May 27 - June 2, 2018
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Articles and Blogs
Six queer BIPOC voices in the body positivity movement
by Donyae Coles
“Body positivity is....about being seen for the totality of your body and being allowed to live in it. This means that we’re talking about race, gender, sexuality, disability, culture, ethnicity, and more. It is a full intersectional spectrum.”
The Body Image Tour: Lessons Learned
by Marci Evans
“Body image healing is about learning to live in relationship to your body and body image experience with skillfulness and kindness.”
Before and After: A Mythology
by Lesley Kinzel
“How easy. All I needed was less. To be less, to take less. I saw that self-fix narrative and embraced it. That felt within reach — or more within reach than dismantling the conditioning that made me believe being fat was the worst thing in the world.”
I think I miss my eating disorder....what now?
by Lily O
“All along I have known the journey would entail ups and downs, challenges, more tangible things such as the dreaded weight gain, etc. but there has been one aspect I never really anticipated.
Eating Disorders and Feelings of Shame
by Jennifer Rollin
“I’ve never seen anyone successfully shame themselves into recovery from an eating disorder. Shame actually can cause people to be dishonest, disconnected, and to not reach out for support when they need it.”
A Tale of Ten Tummies: Stretchmarked, Saggy, Wrinkled, Toned, Taut
by Joni Edelman
“We spend a lot of time thinking about our bodies; our faces, our fat, our bellies. We wish they were tighter, flatter, firmer, anything-er. We love them. We loath them. May we pause and simply honor them.”
NYU Steinhardt Professor Replicates Famous Marshmallow Test, Makes New Observations
by Jordan Bennett
“The authors concluded that interventions focused only on teaching young children to delay gratification are likely to be ineffective.”
Seven psychoanalytic psychotherapists reflect on the clients that didn’t get better, or even felt worse
by Alex Fradera
“the paradoxical elements –high initial promise & enthusiasm followed by the later sense of distance –may form two parts of a whole, the case of a therapist “one-sidedly [allying] herself with the patient’s more capable & seemingly well-functioning parts.”
Haha. You’re so fat! (Anatomy of a Put-Down)
by Kimberly Dark
“Kids learn that there’s power in befuddling adults. Just like there’s power to be gained in successfully hurting another person’s feelings. It’s a sad kind of power, but it’s power nonetheless.”
Food is my love language – and resistance to every ad telling us not to eat
by Sian Ferguson
“Cooking isn’t the easiest thing in the world. It involves skills, planning, time, money, and energy. It’s laborious. But this also means cooking is a brilliant way of showing love. It tells someone they’re worth the effort.”
All the BBQ, None of the Fat Shaming
by Ragen Chastain
“the most important thing about understanding shaming is that the problem is the shamer’s bad behavior and not whatever their victim is doing.”
The latest beauty trends present a depressing new reality
by Roqayah Chamseddine
“a major concern when it comes to these mixed messages is that, no matter whether the premise is radical self-love, or self-improvement, the outcome is the same: a woman's worth is contingent upon her appearance.”
What makes a Healthy Dancer?
by Fumi Somehara
“your body is special and unique already in its most original form.”
Understanding the ‘health at every size’ paradigm
by Zoe Nicholson
In a GP mag!
“HAES is not anti-weight loss. Rather, it does not promote weight loss as a health strategy. Key reasons for this are that weight is not a behaviour, and HAES focuses on addressing behaviours, and a focus on weight perpetuates weight stigma.”
3 Signs Your Diet Is Hurting Your Career
by Jess Cording
“A lot of people don’t recognize the subtle signs of hunger…beyond stomach growling. Irritability, losing interest [in projects you’d previously been very interested in], headaches, feeling a bit light-headed—these are all signs of hunger.”
The Problem with Body Positivity: A Rebuttal
by Elizabeth E. Hall
“The only people making broad and sweeping pronouncements about health are the Dr.'s who tell everyone to lose weight.”
Mind Control: Barbara Ehrenreich’s radical critique of wellness and self-improvement
by Gabriel Winant
“Barbara Ehrenreich cuts an unusual figure in American culture...[providing] an unsparing examination of what she viewed as the self-involvement of her professional, middle-class peers:...a critique of the world they were making & leaving behind them.”
Hey, Hippocrates: Food isn’t medicine. It’s just food.
by Dylan Mackay
“What’s wrong with thinking about food as medicine? It does a disservice to both food and medicine.”
Sex Talk Realness: What It's Like to Be Intersex
by Rachel Hills and Carina Hsieh
“Intersex, as a diagnosis, covers at least 30 congenital variations of sex anatomy. There isn't one singular intersex person or experience.”
Candid interviews with five intersex people :-)
'Holy grail of cancer research': doctors positive about early detection blood test
by Jessica Glenza
“Far too many cancers are picked up too late, when it is no longer possible to operate and the chances of survival are slim”
3 Examples Of How Children Experience Fatphobia
by Virgie Tovar
“When fat children are consistently cast as the same type of character we are sending them (& everyone else) a message about what it possible, who deserves to visible, what heroes (& villains) look like, & who is worthy”
Expressive Writing Prompts for Fatphobia and Weight Bias
by Sarah Thompson
“We cannot move towards freedom in our bodies until we are aware of our weight bias and our internalized fatphobia.”
Is Weight Loss Dramedy Dietland Actually Body Positive?
by Kathryn Lindsay
“I had never seen a character like Plum, who was about someone like me,....Who goes on a journey and it doesn't end with her being thin."
