Viral Wedding Menu With Anti-Bloat Pills Sparks Fierce Debate — Here's What We Can Learn From It

The following contains references to eating disorders and diet culture. 

Sam Cutler, known online as @thefitfatale, shared her wedding on social media, including a video detailing what she ate on the big day. While this is standard online behavior for influencers, Cutler got push-back for featuring anti-bloat pills on all of the tables at her reception. The video gives a clear signal of how diet culture permeates people's lives, even on special occasions.

Cutler, who posted the video on May 11, 2023, shared that she began the day with a protein smoothie from Playa Bowl, followed by some bites of her maid of honor's salad. They had a veggie platter as they got ready and Cutler said that she had another smoothie. At the reception, Cutler ate some oysters and plantain avocado bites. During dinner, Cutler had a chopped salad and gluten-free bread because of her gluten intolerance. This was followed by an intermezzo course of lemon and ice. After explaining her dinner of salmon and veggies, Cutler said, "Then we had Arrae bloat pills on every table," and in the video, Cutler is filmed taking one. She added that for sweets, they had Unreal Chocolate, a brand that puts less sugar in its products. They also had candy by Smart Sweets which also features less sugar.

There's a whole mix of takes on Cutler's meal planning for her wedding day. Some are claiming that she's promoting eating disorder culture. Many are shocked about the anti-bloat pills on the table. Meanwhile, others say that Cutler should be free to live and plan her wedding meals however she sees fit.

Cutler's promotion of eating-disorder culture

Sam Cutler got a lot of pushback when she shared what she ate on her wedding day, particularly over the anti-bloat pills that were accessible on every table at the reception. One person on Twitter posted the video and captioned it: "ED wedding." That same person followed up in the comments, saying: "To people in the replies saying 'it's not an ED, she ate 3 full meals' — orthorexia is a thing and is just as harmful to the body long term. She clearly has a food obsession and guilt. Also those 'anti bloat' pills are literal laxatives."

On Instagram, people were equally upset. "This is all very weird," one person commented. "I'm also confused why you needed to take anti-bloat pills after eating nothing but smoothies, veggies, salmon, and gluten-free cake on your wedding day ... makes no sense." Many online accused Cutler of pushing unsustainable dietary restrictions onto her guests. Someone on Twitter commented, "being on a diet at your wedding and also basically forcing everyone at your wedding to be too is so crazy." People also accused Cutler of triggering viewers who've struggled with eating disorders.

While people had a lot to say, the core complaint was that Cutler's diet seemed hyper-restrictive for a day that's typically associated with feasting and festive food. It's clear that the anti-bloat pills were one element of the day that upset people. Making them so ubiquitous — a jar on every table — implied that this was a common way of digesting.

If you need help with an eating disorder, or know someone who is, help is available. Visit the National Eating Disorders Association website or contact NEDA's Live Helpline at 1-800-931-2237. You can also receive 24/7 Crisis Support via text (send NEDA to 741-741).

Those who defended Sam Cutler's wedding meal

Not everyone online was upset about Sam Cutler's video. Many defended Cutler's choice to serve food on her wedding day that she enjoys eating all of the time. "How is this toxic eating???" one person began. "What is wrong with these foods???? Why can't somebody choose to have a cake free of the things they don't like to eat??? IT'S THEIR WEDDING DAY not yours."

People who struggled with gut issues were especially positive towards Cutler's meal plan. "As someone with a LOT of food intolerances similar to yours, I would have absolutely cried my eyes out that someone I loved put thought into providing a variety of foods for guests on their own special day," another commented. Many added that the bride has every right to enjoy her big day and if eating a variety of foods that her body is used to would ensure that she could dance and participate fully, then she should feel empowered to do so.

Someone on Twitter also pointed out that since brides traditionally face so much pressure around their wedding — in addition to being swamped with hosting guests — it's not abnormal to eat differently that day. So Cutler's food choices that day reflected both her desire to feel good and the typical stresses of a wedding day.

The bride herself speaks out

Sam Cutler responded to all of the pushback she got for her meal planning. In a later video on Instagram, Cutler explained that she and her husband wanted to make their wedding menu inclusive for all of their guests, including those with dietary restrictions. For beverages, she wanted to make sure her guests had access to various types of alcohol, as well as water stations, and options for those who weren't drinking alcohol. Cutler added that they surveyed their guests weeks prior to the wedding and found out that 38% of them had dietary restrictions. The menu at the reception offered guests the option to forgo certain parts of a dish if it didn't accommodate their dietary needs. "I hope other brides or grooms with intolerances, allergies, or just wanting to pick the options THEY want, feel empowered to do that," Cutler added in the caption.

However, one person in the comments pointed out that it was the anti-bloat pills that seemed off. "Girl it's not about the food it's about the 'bloat pills' and the calorie counting," they began. "If you wanna promote nourishment hell yeah but those supplements are unregulated and can often be dangerous. It's a triggering fixation to see the flat tummy obsession even on a day of celebration and indulgence." This seemed to strike a helpful balance in the conversation. People weren't upset about dietary restrictions; what was quizzical was the emphasis on anti-bloat pills everywhere and the interest in limited sugar and calories on a day of celebration.