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HealthNotDiets Digest, Issue 16, 2018

April 15 - 21, 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

Eight feminist ways to love your body

By Van Badham

“it’s hard to escape a cage with a shape that keeps changing.”


Rise of the ultra foods

(part 2)

by Anthony Warner

“When we rank foods based on ideology alone, free from the doubt of scientific enquiry, we risk demonising things that can help people, or even save lives... [and] fail to appreciate what really creates the differences between us,...poverty and inequality”


No, We Won’t Calm Down – Tone Policing Is Just Another Way to Protect Privilege

By Robot Hugs

“Have you ever tone policed someone in a conversation on oppression? Tone policing focuses on the emotion behind a message rather than the message itself – and you might think you’re helping by making the conversation more “comfortable.”


Why I'm giving up on preventative care

By Barbara Ehrenreich

“Not only do I reject the torment of a medicalized death, but I refuse to accept a medicalized life, and my determination only deepens with age....Being old enough to die is an achievement, not a defeat, and the freedom it brings is worth celebrating.”


How to Share Health At Every Size® and Intuitive Eating with Friends & Family

By Vincci Tsui

“If you asked me, I’d say that everyone would benefit from learning about HAES and intuitive eating. Whether they want to learn more is a different story.”


Dear Client, thanks for being angry with me

by Tiffany Haug

“[emotion validation] is what I want to provide to my clients, because it is a core human need and paramount in recovery—a safe space to be able to express authentic, and many times unpleasant emotions.”


Health at Every Size and Eating Disorders

By Lauren Muhlheim

“There are few mental disorders whose behaviors the culture admires and values as greatly as the Eating Disorder.... Imagine being praised for the symptoms of other disorders, such as excessive worry or the inability to get out of bed due to depression”


The Fat Pride Movement Promotes Dignity, Not a “Lifestyle”

By Rachelle Hampton

"At its core, the fat acceptance movement is one that asserts fat people’s rights to their lives without being stigmatized or discriminated against."


One Passage From 'Shrill' By Lindy West Memoir Transformed My Approach To Body Acceptance

By Sadie Trombetta

"Suddenly, I started to see that the hatred I harbored for my body wasn't necessarily my own, it was a product of the society I lived in. Could it be possible that I just hadn't been seeing the world through the right lens?"


Geneen Roth is Perpetuating Eating Disorders

By Ragen Chastain

“Roth is one of these charlatans who sell the idea that “‘When people begin respecting themselves, and treating themselves well, it just so happens that weight loss becomes a side benefit.” That’s bullshit”


Wealthy Americans know less than they think they do about food and nutrition

By Sheril Kirshenbaum & Douglas Buhler

“even though higher earners have more access to information about food, they are also more likely to be influenced by misinformation and pseudoscience.”


Doctors Told Her She Was Just Fat. She Actually Had Cancer.

By Maya Dusenbury

“By seeing fat as a disease to be fixed, and losing weight as the cure, healthcare providers risk missing all the actual diseases for which unexplained weight change is a symptom.”


How Diet Talk Can Harm Your Future Grandchildren ... and what you can do to break the cycle.

By Alexis Conason

“Model body compassion.....children take in what we put out in the environment. If we focus on treating our bodies (and ourselves) with compassion and respect, our kids will likely follow our cue.”


Emotional Fat Labor for those Who Fear Fat

By Claudette Largess

“So, what is my “fat-worth” to others? Because, it would seem, my self-worth is predicated on my size. So, is my fat-worth only useful or worthy of acceptance of others when holding them up or above me?”


Will calorie counts on menu items do more harm than good?

By Carrie Dennet

“research suggests this [calorie content] information may do little to improve eating habits, while potentially harming individuals who struggle with weight concerns or eating disorders.”


'Celebrating my postpartum body' Is The Body Positive Inspiration We Need

By Wendy Wisner

“This body is a testament of the countless days and nights I spend breastfeeding, rocking, carrying, soothing, playing, teaching and most importantly, LOVING her.”


What Eating Disorders are really about

via The Healing Nest

“It’s not about food or weight…It’s about feeling unsafe in the world. It’s about feeling like we can’t trust anyone, not even ourselves. The Eating Disorder becomes “the reliable one”.”


Poor people deserve to eat and eat well.

By Taylor Chapman

“Poverty is often talked about as a personal failing of the people experiencing it. What is rarely spoken in the mainstream, however, is how incredibly hard working, resilient, and resourceful you must be if you are going to survive as a poor person.”


Research &

Clinical Practice

When ‘obesity’ is cited as a risk factor for some chronic diseases and early death, it is rarely adjusted for important factors like age, sex, physical fitness, eating habits, weight cycling and trajectory, experience of weight stigma and discrimination, and exposure to environmental and workplace pollutants. At best it might be controlled for smoking and socioeconomic status. _____ The more things that are plugged into the equation, the smaller the remaining risk. _____ That’s why it’s important to read the methods sections of research papers to see what they measured, what they adjusted for, and ask yourself.....what’s missing?


The so-called ‘obesity paradox’ occurs when studies find that people with higher BMIs have better outcomes (like longer survival times after serious accidents or illnesses). Certainly, being a lower weight if you become gravely ill does not bode well, but from there, body sizes and constitutions are magnificently diverse. _____ ‘Anti-obesity’ researchers fight tooth and nail trying to discredit research which suggests high BMI might not be a bad thing. _____ In the size acceptance world, ‘obesity paradox’ research is often used to start to help dismantle weight-centrism (I use it too at times). _____ However, the garbage-ness of BMI cuts both ways and we should always be critical of its unfettered use, demand that more specific factors be used to determine risk relationships and clear about which are modifiable and which are not.


This study found that a 7m walking test was predictive of earlier death in people over 65yrs- the faster the walking time, the lower the mortality risk. It was way more predictive than muscle mass, fat mass, BMI, markers of inflammation or frailty score. _____ It can’t show that intentionally maintaining walking competence will influence mortality (other studies do suggest that though) but it seems sensible to stay active if you can. _____ Cesari, Matteo, et al. "Skeletal muscle and mortality results from the InCHIANTI Study." Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biomedical Sciences and Medical Sciences 64.3 (2009): 377-384. _____


Soapbox & Shareables

I was honoured to be interviewed for the Nutrition Matters podcast recently by Paige Smathers, and the episode has just been released!

We chat about the body of evidence supporting weight inclusive (HAES/Intuitive Eating/Non-Diet Approach) approaches and also why it's so important to be able to identify the cracks in weight-centric research to help dismantle diet culture for you and those around you.


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 May 7th is:

"The Anatomy of a Weight Loss Paper"

A research paper is a piece of persuasive writing. This episode breaks down how all the pieces fit together, the expected rhetoric of weight loss research, common research methods that guarantee statistical significance at the cost of clinical practicalities, how to spot hyperbole, and how the way we usually read research papers leaves us at the mercy of the authors biases.

and instantly access 6 months of episodes before the rest of the world





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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