Yesterday, Kim Kardashian West decided to post a sultry photo of herself sucking on a lollipop, and a room full of Health editors breathed a communal sigh of disappointment. Unlike the usual, occasional indulgence, which we are all for, her new lollipop–introduced by the creators of Flat Tummy teas and shakes–is also an appetite suppressant.
“You guys… @flattummyco just dropped a new product,” the 37-year-old captioned the photo. “They’re Appetite Suppressant Lollipops and they’re literally unreal. They’re giving the first 500 people on their website 15% OFF so if you want to get your hands on some… you need to do it quick!”
Not so fast, Kim. Both her treatment of this Instagram post (complete with the hashtag “#suckit”) and the lollipop itself are controversial. The Twitterverse went wild, as celebrities and non-verified users alike expressed their disgust. Many argued that people–especially young women looking up to Kardashian–should not feel the need to suppress their appetite, and we could not agree more.
“We don’t need appetite suppressing candy–we need healthier relationships with food and our bodies,” says Health’s corresponding nutrition editor, Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD. “For weight loss or health you shouldn’t feel perpetually hungry or need to use products to shut off normal hunger cues. Ideally, you should be tuned into hunger cues, eat when you are hungry, and eat in ways that allow you to feel full, satisfied, energized, nourished, and happy.” Preach!
Feeling so hungry all the time that you’d want to suppress your appetite might be a sign of a deeper issue, Sass says. Maybe you’re letting your emotions get the best of you, or maybe you’re simply not eating enough.
“If you’re under-eating, the resolution is to get into a healthy balance, not suppress your appetite,” she says. “And if you’re dealing with emotionally driven cravings, the solution is to find healthy ways to address your feelings that don’t involve food or candy.”
The sole purpose of this lollipop is to stop you from eating and “flatten” your stomach. The aesthetic-driven “treat” promotes negative body image, and, with Kardashian’s help, that message was delivered to more than 111 million people.