The Damaging Double Standard Behind Intermittent Fasting

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Jack Dorsey doesn’t eat anything in the morning. Instead, he meditates for two hours, takes an ice bath, and drinks a lot of water. He doesn’t eat anything for lunch, either. After subsisting on water all day, Dorsey consumes a dinner of proteins, greens, and mixed berries between 6:30-8:30pm, as the Twitter CEO explained on the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast in April 2019.

If Dorsey were a woman, we might call this disordered eating. But because he’s a man—and a powerful one in the tech industry—we call it “optimizing.”

For decades, women, especially those in the public eye, bore the brunt of unrealistic beauty standards, which caused many to develop or exacerbated unhealthy relationships with food. Actress and Goop founder Gwenyth Paltrow reportedly ate 300 calories a day during a January 2018 detox regimen; reality TV star Nicole Richie admitted that she “liv[es] on a diet of sunflower seeds, celery juice, and chewing gum.” Just this week, Today Show hosts Jenna Bush Hager and Hoda Kotb weighed themselves on live television after spending a week only eating between 10am and 6pm, with the intention of losing weight and improving “brain health, and energy and skin.”


Jack Dorsey has been a vocal proponent of intermittent fasting. Photo by David Becker/Getty Images



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