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HealthNotDiets Digest, Issue 8 2018

February 18 - 24, 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

Children with facial difference have a lot to teach us about body image

by Anthony Penington

"Body dissatisfaction is.... a key symptom of a condition known as body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). People with BDD develop obsessive concerns with particular aspects of their appearance, including features others perceive as normal.”


Why I Won’t Ever Identify As Recovered.

by Dr Maria Paredes

"Recovery is hard. Period. Recovery in a culture that promotes disordered eating and inequality of bodies is even harder.”


288-Lb. Woman Becomes Heaviest to Run a Marathon and Aims for Ironman: 'It's About Visibility'

by Julie Mazziotta

"Nobody of any size is obligated to participate in fitness, but I think that we should all be welcomed”


Weight Watchers is Targeting Teens with Their Game

by Kari Anderson

"Weight Watchers may call this free teen program a “wellness initiative,” but like Candy Crush, Smurfs’ Village, and other “freemium” (link is external) games that draw you in then charge you for upgrades and new levels, it’s really big business. The draw of someday finally “winning” the weight game will no doubt keep business thriving for WW stock holders for years to come—at the emotional, physical, and mental expense of our kids."


When you know better,

do better!

by Michelle May, M.D.

"updating my books has been a humbling reminder that we are all in process, and that change takes time.”


How to talk about body image issues when you're not fat

by Dawy Rkasnuam

“Given the negative body talk we’ve been exposed to since childhood, it’s inevitable for us to have issues with our body image—even if we are not fat.”


Body image issues are ruining our boys

by Jo Abi

It's a proud day for a mentor when your mentee is totally bringing it on national TV!

The Mens Health Dietitian, Dan Lewin, was interviewed this morning on The Today Show about male body image and eating disorders.

Vid and article:

Dan does virtual appointments too, check out his services at


How dieting makes you gain weight!

by Beth Rosen

"BIG NEWS SHOCKER: DIETING MAKES YOU GAIN WEIGHT. The diet industry doesn’t want you to know it (because it would mess with their bottom line), but scientific research has proven it. I will get to the details in a minute, but first, a story…"


6 Ways My Parents Unintentionally Taught Me Disordered Eating

by Suzannah Weiss

"my parents’ disordered ideas are not mine. They don’t belong to me, and they’re not my burden to bear....But many of us still bear the burden of the beliefs held by our parents, even ones we disagree with."


Perfectionism and eating

by Michelle May, MD

"There are many ways that perfectionism can interfere with a healthy relationship with food.....

Bottom line: Expecting yourself and others to be perfect ensures that you’ll never be happy.”


Before and After — My Eating Disorder Struggle and Why Weight Watcher’s “Free Trial Membership for Teenagers” is a Trojan Horse

by Ali Scher

"Weight Watchers set me on a path that led to misery, isolation, and hospitalization. Fighting this eating disorder has been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. And it’s not over. This is a lifelong battle.”


Lies about Health at Every Size

by Ragen Chastain

Ragen Chastain clears up some misconceptions about Health at Every Size.


Research &

Clinical Practice

Another day, another 'obesity' researcher independently concluding that health enhancing behaviours 'even' in the absence of weight loss are probably good to strive for.

We can expect a degree of paradigm straddling for a loooong time, until patients/clients/humans put their foot down and demand truly weight-neutral, non-discriminatory, non-stigmatising care. However, until then we can at least cite this kind of research paper to support health providers to consider a more weight-neutral approach. Hall, Kevin D. (01/2018). "Maintenance of Lost Weight and Long-Term Management of Obesity". The Medical clinics of North America (0025-7125), 102 (1), p. 183.


There are so many details that are unseen when research studies try to condense entire lifetimes into one weight during adulthood and then subsequent death, many years later. This study adds just one more weight to the mix (so weight at 21 years and 75 years were used) and you can see that the findings are immediately different.

The figures are particularly interesting :-) Corrada, María M., et al. "Association of body mass index and weight change with all-cause mortality in the elderly." American journal of epidemiology 163.10 (2006): 938-949.


“[medical students] felt their nutrition education was inadequate due to lack of priority, lack of faculty to provide nutrition education, poor application of nutrition science to clinical practice & poor collaboration with nutrition professionals.”

Mogre, Victor, et al. "Why nutrition education is inadequate in the medical curriculum: a qualitative study of students’ perspectives on barriers and strategies." BMC medical education 18.1 (2018): 26.


In case anyone was wondering about their ovarian volume.... it is not related to BMI.

Gallicchio, Lisa, et al. "The associations between body mass index, smoking, and alcohol intake with ovarian volume in midlife women." Journal of Women's Health 25.4 (2016): 409-415.

Here's why it's relevant:

Kelsey, Thomas W., and W. Hamish B. Wallace. "Ovarian volume correlates strongly with the number of nongrowing follicles in the human ovary." Obstetrics and gynecology international 2012 (2012).


Have you been hearing about the Low Carb vs Low Fat diet trial that has just been reported in JAMA?

It doesn't report anything new (essentially it's the usual 'short term weight loss is possible in different ways but we'll discontinue follow up before we have to report everyone's weight regain'). However, in their quest to display that Low Carb dieters aren't any different from Low Fat dieters, they reported the individual weight changes in the form of a waterfall plot. Demonstrating results in this format is a fantastically elegant way to show just how varied individual results actually are, and gives us HEAPS more information than just the average weight change reported for the group. I've pulled the waterfall plot from the Low Fat group (the Low Carb group's plot was virtually exactly the same, both are in the supplementary materials), extended it to represent those who dropped out of the study before 12 months and put markers at the point where the weight change would be considered negligible (ie stable weight) and/or weight gain. We can expect that most weight loss studies have results like this, yet when they are only reported as the average weight loss (with standard deviations) for the intervention group (5.3kgs in this case), we miss the detail that there is actually no such thing as a 'typical' result. Gardner, Christopher D. (02/2018). "Effect of Low-Fat vs Low-Carbohydrate Diet on 12-Month Weight Loss in Overweight Adults and the Association With Genotype Pattern or Insulin Secretion The DIETFITS Randomized Clinical Trial". JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association (0098-7484), 319 (7), p. 667.…/jama/article-abstract/267315



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'


Important words from Chevese Turner, founder and CEO of the Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA).


Many people have had the experience of being a younger adult in a smaller body which has changed as time marched on. Those who sell or push weight loss frequently use the 'time machine' strategy, whereby intentional weight loss will return you to a body state that you previously held, a time when your body might have had less aches, perceived 'limitations' and perhaps more social 'aesthetic' appeal. Even doctors evoke the 'time machine' when they insist that weight loss is a way to 'buy time' against the (false) 'you'll be dead by the time you're 30/40/50' threat. The thing is, weight loss won't bring any of those things back. Worn-out knees do not miraculously get un-worn-out with weight loss, formerly-fat bodies are not transformed into never-fat bodies with weight loss, a 50 year old body is not transformed into a 20 year old body with weight loss, and weight loss cannot erase the years of stigma you experienced for simply existing in a larger body. Intentional weight loss is not a time machine and this kind of magical thinking is harmful.


Had a great time presenting for the QUT staff wellness program today on ‘What is a healthy weight?’

“BMI is widely accepted as a key determinant of health outcomes. However, the pursuit of weight loss is now recognised as unlikely to be successful in the long term, posing the question ‘what’s the point?’ This presentation takes a closer look at the behavioural determinants of health and presents the alternatives to weight loss for health enhancement.”

Good questions, engaged audience, happy presenter 😍

If you think your workplace might be in to having this kind of presentation, see for options 😃




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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