Nutrition and Fitness Essay Paper

Nutrition and Fitness Essay Paper

Nutrition and Fitness Essay Paper

Nutrition and fitness are viewed differently by every generation. This has been evident in how the innovation, manufacture, and marketing of new nutrition and fitness products and solutions have evolved with generation (Su et al., 2). The implication is that the perception of fitness and nutrition has evolved depending on generational shifts. As such, Gen Z perceives fitness and nutrition quite differently from how the boomers or the millennials perceive it. In addition, the new pop culture and religion also view nutrition and fitness differently. While there are differences between the new pop culture and the traditional religions such as Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism, in terms of practice and values, there are also differences. Therefore, the purpose of this research paper is to explore how nutrition and fitness are viewed as religion these days, especially among the females of the Gen Z generation. In addition, this research will also focus on how nutrition and fitness is a new pop culture religion as well as the differences and similarities of how the new pop culture is in contrast with the traditional religions.


How Nutrition and Fitness are Viewed as Religion

When something is considered religion-based, then individuals start thinking of a group of individuals worshiping common beliefs. The only difference is that the groupings would be meeting at different places for their meetings. Over the years, the views regarding nutrition and fitness have been evolving and changing. Specifically among the Gen Z, for example, the females of this generation, nutrition and fitness are largely viewed as a religion. In some instances, these individuals religiously combine their nutrition and fitness programs and strictly believe in some foods and reject others (Garai-Fodor, 57). Among these individuals, various foods are scorned, considering foods like drinking soda as sinful, using gluten as evil, and other items like white sugar as devilish. The implication is that their personal food beliefs are religiously imposed as the right way to eat.

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The internet these days offer large volumes of information regarding fitness and nutrition. The availability of such information means that individuals form opinions and come up with belief systems that they religiously follow on the matter of exercise and food. The view of nutrition and fitness as a religion is largely driven by the common goal of nourishing the soul to be healthy, fit, and at peace with body and food (Seemiller and Meghan, 255). Besides, the other focus is to balance food intake with energy expenditure and create a health-promoting nutrition and fitness program that can be maintained for longer periods of time. Generation Z females also consider a lean body structure as the golden standard; therefore, they subscribe to nutrition and fitness programs they believe would make them achieve such goals. The majority then strictly follow these programs, as in the case of religion, to help them achieve such goals.

Generation Z was brought up under economic and political turmoil, making them more pragmatic than the older generations. They, therefore, integrate nutrition and fitness into everyday life and considerably vet the brands that they are willing to use (Joe, 2). The females from this generation also view nutrition and fitness as religion as they are more than willing to leverage the most current technology and technological support, such as wearables, to support what they consider healthy nutrition and fitness programs. The view of nutrition and fitness as religion among the generation Z females has become a religion, as indicated by the actions of these individuals. They have been raised up with the perception that nutrition and fitness are more about a holistic balance hence quickly acknowledging various factors such as emotional health, social life, and other factors as hugely contributing to the overall health and wellness. They also consider good health as a combination of feeling good and looking good, which go hand in hand. Fitness and nutrition have also become a religion among generation Z since they consider them critical parts of a healthy lifestyle. However, the females have a different view from their male counterparts in this regard as they view it as a way of building feelings of control of the body image and the guilt connected to eating.

How Nutrition and Fitness is a New Pop Culture Religion

As earlier discussed and observed, nutrition and fitness are these days largely viewed as a religion among the generation Z. similarly, nutrition and fitness is a new pop culture religion. Various theories and concepts in religion can be used to view how nutrition and fitness is a new pop culture religion. Fitness and nutrition are part of the popular culture, and the trends, practices, and beliefs in the cultural impact the fitness and nutrition practices (Forbes and Jeffreys, 151). Indeed in popular culture, there is an increasing trend toward consumerism, implying that individuals eat away from home and use of herbal and dietary supplements and foods for various groups such as older adults, athletes, women, and dieters, among other groups. In addition, in popular culture, there are strict beliefs comparable to religion on fresh, natural, and simple ingredients, low-fat food, and low-calorie foods.

Pop culture is also characterized by a strong focus on fitness as individuals employ various strategies to keep fit. For example, currently, towns and cities have numerous gyms and other fitness facilities. Individuals register in these facilities in their numbers and subscribe to gym training and follow programs religiously to help keep fit (Forbes and Jeffreys, 182). Recent data indicate that close to fifty percent of Americans make attempts to lose or maintain their weight annually; therefore, they embark on various strategies such as diet bars, weight loss foods and drinks, special herbal supplements, and weight loss pills, among others.

In pop culture, as part of the new religion, the term fitness freak is trendy and refers to individuals who are incredibly dedicated to a healthy lifestyle, exercise, and diet. These are related to fitness and nutrition. The individuals tend to be alert, active, and happy and always have the urge to share their fitness and nutrition passion with others. Such behavior is typical of religion (Crothers, 222). In the current age of the internet and social media, individuals and celebrities have dedicated their time to fitness and diet, and they readily share their experiences through various sites such as Facebook and Instagram. They emphasize what entails a healthy diet and fitness through visual aid. As such, it has become a lifestyle, and the commitment and focus shown in these are religion-like.

