Lorraine Courtney: Instead of fad-diet torture, let's try something different this year – realism
A UK government minister is battling magazine editors by asking them to drop fad diets and fitness myths from their January issues. She reckons that editors owe their readers more, saying: "Much better would be for the magazines to use the power they have to promote body confidence and perhaps a new year's resolution that will get rid of the self-critical body talk and celebrate the diversity that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, skin colours and ages."
After a Christmas of three mince pies for breakfast, afternoon films and mindless grazing on Quality Street, there is a lot of pressure to go on a diet each January. It's like we want to imagine that we can erase all our bad habits with the old year. If you can't make a fresh start in January, then when can you? But the timing is most definitely all off.
Why begin a new year on a downer and with a creeping sense of failure? Who can, in all seriousness, attempt to lose weight in January, when there is still more than a kilo of Stilton sitting in the fridge? What are you supposed to do, just throw it out?