Prue’s mantra “it’s not worth the calories” on GBBO is highly problematic

In a nation where over 1.6 million people are struggling with eating disorders, publicly demonizing calories on our most popular baking show is not okay

It is virtually impossible nowadays to grow up in the UK without knowing someone who has suffered from some form of disordered eating.

In the modern world where we are inundated by thin celebrities on social media posting (often highly edited) highlight reels of their life, we feel the pressure to conform to unattainable body standards.

Girls and boys, men and women are starving themselves because they want to fit this mould that is being pushed at us from every direction.

A show like The Great British Bake Off should provide a sense of escape from these everyday pressures, not add to them! We should indulge in seeing all of these beautiful bakes and maybe even take some inspiration to create our own.

Credit: Radio Times

This year’s Bake Off has received a lot of criticism for the new presenters, the new channel and of course the dreaded ad breaks. However, there was one thing that just didn’t sit quite right with me. Why is Prue constantly talking about calories?!

Thousands of people struggle on a daily basis with this one simple thing, calories, and no doubt a lot of them will be watching the show. For people already struggling with their body image or self confidence this could trigger potentially dangerous thoughts of: “should I also assess which foods are ‘worth the calories’?”

The answer is no.

 

Of course there is nothing wrong with leading a healthy lifestyle but this fixation on calories is not healthy and not a sustainable way to live. We have one life and we shouldn’t be missing out on valuable memories or opportunities because it “isn’t worth the calories.” Seize the day, have fun, eat the cupcake (and don’t feel an ounce of guilt for it)!

I still love the show and watch it (despite those pesky channel 4 ads) religiously every week without fail, but asking ourselves whether these beautiful bakes are “worth the calories” and the idea that we should regret what we have eaten is not how we should be thinking about food.

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Queen's University Belfast