One religious theory that can be used to view how nutrition and fitness is a new pop culture religion is the cognitive theory. Cognitive theory focuses on human behavior by gaining insight into the human thought process. According to the theory, human beings are logical and therefore make decisions that most make sense to them. As such, the view of fitness and nutrition as a religion in pop culture indicates that individuals focus on fitness and nutrition as a matter that makes sense to them (Fox, 121). This makes it an upcoming and a new religion in the culture. As indicated earlier, this theory heavily hinges on how the brain functions as it interacts and interprets the external world as well as the mental conceptions and physical system of the inner world. Individuals are only capable of accommodating the religious ideas that the brain can precipitate, and such religious concepts are notably personally compelling.

The other important theory that can be used is the rational choice theory. This theory entails consistent and goal-related activity and considers religion as a rational response to life needs (Fox, 275). In pop culture, individuals have connected fitness and nutrition to goal achievement and consistency. Individuals focus on consistent efforts of dietary patterns that are believed to be best in achieving a healthy lifestyle. In terms of fitness, pop culture considers various aspects probably as a new religion. Goals of fitness are set, and various strategies are employed to help in achieving them. An underlying theme is a need for consistency which in the end helps in achieving the set goals. These theories are, therefore, key in viewing how nutrition and fitness is a new pop culture religion.

Differences and Similarities Between the New Pop Culture and Traditional Religions

The new pop culture has various values and practices that are common in the culture. These values and practices have both similarities and differences when compared and contrasted with the traditional religions such as Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism, among others. The new pop culture has various similarities with Christianity. For example, among the values of the new pop culture is bringing people together through various events such as sports. Football, for example, has been used as a symbol of unity and a platform to fight various social ills such as racism (Forbes and Jeffreys, 290). Therefore, the implication is that the new pop culture propagates peace, oneness, and equality. These are values that feature prominently in the Christian religion. Peace and togetherness are one of the prominent themes in the bible. For example, Jesus explains that he brought peace to the world and that people should have peace and be united as one. He uses an analogy of the vine and the branches to explain the importance of oneness among the community of believers.

Even though individuals mostly view the new pop culture as mostly grounded on various forms of entertainment such as music, movies, and television, the culture is far much more than this and has various values and beliefs such as compassion and hard work. This is another area in pop culture that is similar to traditional religions. Christianity, in particular, shares the values of compassion and hard work (Forbes and Jeffreys, 235). Various Christian teachings advise the believers to be compassionate with each other and especially those who suffer. Christ taught using various parables such as the Good Samaritan to address the need to be compassionate to those who are in need. In addition, St. Paul also teaches the importance of hard work and directs the community of believers that an individual who refuses to work should not eat, hence enhancing the importance of this value of hard work.

As earlier highlighted, there are also differences between the new pop culture and the traditional religions. One of the differences is how individuals should carry and present themselves. For example, in the Muslim believers or the Islam religion, a saying by their prophet, Prophet Muhammad, commands women not to strut in revealing lingerie. However, this is a normal phenomenon in pop culture where celebrities and other personalities such as musicians are used to wearing revealing dresses without much care (Storey 301). This is against the Islamic Hadith. In addition, the Christian faith admonishes individuals, and especially women, to put on attire that makes them decent and not those that reveal their bodies.  It is therefore evident that, even though the new pop culture shares some values and beliefs, there are some which are different.


The concept of fitness and nutrition has evolved with generations, and different generation has had their perceptions of the same. From the paper, it is evident that generation Z and especially the females regard fitness and nutrition as religion. The new pop culture similarly views the concepts as part of their new religion. Two religion theories that can be used to view the same have been explored and presented in this paper.

Works Cited

Crothers, Lane. Globalization and American popular culture. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2021.

Forbes, Bruce David, and Jeffrey H. Mahan, eds. Religion and popular culture in America. Univ of California Press, 2017.

Fox, Jonathan. An introduction to religion and politics: Theory and practice. Routledge, 2018.

Garai-Fodor, Monika. “Values-based food consumer behavior patterns among the Z generation in terms of health nutrition.” International Journal of Business and Administrative Studies 5.2 (2019): 53-62.

Joe, Vennare, Gen Z: “The Ultimate Wellness Consumer”. 2021

Seemiller, Corey, and Meghan Grace. Generation Z: A century in the making. Routledge, 2018.

Storey, John. Cultural theory and popular culture: An introduction. Routledge, 2018.

Su, Ching-Hui Joan, et al. “US sustainable food market generation Z consumer segments.” Sustainability 11.13 (2019): 3607.


The research paper should consists of how ‘Nutrition and Fitness’ is viewed as a religion these days especially by females of the Gen Z generation and why it has become a ‘religion’.
Please include concepts and theories in religion to view of how nutrition and fitness is a new pop culture religion. Include the differences and similarities of how this new pop culture (values, practices) are in contrast with traditional religions (Christianity, Islam, etc).

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