Victoria Erickson Don’t Ask Someone What They Eat

Victoria Erickson, a renowned writer and poet, once said, “Don’t ask someone what they eat, ask them what they’re passionate about.” These words hold a profound message, urging us to shift our focus from mundane topics to deeper, more meaningful conversations. In a society obsessed with dieting and body image, it is crucial to understand the impact of our words and the power they hold.

Asking someone about their eating habits may seem harmless, but it can often lead to judgment and unnecessary comparisons. People have diverse relationships with food, and it is essential to respect their choices without imposing our beliefs on them. Instead, we should explore other aspects of their lives that ignite a fire within them.

Why is it important to refrain from asking someone about their eating habits?

1. It can trigger feelings of shame and guilt: Many individuals struggle with their body image and have complex relationships with food. Asking about their eating habits can trigger negative emotions and reinforce these insecurities.

2. It promotes a diet culture: Constantly discussing what we eat can perpetuate a culture fixated on appearances rather than overall well-being. Encouraging conversations about passions and interests helps foster a more inclusive and accepting environment.

3. It assumes a one-size-fits-all approach: Everyone’s dietary needs and preferences differ. Assuming that there is a universal “right” way to eat can be disrespectful and dismissive of individual experiences.

4. It limits the conversation: Focusing solely on food limits the depth of conversation. By asking about their passions, we invite others to share their dreams, experiences, and inspirations.

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5. It reinforces societal pressures: Society often places unrealistic expectations on individuals, particularly regarding their bodies. By shifting the conversation away from food, we can challenge these harmful norms and embrace diversity.


1. What should I ask someone instead of inquiring about their eating habits? Ask them about their hobbies, dreams, or what brings them joy.

2. How can I support someone struggling with their relationship with food? Offer a listening ear without judgment and encourage them to seek professional help if needed.

3. Is it ever appropriate to discuss food choices? It depends on the context. If someone willingly shares their dietary choices, you can engage in a respectful conversation.

4. How can I create a more inclusive environment when discussing food? Avoid making assumptions and respect others’ choices without imposing your beliefs.

5. Can discussing food be positive? Yes, when approached with sensitivity and an open mind, discussing food can be a source of education and cultural exchange.

6. Can asking about eating habits be harmful to individuals in recovery from eating disorders? Yes, it can trigger harmful thoughts and behaviors. It is best to avoid such questions altogether.

7. How can we dismantle diet culture? By challenging societal norms, promoting body positivity, and encouraging a broader conversation beyond appearances.