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HealthNotDiets Digest, Issue 14, 2018

April 1 - 7, 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

So you're feeling too fat to be photographed

by Teresa S Porter

“Our vanity is no longer enough of a reason to avoid the camera. Life doesn’t wait until you “get thin” enough to capture it. Life is happening... it is happening right now and the only moment we are guaranteed is the one we are living.”


How Is Your Dieting Mentality Influencing Your Children?

by Crystal Karges

“young children are often influenced by their mothers’ weight-loss attempts and dieting behaviors, and children of dieting mothers may be more likely to experience body dissatisfaction, chronic dieting, and disordered eating as they grow.”


Fatphobia: The Ghost of Weight-Related Trauma

by Isabel Foxen Duke

“The fear, shame, or judgments you experience around weight are not fundamental to your being—but rather, expressions of an energy outside of yourself—an external force that invades your consciousness and hypnotizes you without your permission.”


Eating disorders are a serious problem in the LGBTQ community—one we too often ignore.

by Daniel Summers

“Those...who provide medical or mental health care to gender and sexual minorities should take care to screen our patients for [eating] problems. And all LGBTQ people should consider re-examining what we expect of each other and ourselves.”


Demoted or dismissed because of your weight? The reality of the size ceiling

by Renate van der Zee

“As long as we are all terrified of becoming fat, this will go on. Yes, we are terrified. Because we all know how fat people are treated in this society.”


Food porn and fatness

by Jessica Valenti

“You’re probably eating performatively, and Lindy West wants you to stop”


Local advocates for size acceptance work to abolish fat shaming

by Leslie Boyd

“We need to bring some common sense to the conversation,” Seitz says. “We need to talk about how we feel. Do we have energy? Are we comfortable? Your body is brilliant. Listen to it.”


I know I won't be seen as anything but fat

by Roqayah Chamseddine

“the pressure to explain their [body] shape to complete strangers, both inside and outside these [doctor’s] offices, as though the general public has a right to know why they're so heavy, can be debilitating.”


The Body is Unruly

by Roxane Gay

“what does it mean to live in an unruly body? Each writer [in this series] interpreted this prompt in a unique way and offered up a small wonder. Over the next four weeks, I [Roxanne Gay] will be sharing those small wonders with you.”


How The Clean Eating Fad Is Taking A Toll On Young Women

by Anna Cherry

“When you start to view food through the lenses of morality, judgment, and restriction, you’ve got a recipe for disaster.”


I'm not what you'd call "normal" but neither is modern life

by Madeleine Ryan

“when I encounter other disabled people in the street, I don’t see impairment. I don’t see dysfunction, or damage. I see the modern world’s last hope for a better day. Because, through us, everyone else can learn about what it means to live without fear.”


And then, it was over…

by Emma Wright

“The goal can’t ever again be one of fitting a prescribed size or shape or health, not for people anyway. It needs to be humanity. The hard work of caring, of empathy and of connection.”


Why This Nutritionist Is Quitting Diets and So Should You

by Whitney Akers

“You have to believe life will be better overall if you stop the self-flagellation and at least try to stop dieting and start treating yourself with kindness.”


Battling the Stigma of a Perfect Recovery

by Charlea Harrison

“recovery is about reclaiming yourself. We’re all pretty badass, and we deserve our ability to keep hold of that knowledge.”


Loving my fat body

by Robin Raven

“Exercise and a nutritious diet is sound medical advice for people of all sizes, but ‘lose weight’ is at best an ineffective prescription and at worst a risky one. Doctors have no business pretending that is good medical advice.”


How being plus sized affects presenting as non-binary

by Gina Tonic

“Don’t assume what fat people are meant to look like, don’t assume what non-binary people are meant to look like, and if you’re in a position where you’re representing a diverse group, make sure every kind of person is visible”


Body positivity isn't enough. This book will teach you 'radical' self-love.

by Rebecca Ruiz

“spurning the hierarchy of bodies in pursuit of something more just and loving leaves us with a prospect that is both terrifying and thrilling: "our own divine enoughness, absent of any need for comparison."


