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HealthNotDiets Digest, Issue 17, 2018

April 22 - 28, 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

You are almost definitely not living in reality because your brain doesn’t want you to

by Buster Benson

"Four problems that [being aware of our] biases help us address: Information overload, lack of meaning, the need to act fast, and how to know what needs to be remembered for later."


When Fat People Clap Back At Fatphobes

by Ragen Chastain

“There are many ways to deal with [fat shaming] and all of them are valid....none of them should be necessary since it shouldn’t happen in the first place. Whatever you choose to do, remember that the problem is always fat shaming & never fat people.”


This Founder Once Battled Anorexia, Now She's Calling Out Weight Watchers And Helping Others

by Megan Bruneau

“nearly 100 percent of eating disorders begins with a diet; teenage years are accompanied by natural pubescent weight-gain; and heck, confidence as a teen is difficult enough without feeling pressured to shrink.”


What the New York Times gets wrong about obesity

by Reina Gattuso

“By focusing on fatness, rather than the food system, health and nutrition writers scapegoat fat people and reduce a collective, societal, economic, and political problem into a narrow, individual, moral problem.”


London Marathon: Why two women are running the course in their underwear

by Rachel Hosie

“We are doing it to prove that exercise is for everyone, that you can be ‘overweight’ and healthy..... [and we] want to show different bodies. If the elites can do it in their sports bra and what is essentially knickers, then why can’t we?!”


The wellness industry thrives on the fear of death

by Rosie Spinks

“Yet it’s precisely because we haven’t fully framed wellness—and its main tentpoles of food, fitness, and self care—as a mutation of privilege that something has gotten lost. Namely, that the whole industry is a sophisticated bait and switch.”

CW: brief 'obesity epidemic' rhetoric


The 'D' word needs to be removed from our vocabulary

by Donyae Coles

“By striking the word [‘diet’] from our vocabulary, even in the neutral sense, we start to close of the footholds that help the negative ideals that come with it from forming.”


Body shaming can create lifelong problems, but who's doing it may surprise you

by Lois M. Collins

“One of the most powerful things parents can do is model acceptance of body diversity at home, starting young. Read story books with characters with different shapes and sizes"

CW: some ‘obesity epidemic’ rhetoric


VIDEO: What is Intersectionality?

by Peter Hopkins

This is great!


15 Little Body Victories That Deserve Celebration

by Anna Borges

“Laughed at article suggesting you didn’t already have a ‘beach body’”


How to make sense of contradictory health news

by Tegan Taylor

“before you go and empty your pantry of "cancer-causing" soy sauce before stocking up again tomorrow because of its “health benefits”, allow us to present seven litmus tests you can apply to see if a health claim or news story is legit.”


What Fullness Is

by Roxane Gay

This may be of interest to some: Roxane Gay, author of Hunger, had weight loss surgery in January. This piece has some of her thoughts around her decision.

CW: weight loss surgery, calorie and food descriptions. Tread carefully please.


Nobody Owes You Fat Positivity: On Weight Loss Surgery as “Betrayal”

by Lesley Kinzel

“as long as you fail to include yourself in that space of acceptance and forgiveness, you will inevitably wind up participating in the institutions that oppress other fat people.”


Learning to Love in the Wilds of Our Bodies

by Your Fat Friend

“You wrote about loving my body like you wrote about loving my jokes, or my writing, or the way my hand found yours as we walked down the street together. Your letters vivisected me so tenderly, every organ exposed and lovingly held.”


VIDEO: Shake my Beauty

This plus-size ballerina is breaking stereotypes one ‘pointe’ at a time, proving that dance is for anyone, whatever their size 💃


The Mistake I Made with My Grieving Friend

by Celeste Headlee

“What all of these people needed was for me to hear them and acknowledge what they were going through. Instead, I forced them to listen to me and acknowledge me. “


Overweight Minnesotans are among those who are ditching the diet

by Allie Shah

“Her approach to fitness, like eating, does not rely on numbers. She doesn’t wear a fitbit, preferring to pay attention to her body’s signals instead of counting steps. “This feels good,” she said at the end of her workout.”


Being fat in New Zealand

by Cat Pause

“What fat people deserve is the opportunity to access evidenced based healthcare and outlets for safe and shame-free activity....We deserve the same rights as non-fat people. And we also deserve the dignity to lead our lives without shame and prejudice.”


One Man’s Journey to Love His Body

by Alex Amorosi

"The only thing I believed made me worthy was an unreasonable and unattainable standard of body perfection I held in my mind. And that perfection was a relentless taskmaster that could never be pleased."

