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HealthNotDiets Digest, Issue 9, 2018

February 25th - March 3rd, 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

Camila Mendes of 'Riverdale' Just Opened Up About Why She's 'Done With Dieting'

by Stacey Leasca

“I'm done believing in the idea that there's a thinner, happier version of me on the other side of all the tireless effort."


How my anorexia battle affected my relationship with my mother

by Georgia Smit

“I sat down with [my mother] to talk about the impact my eating disorder had on her and our relationship. Before this conversation we had never talked about this in such detail. What she said brought me to tears.”


Perceiving the beauty of all bodies

by Ragan Chastain

“perceiving beauty is a skill set – which is to say that everyone has inherent beauty, and the ability to see that beauty is a skill that can be learned and expanded. “


On Living 100 years in Diet Culture

by Dr Lauren Muhlheim

"At 9 years old [in 1925] people wanted me to start appearing on stage playing the piano. My teacher wanted to speak with my parents & told them he thought I was overweight & should lose some weight. He wanted to groom me for concert piano playing. “


There’s No Morality in Exercise:I’m a Fat Person and Made a Successful Fitness App

by Naomi Alderman

"For a long time I bought into that story, wholeheartedly, accepting what it said as the truth about me. Until I realized that fatness—that the way I felt about fatness—was something totally different.”


Food intolerance tests are shoddy science and traps for disordered eating

via Vice (Tonic)

“Maybe some people happened upon the food they really did have an intolerance to. It’s not impossible. But for others it could be all wrapped up in how much influence their minds, expectations and fears have on our eating.”

This is a great article but Vice will redirect you to their closest edition and not to the article itself unless you're in Canada. The workaround is to choose the United States edition from the dropdown and then search for the article. I managed to get to it on my phone but not my laptop - sorry in advance about any frustrations finding it!


The Inside Story Of How An Ivy League Food Scientist Turned Shoddy Data Into Viral Studies

by Stephanie M. Lee

“What they’re doing is making a very small amount of science go a very long way when you spread it thinly and you cut it with water and modified starch,” he said. “The product, which is the paper, is designed and marketed before it’s even been built.”


Bear in Mind: Fatphobia Is Alive and Well, Even Within the Bear Community

by Corbin Chamberlin

"Even to this day, much more battle-worn than I once was, I’m always so shocked and repulsed by the position of most gay men to be so unaccepting of fat individuals, knowing how unkind the outside world is to those who are different."


Why can’t we recognize fat anger?

by Your Fat Friend

“Like so many straight size people, they struggled to see my anger because they struggled to see what had happened as fundamentally unacceptable.”


‘It’s Because You’re Fat’ — And Other Lies My Doctors Told Me

by Martina Donkers

"When doctors looked at me, they didn’t see a girl who danced, cycled, and played team sports. They saw a fat girl — and they based their diagnosis on stereotypes about what that meant. “


Binge-eating disorder doesn’t mean I love food – it means food controls every moment of my life

by Alex Stringer

An account of living with Binge Eating Disorder (BED).

Note that the graphic descriptions may be upsetting for people struggling with disordered eating and body dissatisfaction (tread carefully please).


What Happened After I Spoke out About Fat Shaming at the NYC Marathon

by L. Shauntay Snell

"My mission was to let people know they weren’t alone—that they, too, can push past disparaging, unsolicited comments....I want to show the world that all bodies are capable of phenomenal things.”


Advocacy & Dietetic Practice - be silent no more.

by Fiona Sutherland

‘When we advocate, our clients hear and see "I believe in you, you matter, you are important..." which has a profound effect. We must not underestimate the power of us sending the message of "I've got your back."’


Disabled People Can Have Eating Disorders, Too

by Micaela Evans

“I felt as though my experience with my [eating] disorder wasn’t valid. As if something must be wrong in me, rather than the medical systems standing in opposition to my very real experience.”


Fat people have eating disorders, too. Why don’t we talk about them?

by Amanda Scriver

“Many people may not even recognize their own experiences as disordered eating because of misperceptions about the relationship between weight and eating disorders.”


Research &

Clinical Practice

Many weight loss studies wax lyrical about their statistically significant results. However, regardless of statistical significance, the participants may not have actually received/achieved any real-life benefit ('clinical significance').

A weight loss of 1 kg over a year may have achieved statistical significance during the stats analysis but probably makes no appreciable difference to someone's life or to their long-term health risks. The most compelling evidence for an intervention MUST have both statistical (so you know it's a real thing) and clinical (so you know it's worth it) significance. Learn to look for and ask for both of these things when deciding upon a treatment approach.


"Given the moral attributions embedded in these now shared ideas about fat bodies, a globalization of body norms and fat stigma, not just of obesity itself, appears to be well under way, and it has the potential to proliferate associated prejudice and suffering." Alexandra A. Brewis, Amber Wutich, Ashlan Falletta-Cowden, and Isa Rodriguez-Soto, "Body Norms and Fat Stigma in Global Perspective," Current Anthropology 52, no. 2 (April 2011): 269-276.


“Learning to respond to your failures with kindness, or self-compassion, may help offset the negative effects of perfectionism at any age, according to a small study of Australian teens and adults.”

Ferrari M, Yap K, Scott N, Einstein DA, Ciarrochi J (2018) Self-compassion moderates the perfectionism and depression link in both adolescence and adulthood. PLoS ONE 13(2): e0192022.


So basically fat cells are heroes who answer the call for a wound in need.

“fat body cells are motile cells, enabling them to migrate to wounds to undertake several local functions needed to drive wound repair and prevent infections.”

Anna Franz, Will Wood, Paul Martin, Fat Body Cells Are Motile and Actively Migrate to Wounds to Drive Repair and Prevent Infection, Developmental Cell, Volume 44, Issue 4, 26 February 2018, Pages 460-470.e3


Here’s the actual state of the evidence regarding body weight, intentional weight loss and cancer.

The cancers with the biggest difference between lower and higher weight people are esophageal and uterine cancers, so insist on a gastroscopy if you’ve had recurring reflux, and report any pelvic and menstrual symptoms- don’t let your symptoms be dismissed as weight related; intentional weight loss doesn’t fix cancer but it does delay diagnosis and treatment, and just may cost you your life.

Of all the cancer-related burden, ‘obesity’ contributes 9% of the burden- ie 91% is unrelated to body weight. And suggestions to reduce weight related risk? They conclude: “Data on body-weight loss, either from observational studies or from follow-up of patients undergoing bariatric surgery, suggested that intentional weight loss may reduce cancer risk, notably for breast and endometrial cancer. However, the number and quality of these studies were judged to be insufficient for a formal evaluation.” Lauby-Secretan, Béatrice, et al. "Body fatness and cancer—viewpoint of the IARC Working Group." New England Journal of Medicine 375.8 (2016): 794-798.



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'


'Fit' pertains to the way the body responds to physical exertion, while 'in shape' relates to appearance. These two things sometimes overlap in one person but neither is sufficient or necessary for the other to exist. So often these things just tumble out of our mouths, as we're conditioned to treat them to mean the same thing. Even the dictionary tells us that they're synonyms! Advertising and diet culture relies on us believing that they are the same thing. Time to say what we mean!


It’s a difficult fact to swallow (‘boom-tish’😉) but eating in what guidelines consider to be a ‘healthy’ way, even over long periods of time, does not result in a body that would be categorized as ‘healthy’ by BMI. Eating well can enhance health outcomes regardless of weight, but it isn’t and has never been visible or measurable by using height and weight.




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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