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Warning: Discussion of restrictive eating.
Gwyneth Paltrow has been dubbed an “almond mom” for her food habits, which one registered dietician said “screams disordered eating.”
For context, a recent clip of Gwyneth speaking on The Art of Being Well podcast with Dr. Will Cole began to gain traction on TikTok due to her description of her daily “wellness routine.”
The gist of it is that Gwyneth will have an early paleo dinner, fast until midday (save for some coffee), exercise for an hour, then for lunch typically have some soup — which is often just bone broth.
TikTokers began stitching the clip, dubbing Gwyneth an “almond mom” (i.e. an older woman who’s obsessed with diet culture) or simply criticized her for promoting under-eating and diet culture.
So I reached out to Sammi Haber Brondo, a registered dietician based in New York, to get her take on things. “I think in general, this is just very, very little food and actually not that healthy-sounding at all,” Sammi began in a phone call with BuzzFeed.
“In the morning, [she has] coffee, celery juice, lemon water — those aren’t meals, those are beverages. Even when she has lunch, and she said she has green soup and bone broth, that’s also barely food, those are liquid, those are beverages. At night, she has just a really vegetable-heavy meal. This is really restrictive eating.”
As for Gwyneth’s full claims about “detoxing” and “methylation,” Sammi replied, “She was trying to use [methylation] to say she can’t detox well, but at the end of the day, our kidneys and liver do all of our detoxing. Unless you have really severe kidney or liver disease, your kidneys and liver will detox for you.”
Ultimately, Sammi sees Gwyneth’s words, and other content like it, as a real potential cause of harm for others who view it as a way to get “healthy” or try to emulate Gwyneth’s looks.
I further spoke to Kathleen Meehan, a registered dietitian based in LA. “My concern as an eating disorder dietitian is that there’s a lot of behaviors in here that read pretty disordered,” she began.
“One thing that really struck me [while] listening to her interview is that she works really hard on feeling well. She does all of these different things that, by the way, are almost inaccessible to most people,” Kathleen continued. “I feel like it’s in relation to needing to eat more — when we’re not eating enough, we don’t feel well. … Something I see with people that I work with is, like, we often don’t realize that eating inadequately really impacts how we feel until we’re on the other side.”
Gwyneth has yet to address the TikTok criticism.
The National Eating Disorders Association helpline is 1-800-931-2237; for 24/7 crisis support, text “NEDA” to 741741.