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HealthNotDiets Digest, Issue 20, 2018

May 13 - 19, 2018

To celebrate 'International No Diet Day' month (May), Health Not Diets online courses are on special!

Unpacking Weight Science $20 off (RRP $59AUD)

Non-Diet Approach for Dietitians $45 off (RRP $195AUD)

Enter 'NODIET' at checkout to apply discount

Australians can also get $5 off my books:

The Non-Diet Approach Guidebook for Dietitians for $40

The Non-Diet Approach Guidebook for Psychologists & Counsellors for $45 (including postage)

Order books via email:


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

I Still Have Fat on My Body

by Elizabeth Hall

“I practice Intuitive Eating and I still have fat on my body. Will my body stay this way forever? Who knows, I don't have a crystal ball.”


Shrinking Women: Taught to Take Up Less Space

by Jennifer Rollin

“No matter what size your body is, there is absolutely nothing wrong with your body. There is something wrong with a society where we are taught that our value lies in shrinking.”


Can You Eat Whatever You Want and Still Be Healthy?

by Vincci Tsui

“As living beings, we are wired to survive. Survival is not always that pretty, sustainable picture of health. Sometimes, something that helps us survive in the short term, is unhelpful or even harmful in the long run. That’s OK.”


How To Leave Toxic Diet Culture Behind And Pursue Actual Health

by Ragen Chastain

“I went back to the research and found good news. In every study that took actual habits into consideration, habits were a much better predictor of future health than body size.”


Straight White Male: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is

by John Scalzi

Neat little piece explaining privilege using the analogy of a computer game :-)


Eating Disorders in Men: Not a Phase, Not a Choice, Not a Joke

by Alexander Kovarovic

"Most of us have one thing that has really affected our life. For me, that one thing was my eating disorder."


Memories of a Body

by Linda

“I stare at a photo of myself....I am overwhelmed with compassion and sadness for her. She was so sad, so body has withstood decades of blame for things it had nothing to do with.”


What no one tells new moms about what childbirth can do to their bodies

by Allison Yarrow

“new moms are often unprepared for the aftermath of childbirth. “There’s this fantasy. Your body is going to come back together. Your organs are going to be in place. It’s an illusion””


It cost $250,000 to save Molly's life

by Keeli Cambourne

“We couldn’t wait for a public hospital bed to be made available. I was terrified, my daughter was dying [from an eating disorder], and I would have sold the house and everything I owned if I had to.”


Disabled People Have the Right to Raise Children

by Alaina Leary

“Disabled parents have just as much to offer their children as non-disabled parents do, and we need to create societal support for accessibility and accommodations so that all parents have access to the necessary resources for their children.”


Find A Quiet Place

by Anthony Warner

“If we could just embrace the richness and diversity of human minds, bodies and experience, and create worlds where everyone is allowed to be themselves, then our anxiety and pain might be lessened. True creativity and greatness would rise to the top.”


Men in physically strenuous jobs at risk of dying earlier despite link between exercise and longevity, study finds

by Tegan Taylor

"men in physically demanding jobs were at an 18 per cent increased risk of early death, compared to men in work with low levels of physical activity."


Cause of polycystic ovary syndrome discovered at last

by Alice Klein

“The most common cause of female infertility – polycystic ovary syndrome – may be caused by a hormonal imbalance before birth. The finding has led to a cure in mice, and a drug trial is set to begin in women later this year.”


Why Don’t We Hear Fat Women’s #MeToo Stories?

by Your Fat Friend

“While thin women face dismal rates of prosecution and conviction for their sexual assaults, fat women are often dismissed out of hand — making it open season on our bodies.”


Yes, Your Daughter Just Called Herself Fat

via Girl Scouts

"There are endless ways to be beautiful, and your daughter will grow up with a much healthier relationship to her body if you teach her that in a genuine way from a young age."


The Case Against Fitness Trackers

by Meghan Kacmarcik

“I do not believe for one single solitary second that the folks at Fitbit give a damn about your health.”


Community Is Crucial To My Survival

by Sarah Thompson

“Finding, pursuing, creating, and being in body and fat liberation community has been the thing that makes my world expand again.”


Why focussing on weight can be harmful to your health

by Emily Fonnesbeck

“Everything your body does, even those things it does without you ever knowing, is your metabolism.”


Gels, Foams and Purees: Cookbooks Serve Up Recipes For Those Who Struggle To Swallow

by Jill Neimark

"Engage all their senses during meal preparation. Just because the form of the food has changed, doesn't mean eating has to be boring and tasteless"


Dementia exercise programmes 'don't slow brain decline'

via BBC

“Exercise is still thought to be one of the best ways to reduce the risk of getting dementia in healthy older adults...[but]... larger trials are needed to work out an effective exercise programme for brain health in those who already have the condition.”


‘Man up to eating disorders’ book review

by Tom Scully

“Man up to eating disorders provides insight into what treatment for an eating disorder might look like for men and boys who’ve never been to therapy or seen a dietitian.”


Science Matters: Stinky science and a wind of foul flatulence

by Mary McMillan

“the microbes that live in our intestines are producing gas while they ferment some of our partially digested food. Unless you want to end up bloated and with a belly-ache, all of this gas needs to come out somewhere.”


Big data from world's largest citizen science microbiome project serves food for thought

via Science Daily

“while ... people who eat many plants have a more diverse gut microbiome than those who don't, they don't yet know if increasing a person's microbial diversity from its current level would have a direct positive effect on his or her health.”


