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HealthNotDiets Digest, Issue 23, 2018

June 3 - 9, 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

On the Poetics of Fatness
by Samantha Zighelboim

“Before body positivity was widely discussed, it was inconceivable to me that a fat body could be celebrated rather than reduced and invalidated.”

Teen Vogue’s Problematic Summer Vagina
by Jen Gunter

“Women, especially teens, don’t need the idea planted that vaginas are temperamental or funky and that during the summer things can go horribly wrong. Vaginal neglect is not a thing.”

The science behind our obsession with food on TV
by Nick Adams

“colour of plates, utensils, lighting & the food itself are important in food presentation because colours ‘interact’...marketers are well-aware of this & other visual factors that impact food consumption & perception through decades of market research.”

Trendy diets ‘cause eating disorders’, says expert
by Jill Poulsen

Nice to see ‘Fat is a feminist issue’ and ‘If not dieting, then what?’ in her book pile!

Pity that one of the experts interviewed seems to think that calorie counting can be anything other than problematic.

Eating disorders are hard to overcome, but ditching diets is crucial
by Catherine Gillespie
“The most important action that a person can take to recover from eating disorders is to stop dieting. Weight loss dieting is the number one cause of eating disorders, binge eating, body dissatisfaction and low self-esteem.”

Is Weight Suppression Driving Your Binge Eating?
by Lauren Muhlheim

“Successful treatment for your eating disorder may mean reaching & living at a weight higher than you want....[but] You can be healthy, feel good in & about your body, and enjoy normal eating without forcing your body to fit into a shape that isn't yours.”

Best Body Positive Podcasts
by Meredith Noble

“These podcasts cover topics such as Health at Every Size (HAES), body positivity, fat positivity, fat acceptance, intuitive eating, and joyful movement.”

Intuitive Eating Is More Than Savoring Every Bite
by Lisa Rutledge
“foods no longer hold such power or are so dearly desired when we keep the option to eat them open.”

On Seeing A Photo Of Yourself And Not Liking How You Look.
by Kylie Mitchell

“you...deserve to have a positive opinion of yourself that does not change when you see a photo of yourself. Seeing yourself in a photo or in the mirror & mainly only seeing your body size is likely a sign your body size is over-identified as who you are.”


Trans Men Hit a Dangerous Wall In the Pursuit of The Ideal Body


“the pressure some cis men feel to develop muscles for aesthetic value translates into aesthetics and safety for trans men.”

CW: disclosure of eating disorder behaviors


Jenny Craig pays penalty for “10kg for $10” ads

via the ACCC

“Jenny Craig also failed to disclose that a person featured in an online testimonial video for its services was a Jenny Craig employee.”

‘Misleading’ is the commercial weight loss industry’s MO.


The fat and the furious: will Dietland change the world for fat women?

by Phoebe-Jane Boyd

“To see Plum on screen finding her anger, and finally starting to live, feels revolutionary. She doesn’t serve as a lesson for other characters before disappearing in time for the next episode, and we are not invited to look at her with pity or [cruelty]”


Canadian health care is telling us you can only be healthy if you're white and middle class

by Sarah Krichel

“By looking only at privileged populations for health education, we created a social hierarchy that says some know better ways of engaging with food than others.”


An open letter to Jamie Oliver

by Laura Thomas, Sarah Dempster, Helen West and Rosie Saunt.

“When we contemplate what is meant by health, we cannot talk about physical health in isolation, and must also consider a child’s relationship with food and with their body in the conversation.”


When Brands Use Plus-Size Models and Don’t Make Plus-Size Clothes

by Lauren Downing Peters

“when fat becomes fashionable — even as women whose bodies place them beyond the spectrum of standard sizes do not reap the benefits — it’s tantamount to appropriation.”


Ketogenic Diets and Lipedema: Apply Caution

by Pamela Vireday

“One of the trendiest things in lipedema care these days is the ketogenic diet...routinely being promoted as a "must try" fix. But the reality is that it's just another unproven diet fad, cycling around for another turn on the Diet Wheel of Frustration.”


Size, by the Numbers

by Hilary George-Parkin

“We wanted to know just how far we’ve come, exactly — how many luxury brands have made the leap, how much selection plus-size shoppers are seeing at major retailers, what kinds of prices they’re seeing — and get data to back it up.”