The problem with 'healthy': How our food language can control us
by Chantal Cuthers
"Taking a single food or recipe item and labelling it healthy or unhealthy, or breaking down what goes into that item by calorie, macro or micronutrient count is incredibly problematic, because no single food is dangerous or unhealthy on its own."
‘Skinny Privilege’ and Who Deserves Fashion
by Stella Bugbee
“Wear whatever you like, whenever you like, and never let anybody tell you that you don’t deserve to participate because of your size, gender, age, or economic status.”
So we all know the 'larger people are a burden to the health system' argument. There are loads of reasons why this argument is flawed, including that the cost of 'obesity treatment' (ie expensively trying, repeatedly, in vain, to make larger bodies smaller) is included in the overall cost - a cost that only exists in a weight-centric universe.
Anyway, this study looked at the Medicare claims associated with dietary patterns in Australia. Medicare claims here reflect people going to their GP (primary medical care provider). The study found that in the long term, people with a more varied diet tend to cost the system less. And the clincher? The different BMI bands were evenly proportioned across each dietary quality category. If BMI indicated dietary quality in the way that people assume, the higher dietary quality category would have many more smaller BMI'ed people.
Of course, the authors had to add that they thought that the higher weight people were eating more 'junk', even though they both had no evidence of this, and had evidence that it didn't matter anyway in terms of THEIR OWN findings..... (in my mind I imagine myself in a courtroom shouting 'OBJECTION! Speculation!')
Patterson, A., Hure, A., Burrows, T., Jackson, J., & Collins, C. (n.d.). Diet quality and 10-year healthcare costs by BMI categories in the mid-age cohort of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health. Journal of human nutrition and dietetics. doi:10.1111/jhn.12556
Not open access I'm afraid, but important none the less: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jhn.12556
In terms of what we can do with food that can nudge up our chance of a longer life, fruit and veg are at the top of the list. Food in general can only make a 5-15% (ish) impact on all cause mortality risk in the population - it's way down the list compared with not smoking and staying active and strong. When we compare different types of foods and their relationship with mortality, the hierarchy is fruit and veg first, then grainy foods making a positive difference, dairy foods are neutral (even the high fat ones!) and meaty foods (esp red meats) tip the balance in the negative direction (but not as much as fruit and veg tip it in the positive direction).
This study found that eating less than 800g/day of fruit and/or veg could be blamed for 16.5% of all early deaths globally. There are clearly issues with the entire globe being ABLE to eat 800g or more (availability, access, sustainability, cultural constraints, life circumstances, preferences etc etc) BUT if you're looking for something to potentially pay off in the longevity department, developing a taste for fruit and veg may be helpful.
Looking at the long lists of TYPES and AMOUNTS of fruits and veg and their relative risks and attributable fractions gives you some insight into how gargantuan and messy nutritional epidemiology is, and is a reminder that we can only ever speak in more certain terms at a population level - trying to predict outcomes for an individual based on their diet (once basic biological requirements are met) is absurd.
Aune, Dagfinn, et al. "Fruit and vegetable intake and the risk of cardiovascular disease, total cancer and all-cause mortality—a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies." International Journal of Epidemiology 46.3 (2017): 1029-1056.
This month The Royal Australian College of Physicians released a 'Position Statement on Obesity'. Much of the document is the usual anti-obesity rhetoric. However, they clearly state that weight loss efforts are harmful for some, and that weight stigma has a negative impact on health outcomes, and that clinicians should work to enhance the health of their clients at any weight.
This is a major shift. This document can be used to justify the availability of HAES and weight-neutral approaches in clinical and community settings. It can also be used by people in larger bodies to advocate for weight neutral treatment for themselves.
If you're a weight-neutral healthcare provider, please consider organising an education session asap for your referrers about the position statement and show them how you can provide this care.
I will say it until I’m blue in the face: you cannot use crossectional studies to make claims about weight trends. Trends can only be established by following the (actual, literal) SAME people over time (in a cohort or longitudinal study). A crossectional study is a population snapshot of what was going on at one time. Even if the same survey is done again a few years later, if it’s different people, you can’t conclude anything about what might have happened to individuals.
Here’s a screenshot, of a tweet, of a photo, of a slide, from a recent dietitians conference (turducken anyone? 😜) which demonstrates this error.
So on the face of it, it ‘looks like’ something happened to those babies between birth and 3 that pushed their weight up into ‘risky’ territory (that’s BS too but I’ll come back to that another day), so the conclusion they’ve made is ‘we must intervene here’. However, this graph does not show THOSE 3yr olds at birth, it shows ANOTHER set of babies, who may have a different weight prevalence pattern when they’re eventually three.
Also note that their entire argument also falls over because a different set of charts and weight criteria is used for infants so smooshing those two types of info sources together results in this kind of disjointed depiction- the actual reason that it looks like this is because we pathologize the weight of chunky infants (slightly) less than kids, who themselves are only pathologized by weight thanks to reverse engineering the adult BMI charts.
Soapbox & Shareables
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 June 4th is:
"Weight-Neutral Health-Enhancing Habits"
In this podcast I discuss the sorts of studies that differentiate BMI from health behaviours, and look at the behaviours associated with longevity, delay and avoidance of disease, as well as behaviours which enhance health outcomes at any weight and health status. Key research papers will be discussed as well as strategies for how to use them in your work.
Subscribe now at: https://www.patreon.com/UnpackingWeightScience
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Bookings via www.healthnotdiets.com
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Want some training in the non-diet approach or unpacking weight science? Resources include books, courses, workshops and handouts: visit www.healthnotdiets.com
See anything you think I'd like to share or comment about? Post in the comments below or email me at email@example.com