Disabled People Have an Ally Problem: They Need to Stop Talking For Us

by Imani

“Taking up space in advocacy on for a marginalized group is a privilege; one that you can wield to make the public sphere more inclusive or one you can use to center yourself. Ally-ship requires you to do the former, anything else is a performance.”


Why Body Positive Yoga Instructors Are SO Important — And So Hard To Find

by Amanda Eisenberg

“it takes an intentional focus to break down ... barriers in a a fitness world that has for so long centered one idea of what a "yoga girl" looks like. The reality is that every body is a yoga body — the yoga world just needs to catch up.”


Flying While Fat

by Sarah Thompson

“I am now highly aware when I start to feel bad about my body and/or my size. I recognize that it often correlates to some aspect of living in a world designed to leave my body out and discriminate against my size. In this case, it is flying.”


Nail Yourself to the Present Moment with Food

by Isabel Foxen Duke

“The truth is, “intuitive eating,”...can only happen in the present moment. I can’t know what I’ll be hungry for outside of the moment that I’m hungry for it—I can’t predict with certainty what my body will need in five minutes, five hours or five days.”


How To Kill The Dream Of Being Thin

by Virgie Tovar

“Our dream to be thin is our dream for the pain to stop. We accept the unconscionable, dehumanizing, maddening, unnatural task of weight-loss in an effort to display that we understand that our culture’s – our family’s - wrong-doing is our fault.”


This Nutritionist's Manifesto Against the Whole30 Will Shake Your View of Healthy Eating

by Rebecca Scritchfield

“If you buy into the idea that losing your dysfunctional thoughts around food will result in body composition changes, you'll blame yourself for the body you have.”


Better Late Than Never? The Fashion Industry Is Finally Embracing The Plus-Size Woman

by Pamela N. Danziger

“It is sad that the fashion industry had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the revolutionary idea of size inclusiveness. But the overwhelming majority of women–plus size women–are demanding it..”


How toxic femininity is damaging us

by Jane Gilmore

“Toxic masculinity says that men are full of anger and lust and cannot be blamed for what it makes them do. Toxic femininity says that women are responsible for inciting anger and lust in men and are therefore to blame for anything men do to them.”


Asking For Accommodations As A Fat Person

by Ragen Chastain

“It turns out that fat money spends the same and so if a business isn’t interested in attracting and keeping me as a customer then I take my money to one that is.”


Research &

Clinical Practice

This is a critically important read for everyone.

Lily O’Hara and Jane Taylor, What’s Wrong With the ‘War on Obesity?’ A Narrative Review of the Weight-Centered Health Paradigm and Development of the 3C Framework to Build Critical Competency for a Paradigm Shift, SAGE Open, First published May 16, 2018.


Almost 40% of peer-reviewed dietary research turns out to be wrong. Here’s why

by Patrick Clinton

“stop treating [single] studies ... as if they contain the truth. They may be a step on the path, but in many cases, the total voyage will be long and uncertain.”


“people who exercise regularly experience fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety than those who do not exercise regularly.”


“We found no decrease in the effectiveness of the implant in overweight or obese women. The implant may be offered as a first-line contraceptive method to any woman seeking a reversible, and reliable birth control method.” _____ Xu, Hanna, et al. "Contraceptive failure rates of etonogestrel subdermal implants in overweight and obese women." Obstetrics and gynecology 120.1 (2012): 21. _____


Communicating Nutrition Research

by Emily A. Callahan

“In addition to funding sources, bias also can originate from researchers, academic or research institutions, journal publications, mass media, and health professionals themselves.”


Soapbox & Shareables

HAES and weight inclusive approaches do not exist simply because body weight and shape aren’t readily modifiable. They exist also because humans have the rights to decline any ‘treatment’ offered to them, and to choose to live as they wish in the bodies they have.

Even if the stats showed that 99.9% of people were able to lose weight, keep it off effortlessly, and enjoy better health because of it, there would still be a place for HAES.

The fact that the stats are almost the opposite of that and some weight loss proponents are still viciously against HAES is more about them trying to maintain a customer base than ethical conduct.


You may (or may not!) have noticed that I mostly share research articles which are Open Access, available in full to everyone. I do this in order to: - promote open access journals - promote the work of people who have coughed up to have their work available as open access in journals which use a paid model (usually this is a couple of thousand dollars ON TOP of the costs of actually DOING the research) - if something observed in research is to be agreed it is a ‘real thing’ it will be replicated again and again, so should appear at some point in free-to-access literature - I want people to be able to share these articles widely themselves- academia does not exist to only serve academics _____ Only publishing behind a paywall ensures that findings are stuck in academic echo chambers and limits the opportunity for the general public to improve their scientific literacy and awareness of the nuances and limitations of scientific research. _____ Plus, much of the research behind paywalls was funded by public money- it’s an atrocity that the public is then unable to access it. _____ Now Sweden has decided to force journals to move to fully open access 🤓


So this just happened at the Australian National Dietitians conference in Sydney... Prof Danielle Gallegos (my old boss!) who is a Fellow of the DAA (ie bigwig in the profession here) has spoken out on a debate panel saying that ALL dietitians should be practicing from the #HAES framework in order to be truly doing client centred care. This is an amazing milestone 😍


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 21st is:

"The Science of Self Compassion"

In this podcast I’ll take you through the research and academic operationalisation of self compassion, some of it’s associations and effects on individuals and their self care as well as on health practitioners with compassion fatigue and burnout. I’ll talk about how to weave language that models a self compassionate attitude into your counselling and encounters with others and yourself. The supplementary materials will contain exercises shown in experimental studies to induce self compassion.

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



Sydney and Melbourne BOOK NOW


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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