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HealthNotDiets Digest, Issue 6, 2018

February 5 - 10, 2018

As always, if you like what you read here, please support the original author by liking/sharing/following/up-voting/subscribing directly to their feed.

Happy reading!


Articles and Blogs

Weight Watchers Offering Free Memberships To Teens (AKA Future Of Yo-Yo Dieting)

by Joni Endelman

“I won’t stand idly by and watch [my daughter] half-exist, shrouded in body shame, spending her years counting calories, the finest moments of her life worrying about how big a slice of cake is or how small her ass is. I will not.

F&*k Weight Watchers.”


Weight Watchers is targeting teens with a new free program. That’s a problem.

by Rebecca Scritchfield

"The name is Weight Watchers, not Health Enhancers.... It will not only affect those who participate, but also every other teen who is exposed to the message that some bodies are “problems”.



by Megan Whelan

“I wondered who I might have been if so much of my personality hadn’t been developed alongside - and in defence of - my body.

And so now I stand out, when and how I can.”


My Weight Has Nothing to Do with How Good a Runner I Am

by Allie Kieffer

“The scrutiny grew unnerving. I didn’t look like most of the women I lined up against.....anytime I delivered a lackluster performance I was met with rhetoric that I needed to lose weight to perform better.”


Beyond the Scale: Finding Other Measures of Success to Nurture Long-Term Sustainable Change

by Lesley Wayler

"So as we enter February, don’t put the New Year behind you quite yet. Maybe instead, reframe your resolution, adding in a metric that’s more meaningful than a number on a scale and that points to your improved quality of life.”


Mind your own lunchbox

by Kelly Fullerton

“Policy development around healthy eating requires careful forethought....Looking differently about what we can add to teachers, parents and children’s skill set and literacy about food and eating is just a start.”


Thin, white, female: How people document eating disorder recovery on Instagram

by Andrea LaMarre

“We cannot ignore how health is often judged based on how a person is often equated with thinness in a way that can lead to significant discrimination against people in large bodies & worse health outcomes for those individuals.”


Sugar Addiction: A Summary Of The Science

by Marci Evans

“A person’s felt sense of being out of control or addicted to food is not the same thing as having scientific evidence that it is occurring at the physiological level.”


Body positivity and its discontents. What happens when your body doesn’t qualify for body positivity?

by Your Fat Friend

“I will not storm the gates of a movement that is so deeply ambivalent about my worthiness. Instead, I will take on the tough and tender work of building loving homes, shoulder-to-shoulder with those of us who’ve been shut out.”


This dress will not destroy me: navigating wedding dress shopping in ED recovery

by Tiffany Haug

“Here are 5 ideas for coping with, and lessening the triggers that can surface with the wedding dress shopping experience.”


In Hunger, Roxane Gay Says What No One Else Will About Being Fat in America

by Janelle Okwodu

“mercifully free of the unsolicited health advice or uplifting self-acceptance narrative.... Gay presents instead a briskly frank depiction of her size and the world’s response to it.”


The famine ended 70 year ago, but Dutch genes still bear scars

by Carl Zimmer

“Pregnant women [exposed to the Dutch Hunger Winter], it turns out, were uniquely vulnerable, and the children they gave birth to have been influenced by famine throughout their lives.”

TL:DR Do not diet while pregnant.


Research &

Clinical Practice

Vitamin and Mineral Supplements:

What Clinicians Need to Know

by JoAnn Manson and Shari Bassuk

“most [RCTs] of vitamin & mineral supplements have not demonstrated clear benefits for primary or secondary prevention of chronic diseases..... Indeed, some....may have harmful effects, including increased mortality, cancer, and hemorrhagic stroke.”

Manson, JoAnn E., and Shari S. Bassuk. "Vitamin and Mineral Supplements: What Clinicians Need to Know." JAMA.


“The study demonstrates that intake of both [types of iron], as well as adequate dietary energy, are associated with normal iron status levels in young women, and that restrained eaters [ie dieters] may be at greater risk of low iron status.”

Young, Isabel, et al. "Association between Haem and Non-Haem Iron Intake and Serum Ferritin in Healthy Young Women." Nutrients 10.1 (2018): 81.


Great intellectual discussion paper on the intersecting attitudes around larger bodies in the medical, academic and social domains.

Trainer, Sarah, et al. "Translating obesity: Navigating the front lines of the “war on fat”." American Journal of Human Biology 27.1 (2015): 61-68.


Interesting that the ‘obesity’ rhetoric is quite toned down and no overt weight loss recommendations are made....

“Tobacco use, alcohol use, unhealthy diet, and physical inactivity are major cancer risk factors worldwide”


An editorial in the BMJ for use with ‘in betweeners’ to move them along the way towards weight neutrality and size acceptance.

Ross, Robert. "Is setting a criterion for ‘clinically significant weight loss’ necessary?." Obesity 24.4 (2016): 791-791.


"These findings raise questions about the safety of weight management before total replacement of the hip and knee joints."

Inacio, M. C. S., et al. "The risk of surgical site infection and re-admission in obese patients undergoing total joint replacement who lose weight before surgery and keep it off post-operatively." Bone Joint J 96.5 (2014): 629-635.


“Rather than harming patients with stigmatizing measurements that limit our ability to have a productive relationship, let’s focus our precious clinical time on helping patients to engage in active lifestyles.”‬

Dollar, Emily, Margit Berman, and Anna M. Adachi-Mejia. "Do No Harm: Moving Beyond Weight Loss to Emphasize Physical Activity at Every Size." Preventing chronic disease 14 (2017).



Like podcasts?

How about bite-sized podcasts that you can claim as professional development?!?

I've designed the Unpacking Weight Science Podcast to suit health professionals, health science students and anyone who wants to know more about human body weight, health outcomes, interpreting weight related research and the far ranging effects of weight bias.

Twice a month, my 20 minute podcast will unpack different elements of weight bias & stigma, weight research, BMI, health behaviours and weight neutral approaches. Paid subscribers (only $5/month!) get the podcast two months before everyone else, plus full show notes, reference list, self-test quiz and resource materials for use in practice. This equates to an hour of professional development each month :-)

First podcast available for subscribers on March 5th is:

'Stuck in a Weight Centric Operating System'


Bodily Integrity (from Wikipedia): the inviolability of the physical body and emphasizes the importance of personal autonomy and the self-determination of human beings over their own bodies. In the field of human rights, violation of the bodily integrity of another is regarded as an unethical infringement, intrusive, and possibly criminal.

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights:


BMI category is an UNADJUSTED risk factor. The categories aren't adjusted for age, sex, fitness, dietary quality, genetics or any varying human factor. This makes it TERRIBLE for estimating risk in an individual. Whatever BMI category you fall in, remember that the categories came about using only the height and weight of a bunch of men at one time in their adult lives, matched against the age that they died at.

From any cause.

It's like using a wooden spoon to do heart surgery.


Unless you need medication that has to be dosed, or you’re having to have fluid shifts monitored (this can happen with heart, kidney & liver problems) then there’s NO NEED to be weighed, except to serve administrative and professional ‘care delivery theatre’.

The more times you decline to be weighed the easier it gets 🙂




Want these 'live'? Then follow me on Twitter (@FionaWiller), Facebook (@HealthNotDiets) and Instagram (@FionaWiller)

Want some training in the non-diet approach or unpacking weight science? Resources include books, courses, workshops and handouts: visit

See anything you think I'd like to share or comment about? Post in the comments below or email me at

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