CW: Includes account of ED behaviours


The Problem With 'Clean Eating' In Eating Disorder Recovery

by Jennifer Rollin

“trying to ‘eat clean,’ and the idea that there are ‘unclean foods,’ which should be avoided-is incredibly triggering for those with the underlying genetics for an eating disorder.”


A Fat Feminist Watches 'I Feel Pretty'

by Virgie Tovar

“I wonder what this film might have looked like if we were allowed to portray women and fat people and people of color and queer people and disabled people the way we actually exist”


Troll Shows Exactly Why Article Was Necessary

by Ragen Chastain

“For those of us who are fat, or slow, or fat & slow, walkers, runners, & rollers who want to participate in events from 5Ks to marathons, the sad truth is that we may have to deal w people like this. The good news is that we don’t have to listen to them.”


I Feel Pretty and the female empowerment myth

by Matilda Dixon-Smith

“My secret empowering trick is actually not connected to my looks because, in fact, women contain multitudes & the first step to our liberation is to separate our success from our aesthetics – we are not simply objects to be judged, by ourselves or by others.”


I Didn't Know I Had An Eating Disorder

by Sarah Thompson

“I didn’t know I had an eating disorder. I had no idea that this new type of relationship I had with food was still an eating disorder. Orthorexia. I thought I was trying to recover.”


How Do I Respond to My Pediatrician Who Thinks My Child Needs to Lose Weight?

by Crystal Karges

“As a parent, you are faced with an overwhelming amount of information today regarding your child’s health.....children are capable, and they can be trusted to eat what their bodies need to grow at a place that is appropriate for them.”


Fat Invisibility in Health at Every Size® Professional Spaces

by Sarah Thompson

“When providers say that they support their fat patients, and are weight-neutral or weight-inclusive, but haven’t done the work to unpack their own internalized weight bias, it shows.”


'Every doctor has blamed me': why women like Laura still struggle to get the right advice

by Rebeka Powell

“Attempts to manage the condition itself, fears regarding infertility, loss of femininity, body image concerns and lower self-worth are all contributing factors to the mental state of women with PCOS.”


Research &

Clinical Practice

A No-Diets Approach – Dietitians are changing the way they discuss nutrition

by Christina Turner

“A paradigm shift is occurring in nutrition and dietetics. A no-diets approach to health is being incorporated into many university degrees and being utilised by a growing number of dietitians.”


While studies of weight loss surgery which follow a specific group of participants (eg from one surgical group, research group or one hospital) sometimes show decreased risk of death for specific conditions after weight loss surgery, this study is unique in that it looked at ALL the admissions of people with BMIs greater than 40 in a wide geographical area (covering 360 hospitals, using hospital coding labels, which amounted to more than 800,000 people). _____ It means that it captures a bit about what happened to those who didn't go back to their surgeon or stay in their research study. People included may have had their weight loss surgery in the previous week, or decades prior. _____ They divided the people into age groups, and then who had had weight loss surgery at some point in their lives and those who hadn't, and then looked at who had died from any cause whilst in hospital and who had last been discharged alive. _____ It turned out that: a) younger larger people tend not to die (no deaths were recorded in under 30s, out of the 53,770 people in that age group who were hospitalised) and b) weight loss surgery was associated with a more than doubling of risk of in-hospital death for larger people in some age groups _____ Caveats: people die in all sorts of places, this study only looked that those who died IN HOSPITAL. Factors influencing this might include hospital coding errors, insurance coverage, hospital treatments, socioeconomic status as well as any genuine physical risks caused by bariatric surgery. _____ Malone B, Subichin M, Firstenberg M, Porter J (2017) Dying to be Thin: Mortality After Bariatric Surgery. PRAS 1: 005


Weight stigma in women gets much more research attention than weight stigma in men. This study is the largest investigation into men's experiences of weight related teasing, unfair treatment and discrimination. It turns out it's rife for men as well, with the interesting finding of increased weight stigma for men at the lower end of the BMI as well as at higher levels. _____ The main culprits were peers, followed by family members and then strangers. Health professionals were responsible for enacting weight stigma towards 10% of the respondents. _____ The worst time for experiencing weight stigma was adolescence. _____ Himmelstein, M. S., Puhl, R. M. and Quinn, D. M. (2018), Weight Stigma in Men: What, When, and by Whom?. Obesity. . doi:10.1002/oby.22162 _____


Soapbox & Shareables

“FabUplus Magazine sorts out the facts from distorted societal myths about health, weight, and identity and promotes body acceptance, self-love and aims to build confidence in women of size.”


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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.

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

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