The Checkup: How Vogue Might Be Derailing Your Diet

If you look at pictures of skinny models for diet inspiration, you might be doing more harm than good.

Gisele Bündchen

• If you’ve got a photo of Gisele Bündchen taped to your fridge, throw it away immediately—she ain’t helping you lose weight. New research found that, rather than motivating you to stick with your diet, looking at images of skinny models might actually compromise dieting effortsNPR reports on a study, in which female volunteers involved in a weight-loss program were asked to keep track of what they ate in food journals. Half of the subjects were given journals with pictures of a skinny model on the cover and on every page; the other half got journals printed with a neutral logo. At the end of the study, the women with the neutral journals lost weight, while the ones with the model journals ended up gaining weight. Yikes. To confirm the results, the researchers repeated the experiment but modified it slightly: In the second go round, half the subjects got journals with skinny models, while the other half received journals showing the same model who’d been Photoshopped to look like she was of average weight. And siiiigh: the ones with the skinny models gained weight again. Writes NPR: “Researchers said repeated exposure to models with unrealistic body sizes ‘changes the dieter’s belief about the very attainability of a thinner self. Our findings reveal that the perception that a goal is unattainable demotivates dieters from investing effort in achieving the goal and causes them to disengage from the goal.'” (Need help setting a realistic goal? Check out our tips here.)

• Ladies, if you feel super confused about when to get screened or tested for this cancer or that, don’t worry—we all are. A deluge of recent reports has muddied the water, but experts have finally come to an agreement on at least one issue: when—and how often—to get screened for cervical cancer. HealthDay has all the details.

• Get ready to squee, Internet. Here’s a story about identical twins who gave birth two hours apart on New Year’s Eve. Awwwww.

Photo: Anton Oparin /