April 3, 2024 – Jaye Rochon struggled to lose weight for years. But she felt as if a burden had lifted when she discovered YouTube influencers advocating “health at every size” — urging her to stop dieting and start listening to her “mental hunger.”. “They made me feel like I was safe eating whatever the hell I wanted,” said Rochon, 51, a video editor. In two months, she regained 50 pounds. As her weight neared 300 pounds, she began to worry about her health.

The videos that Rochon encountered are part of the “anti-diet” movement, a social media juggernaut that began as an effort to combat weight stigma and an unhealthy obsession with thinness. But now global food marketers are seeking to cash in on the trend.

One company in particular, General Mills, maker of Cocoa Puffs and Lucky Charms cereals, has launched a multi-pronged campaign that capitalizes on the teachings of the anti-diet movement, an investigation by The Washington Post and The Examination, a nonprofit newsroom that covers global public health, has found.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), who recently co-sponsored legislation to help establish more prominent nutrition labeling on the front of food packages, said food companies’ adoption of anti-diet messaging is especially pernicious.