Statements by Experts

I read Dr. med. Dagmar Pauli’s book “Size Zero” with great interest, and I liked the socio-critical part of the book very much.

Spontaneously I wrote to her and told her about our counter-campaign and asked her what she thinks about campaigns like that of Activ Fitness and wanted to know: “What effects does this form of advertising have on young people?”

Thank you Dr. Pauli for your statement!

Statement about Bodyshaming Fitness Center

Today, young people are exposed to a constant flood of images through their smartphones. The social pressure to be slim is conveyed through images of overly slim models and fitness influencers. This leads to a competitive pressure for young people to present themselves with a supposedly perfect body shape in social media. Studies show that more and more young people are dissatisfied with their bodies and 30% of all young people in Switzerland, girls and boys, feel psychologically burdened by this. According to a Swiss youth survey, one of the biggest concerns of young people is their own body shape! Overweight is stigmatized in our society and many young people perceive normal curves as “fat”. Companies in the fitness and beauty industry therefore bear a special responsibility. Under no circumstances should they profit from the plight of young people and promote the problem of physical dissatisfaction and psychological stress of young people by deprecatingly depicting full body shapes.

Advertisements that devalue plump body shapes belong on the garbage pile of advertising history! They cause increased self-doubt in young people and can promote depression and eating disorders.

KD Dr. med. Dagmar Pauli, Chefärztin Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie Psychiatrische Universitätsklinik Zürich
Author of the book “Size Zero”