10 Celebrities Who Prove That Diet Culture Is Still Alive In 2023

Warning: Discussion of restrictive eating, calorie counts, weight loss.

Diet culture in the 2020s is a different beast from what it was before. Even if you're more likely to see rhetoric around "health," "clean eating," and "wellness" than an explicit discussion of weight loss, the underlying tenants of diet culture — namely, a belief system that “worships thinness and equates it to health and moral virtue" — are still very much here.

As Christine Byrne wrote for Self last year, diet culture "promotes weight loss and maintaining a low weight as a way to elevate social status, and demonizes certain foods and eating styles while elevating others."

Celebrities have a tremendous influence on the way that we think about our bodies. As registered dietician Sammi Haber Brondo told BuzzFeed back in March, "Even if [they're] just saying, 'This is how I eat,' the bottom line is [that with] anyone who says how they eat on social media, you [will] have at least one person, if not many, many more, who will use that as an example of, 'Oh, this is what I should do.'"

There is a risk that a collection like this can only serve as a long list of inspiration to some folks. My hope is that by putting everything in context, the opposite is true.

So, here are some celebrities who have said some pretty damaging things in the past few years:

1.When Gwyneth Paltrow said that her daily "wellness" routine involves fasting until midday, bone broth, and a light paleo dinner.

closeup of her out on the street

Gwyneth further promoted misinformation about detoxing in a podcast interview in March. As dietician Kathleen Meehan told BuzzFeed at the time, "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 [...] There's not a whole lot of eating that she describes. It's normal to eat food, it's normal to chew food, it's normal to eat every three hours and have something substantial."

Gwyneth later claimed that her words were not meant to be interpreted as advice or indicative of how she ate every single day.

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2.And when Hilary Duff likened her own eating habits to Gwyneth's, saying, "Sometimes, I try to just drink coffee in the morning and stave off my hunger."

closeup of her in a dress at an event

"I wake up really hungry [...] You know, Gwyneth’s in trouble for saying this," Hilary said in an interview in May.

To be clear, waking up hungry is completely normal. In cases of extreme hunger in the mornings, there's a chance that your body isn't getting enough nutrients and energy. And starving oneself can lead to issues with metabolism, as well as your overall health.

Jon Kopaloff / Getty Images for Vanity Fair

3.When Rebel Wilson said that she ate 600 calories a day for "detox purposes."

closeup of her at an event

"The truth is your body doesn’t need a lot of calories and I know that might sound crazy to some people, but if you eat right and you eat small portions you’ll be just fine," Rebel said in an interview in June. "I learned that you really only need about 600 calories a day, you don’t need 1,500 or 2,000."

Dietician Sammi told BuzzFeed at the time, "That's what we have a liver and kidneys for. There's really no need to do a detox yourself and a 600-calorie diet is not a detox. It's not something anyone needs to do, it's just completely unnecessary and most likely unsafe."

Mike Marsland / Mike Marsland / WireImage

4.When Kim Kardashian lost 16 pounds in 21 days to fit into Marilyn Monroe's dress at the 2022 Met Gala.

kim in the tight dress on the red carpet

As registered dietician Elaina Efird told BuzzFeed at the time, "Losing 16 pounds in 21 days is technically possible, but only through extreme and VERY unhealthy measures such as starvation or semi-starvation. [...] The issues that arise from Kim Kardashian perpetuating a narrative to alter yourself to fit into a garment have many negative implications."

Kim said that the diet meant that "Psoriasis broke out over my body and I got psoriatic arthritis so I couldn’t really move my hands." Despite being unable to move her hands, she maintained that it was healthy and clean.

Sean Zanni / Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

5.When Lori Harvey said that she would work out multiple times a day while eating less than 1,200 calories to lose "relationship weight."

closeup of her in a long coat outside

Lori said in a TikTok last year, 'When Mike [Michael B. Jordan] and I got together I gained like 15 pounds of relationship weight and it was horrible. None of my clothes fit [...] I was working out like five, six times a week and for the first month and a half I would even do it two [times] a day [...] I was in a calorie deficit — I think I was maybe consuming like 1,200 calories a day max."