A Dietitian’s Perspective: Cancer and Me

by Catherine Cash

“I’m sharing my story with you, as a Dietitian and as an Oncology patient in the hope of giving you further insight into what it’s like to live with cancer and to also raise awareness.”


Dietland on AMC: A Review

by Linda

“The interesting and unique thing Dietland does is show fatphobia as a form of violence. It’s not just a sad thing that happens, or treated as mere bullying. It exists alongside sexual assault as violence against women.”


The Restaurant Chain With Nothing But Food Waste On The Menu

by Nina Pullman

“[Eating surplus food] is a new way of thinking ... we have changed perceptions, and that’s something I get a lot of satisfaction from.”


Cerrie and powerlifting by This Girl Can

“In more ways than just strength, lifting has helped me deal w what was once crippling anxiety, it’s helped me find like minded people who support & encourage me not just in lifting...[and I’ve] found a sport where size, shape, height etc doesn’t matter.”


Feminist and eating disordered: the ultimate conundrum

by Colleen Reichmann

“This time period of my life was dark and awful. One thing that contributed to this darkness was the shame that I experienced about my eating disorder. I felt, on some level, that anorexia made me a “bad feminist.””


The dangerous weight-loss TV hiding under a mask of scientific respectability

by Anthony Warner

"Framing weight loss as the only solution is highly likely to stigmatise those who cannot achieve it, and exclude them from other equally effective lifestyle interventions."


Cleaning My Closet Taught Me 3 Things About Fat Girl Scarcity

by Virgie Tovar

“I had kept majorly flawed clothes because growing up fat meant growing up with almost no access to literally anything that I thought was cute or that made me feel good.”


'Everybody was telling me there was nothing wrong'

by Maya Dusenbery

“We want to think that physicians just view us as a patient, and they’ll treat everyone the same, but they don’t....Their bias absolutely makes its way into the exam room.”


Academics ‘face higher mental health risk’ than other professions

by Holly Else

“About 37 per cent of academics have common mental health disorders, which is a high level compared w other occupational groups. More than 40% of postgrad students report depression symptoms, emotional or stress-related problems or high levels of stress”


No rest for the (already) tired: Feminism must center chronically ill women

by Anna Hamilton

“Feminism is reticent about listening to and including women with chronic illnesses and disabilities, but to outsiders, and sometimes to fellow feminists, we’re simply invisible.”


Research &

Clinical Practice

We should stop fuelling anxiety

by Margaret McCartney

“A compassionate healthcare system, designed around our patients, would acknowledge this burden’s impact and would attempt to mitigate it. But, instead of quelling anxiety, we fuel it.”

McCartney Margaret. Margaret McCartney: We should stop fuelling anxiety BMJ 2018; 361 :k2399


Paper explaining outcome stats including my favourite: ‘number needed to treat’ (NNT) ❤️

Faraone SV. Interpreting Estimates of Treatment Effects: Implications for Managed Care. Pharmacy and Therapeutics. 2008;33(12):700-711.


Here is a Level A evidence statement (the highest possible level of certainty) from the Australian National Medical Health and Research Council (NHMRC - the government's health research arm) showing that weight regain is what is absolutely expected after intentional weight loss. For the majority. _____ "Weight loss following lifestyle intervention is maximal at 6-12 months. Regardless of the degree of initial weight loss, most weight is regained within a 2-year period and by 5 years the majority of people are at their pre-intervention body weight" _____ Those who do not regain weight are statistical outliers, even if they do publish pretty books and end up in front of our eyes and ears ALL THE DAMN TIME, and contribute to this misconception that lasting weight loss is available if people would only just try hard enough. Bodies don't work that way, no matter how some might wish they might. _____ Department of Health and Ageing, National Health and Medical Research Council, Clinical practice guidelines for the management of overweight and obesity in adults, adolescents and children in Australia, Melbourne 2013, p161 _____


Soapbox & Shareables

Food Psych #157: The Truth About Weight Science with Fiona Willer

I was lucky enough to be interviewed by the incredible Christy Harrison for her Food Psych podcast 😍😍


Getting to hold your new book for the first time is such a thrill! ____ These are the professional development materials for episodes 1-6 of the Unpacking Weight Science Podcast, which turn 6 audio clips into 6 hours of assessed professional development. ____ Perfect for health, medical and fitness professionals and health science students. ____ Details here:


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 now 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.

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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