Lauren Chan Confronts Media’s ‘Fearmongering’ on Weight and Body Size, Exposing Systemic Issues

The SI Swimsuit rookie is using her Instagram platform for good.
Lauren Chan poses in a black dress and wears her hair in a soft wave.

Lauren Chan.

Model and entrepreneur Lauren Chan is using her voice to speak up and speak out against publications pushing negative messages in the new year.

The SI Swimsuit rookie took to Instagram reels on Jan. 4 to point out a triggering headline that promoted “new year weight loss propaganda,” she stated. As she spoke, behind Chan was a screen grab of a Forbes article with a headline that read, “Weight Loss And More Energy Among Dry January Health Benefits.”

“So this one from Forbes says that weight loss is the first health benefit of dry January, of not drinking alcohol in January. Now, this really struck a chord with me because there are so many links between cancer and alcohol, and yet this article fearmongered weight, being heavy, as the first reason for not drinking this month,” Chan explained. “To me, this is minute, it is subtle, but it is very clear in making us feel that weight is the worst possible health condition we can have from alcohol.”

As Chan noted, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that consuming three or more alcoholic drinks per day increases one’s risk of developing stomach or pancreatic cancers. Heavy alcohol use is also linked to prostate, liver and breast cancer, as well.

Chan’s astute observations clearly resonated with many of her Instagram followers, as several piped in to the comments section to thank her for sharing her insights.

“love these. i could listen to you eloquently + elegantly debunk internet BS all day mama !” one person cheered.

“Love you pointing these out! It’s endless and everywhere,” someone else added. “Also weight loss doesn’t always = health - it can be an indicator of the opposite but it’s always sort of talked about and seen as a positive thing.”

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Cara O’Bleness


Cara is a trending news writer/editor for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit. A passionate writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience in print and online media, she loves storytelling and believes that words have the power to change the world. Prior to joining the team, Cara worked as a writer and editor across a number of content verticals, including food, lifestyle, health and wellness, and small business and entrepreneurship. In her free time, Cara loves reading, spending time with her family and making her way through Michigan’s many microbreweries. She is a graduate of Michigan State University's School of Journalism.