Lori then defended herself in the comments, claiming that it was what worked for her body and that it wasn't "unhealthy."

To be clear, a diet with such a low amount of calories — that's even without working out so much — risks malnutrition. Low-calorie diets are actually likely to lead you to gain weight and can affect your metabolism.

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6.When Jason Bateman kept commenting on his and his cohosts' eating habits on the SmartLess: On the Road.

closeup of him in a suit

Food is a huge topic on the SmartLess: On the Road series, with Jason expressing a fear of gaining weight before they began. In one scene, Jason called cohost Will Arnett a "fat fuck" and "chunk" as he ate. He further asked Will how many sauces he was going to use and commented on how often he was biting. "[I'm] having fun though, enjoying my life, it's happening now. God, you're going to be so shriveled," Will replied.

In a later scene, Will added, "I feel like I've put on some weight on this tour. My body dysmorphia, which has been aided by my friend, is pretty bad."

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7.When Chris Martin said he only eats one meal a day to look more "in shape," like Bruce Springsteen.

closeup of him in a beanie

Back in March, Conan O'Brien asked Chris if he'd had dinner with any famous friends recently. In response, Chris said, "I actually don't have dinner anymore. I stop eating at four and I learned that from having lunch with Bruce Springsteen. [...] I was on a really strict diet anyway. But I was like, "Bruce looks even more in shape than me."

The One Meal A Day diet, as it's called, has been called out by professionals for how restrictive it is. Dietician Sammi also brought up a good point when discussing Chris' ex-wife, Gwyneth Paltrow, on how food can also serve an important social function: "Of course, food provides nutrients and we want to be healthy — but food also can bring us joy, be social, and can be memorable [...] I think we have to consider the fact that food is emotional and can bring us joy too."

Bruce Glikas / WireImage

8.And when Twitter founder Jack Dorsey said that he only eats seven meals a week.

closeup of him in a tie-dye shirt

In a Wired interview in January 2020, Jack confirmed that he only eats dinner. The year prior, he'd said that the meal consisted of “fish, chicken, or some steak,” arugula, spinach, or “sometimes asparagus or Brussels sprouts” and "mixed berries as a dessert.” As Monica Hesse put it for the Washington Post at the time, "Unless 'some steak' is a euphemism for 'a cow,' I can immediately tell you that Jack Dorsey is consuming fewer than 1,000 calories a day. Which is a diet no nutritionist would recommend."

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9.When Jason Derulo revamped Kate Moss' infamous line about being skinny and wrote in his 2023 memoir, "I remind myself that there's no meal that tastes as good as having a six pack feels."

closeup of him in a suit

Jason has further advocated for "substituting one of [your] meals with a vegetable Bone Broth soup" to have abs.

He told GQ in 2020, "My diet changes pretty often. I've done everything under the sun. I used to blend my salmon and have a salmon shake. I did all kinds of crazy shit. Sometimes I would literally just eat a bunch of eggs. Eggs and veggies."

He continued, "My diet ain’t about taste. I mean, it's cool, but, like…it’s broth. It’s not like having a burger or anything in that good world. I would much rather just eat fries.

Joe Maher / Getty Images

10.Finally, celebrities who use Ozempic for weight loss.

closeup of tracy morgan in a suit

Celebrities like Tracy Morgan, Jennifer Fessler, and Golnesa “GG” Gharachedaghi have all praised using the diabetes medication for weight loss — with the latter even reportedly showing her fans how to inject themselves.

However, Ozempic can cause serious malnutrition and it's not clear what the long-term side effects can be (the drug has not been FDA-approved for weight loss). Some people have reported gaining back any weight lost once they stopped taking the drug and others have been hospitalized for its side effects. What's more, the demand for Ozempic for weight loss has led to shortages where people with diabetes cannot access the drug.

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If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, The National Alliance for Eating Disorder helpline can be reached at 866-662-1235 in the US. The helpline is run by clinicians and offers emotional support for individuals and their family, as well as referrals for all levels of eating disorder care.