Putting a Stop to Harmful Practices Associated with the new Ashy Bines DietBet Contest

Putting a Stop to Harmful Practices Associated with the new Ashy Bines DietBet Contest

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Sally Jacobs started this petition to info@ashybines.com and

The world of social media can often be a breeding ground for individuals who are often involved in self-promotion of their lifestyles and fitness regimes with thousands of followers getting involved in boot camps, challenges and other weight loss, sculpting and/or maintenance-type programs.  While there is no doubt that nutrition and physical activity are important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, as well as minimising or preventing long-term health conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, I have some significant concerns over Ashy Bine's recent announcment on Facebook about her new 28 DAY BET TO SHRED contest.  Bines wrote "my goal is to make the contest the most successful game DietBet has ever had" and to "simply back yourself to shred and lose 4% of your body weight in 28 days & win $$$".  Weight loss is NOT a GAME.  It is not something we should be betting on nor associating with monetary value.  It only further serves to drive and instill negative relationships with weight, shape and physical appearance and when the majority of individuals like Ashy Bines who lead these types of programs have minimal body fat levels and/or are highly sculpted/toned, it FAILS to demonstrate the important message that HEALTH can be achieved at lots of DIFFERENT SHAPES and SIZES.  It may be a valid opinion yes that some people who genuinely need to alter their dietary intake and physical activity for health reasons need external factors to maintain accountability but BETTING and GAMES are NOT the answer.

If you desire to motivate others to be healthy, fit and strong whilst also often being someone who others look up to and/or trust, then it stands to reason that you should also have a level of accountability in being aware of the risks associated with promoting weight loss as a game/contest.  Risks such as those continuously highlighted in the literature and neurobiology with young people who are predisposed to disordered eating and life-threatening eating disorders.  Eating disorders have been clearly demonstrated to have an onset secondary to environmental factors, generally  associated with a negative energy deficit due to sudden or rapid weight loss.  There is also a compulsive element to eating disorders so by promoting a game-like contest associated with weight loss, you are subsequently facilitating the perfect environment for a condition that has the highest mortality rate of all mental illnesses.

I am also directing this petition to the Founder and CEO of Waybetter, Jamie Rosen who established the DietBet platform which runs similar game-related contests involving money and weight loss separate from the Ashy Bines contest (although delivered on the Dietbet platform).  Jamie... you state in your terms and conditions that you aim to provide a safe place for users on your platforms.  Surely this includes safety, accountability and consideration for users who may come across your platform with an already heightened risk of eating disorder pathology and the potential for your strategies to play a contributing role? 

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