Conformation. The body no longer policed by gender

by S. Bear Bergman

“My body was utterly and obviously not like those of any of the other Bat Mitzvah girls, and so like an animal I was brought, weighed, measured, discussed, deplored, and prescribed to but never, ever consulted.”


Research &

Clinical Practice

This assessment tool was developed to measure attitude towards Health at Every Size (HAES) concepts, using the 5 HAES Principles as a base.

It has 20 questions including closed & open answer items & I think it looks pretty good (decent internal consistency & test-retest reliability).

It's potential applications include screening to identify those who are appropriate for health interventions which take a weight-neutral approach, assessing the effectiveness of HAES education programs and identifying the relationships between 'HAES-mindedness' and habitual health behaviours, psychological characteristics, internalised weight bias, experiences of weight discrimination, dieting history etc

Drake, Teresa (02/2018). "Development of the Health and Weight Attitudes Scale". Journal of nutrition education and behavior (1499-4046)


Why we need to talk about trauma in public health nutrition

by Lucy Aphramor

“As [dietitians], it is imperative that we adopt a trauma-informed approach. This means practising in a way that recognises the impact of trauma on people’s bodies, behaviours, beliefs and capacity for learning, planning and change.”


Sophie Lyons describes what it’s like to be a frightened child patient, and explains why being called “brave” doesn’t help.

Lyons Sophie. Be brave BMJ 2018; 360 :k1299


[results of] Survey assessing obesity policies for assisted reproductive technology in the United States

"The overarching question, “Should BMI limit access to [Assisted Reproductive Technology]?” is one that encompasses ethics, safety, efficacy, and cultural competence. This study starts with the exploration of current policies."

Kaye, Leah et al. Survey assessing obesity policies for assisted reproductive technology in the United States Fertility and Sterility , Volume 105 , Issue 3 , 703 - 706.e2


It is not justified to reject fertility treatment based on obesity

"we can defend that a competent and well-informed ['obese'] woman, in principle, has the right to her own deliberation when considering risks taken for herself in realizing her child wish. Not allowing them this would be unjustified paternalism."

Aafke Koning, Ben Willem Mol, Wybo Dondorp; It is not justified to reject fertility treatment based on obesity, Human Reproduction Open, Volume 2017, Issue 2, 12 July 2017, hox009


Soapbox & Shareables

When I post about the corrosive effect of weight stigma I invariably get someone replying with stats showing poorer outcomes for larger people and accusations of wanting people (in this case mothers 😱 & babies 😱) to die. Which is lovely of course (thanks Twitter🤦🏻‍♀️)

This attitude is enabled by the false beliefs that a) weight control is simply a matter of willpower, b) that weight loss erases all metabolic circumstances and evidence of a life lived in a larger body, and c) that the medical/healthcare attention, treatment and options for larger people are equal to those provided to smaller people. The observation that a group of people with similar characteristics is more at risk of specific health issues should trigger investigations into how to improve those treatment and outcome disparities. Literally every weight loss paper now starts out by acknowledging the low likelihood of sustained weight losses of more than 5-10% from starting weight. That means that most people will remain in their original BMI band even if they do happen to be able to ‘follow doctors orders’ and happen to lose some weight. People with diverse bodies will always exist, as they have always existed. It’s beyond time to strive to close those outcome disparities instead of spending horrifying amounts of resources on developing more and more elaborate yet spectacularly ineffective ways to erase natural human biological diversity.


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 20-30 minute podcasts unpack different elements of weight bias & stigma, weight research, BMI, health behaviours and weight neutral approaches. Paid subscribers (only $5/month!) get the podcast six 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 :-)

Available for subscribers on April 16th is:

'"Weight bias, stigma and discrimination"

This episode is an introduction and defines the terms, discusses their impact on healthcare, society and the lives of the people who are impacted by weight-centrism.




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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