo, a registered dietician based in New York told me.
Also, Gwyneth may think this isn't "advice" to anyone else, but the reality is more difficult when you're a high-profile wellness figure saying this publicly. Kathleen Meehan, a registered dietitian based in LA, told me, "I see [her] highlighting low-calorie eating, even though she's not explicitly saying that. She's normalizing things like fasting and restriction, and worrying about things like detoxing. That feels pretty problematic to me."
You can read more about what the dietitians had to say here.
The National Eating Disorders Association helpline is 1-800-931-2237; for 24/7 crisis support, text “NEDA” to 741741.