‘Skinny’ is In: But is it Healthy?

Not just skinny but "super skinny"

What exactly does "skinnier" than "skinny" look like? Ask the folks at clothing brand Madewell whose signature slim fitting jean is called the "skinny skinny."

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We all know that obesity and overweight are a serious public health problem in the United States. In a perverse response that feeds on our collective insecurity and shame, marketers are pushing "skinny" like never before. The new diet book from the Biggest Loser's Bob Harper is called "Jumpstart to Skinny." Before that there was the bestselling "Skinny Bitch" (an attention grabbing name for something that was actually a vegan manifesto) which spawned a slew of other books with "skinny" in the title. (For the true bitches out there, there is even a guide called, "Six Weeks to OMG: Get Skinnier than All Your Friends.")

Thirsty? Suck down one of the new flavors of Jim Beam's massively popular Skinnygirl Cocktails (or maybe a Skinny Water—because normal water has lot of calories...or something). Hungry? Eat a Skinny Cow ice cream bar—or fill your cupboard with any number of the original skinny girl Bethenny Frankel's products, from granola bars to vitamin packs. If you have totally pigged out on all that super slim stuff, order up a detox plan from the organic food and boot camp company Skinny Buddha.

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Over and over, the message is, "healthy weight is not OK, the real goal is to be skinny." But there are risks associated with having a low Body Mass Index: including reduced immunity, bone loss, cardiac problems, and anemia. The emphasis on being "skinny" may also encourage disordered eating, especially for adolescent girls and young women. "I have many skinny patients who are not well," Angela Lemond, national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics tells Yahoo! Shine, "They are dealing with minor to major illnesses and are not healthy at all." She adds, "I'm not a fan of the word skinny at all when it comes to wellness. I prefer 'fit.'"

"Fit jeans" might not have much of a ring, but "fit bitch" could catch on….

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