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HealthNotDiets Digest, Issue 32, 2018

August 5 - 11, 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

The Weight of the Evidence
by Harriet Brown

“Reading the research on obesity treatments sometimes feels like getting stuck in an M.C. Escher illustration, where walls turn into ceilings and water flows upward.”

Posting Naked Pictures on the Internet Helps Me Accept My Body for What It Is: My Body
by Sofia Barrett-Ibarria

“Once I started properly treating my mental health issues for the first time and found medications that worked for me, I was better equipped to start eating without fear and anxiety, and in a way that nourished me.”

Two New Anthologies Look Beyond Body Positivity and Sexism
by Randle Browning
“Both of these new, important books interrogate what it means to inhabit yourself in a political and social landscape where safety, acceptance, and rights aren’t guaranteed to all.”


She was 11, with an eating disorder. It took her mom to figure it out.

by Kathryn Ferguson

"Her doctors thought that perhaps her nausea was anxiety-based and was contributing to her illness, but not one of her specialists mentioned a non-body image eating disorder."

CW: discussion of eating disorder behaviours


Stop Gaslighting Your Kids

by Sam Milam

“When we try and force children to keep eating after they say they are full, or convince them they aren’t hurt when they are, or tell them that what they are crying about isn’t worth crying about, we are telling them that their experiences aren’t reality.”


Self control vs trust and autonomy

by Eve Reed

“Rather than looking at what is interfering with the child’s natural ability to regulate intake according to hunger and appetite, some parents and professionals look for deficits in the child.”


Where the Body-Positivity Movement Stands and Where It Needs to Go

by Julia Malacoff

“body positivity has gotten complicated. And that's okay—because progress isn't always linear. But we think it's important to know where it stands now, so we can steer the movement forward in the right direction.”


We’re breast cancer doctors – and know claims the disease can be ‘avoided’ by lifestyle choices are unfounded

by Liz O’Riordan & Trisha Greenhalgh

“Using the most recent meta-analyses available, we have found that the proportion of pre-menopausal breast cancers that are attributable to being overweight or obese is zero”

CW: weight centric in places


Kombucha With A Side Of Fat Shaming

by Ragen Chastain

“To be perfectly clear, no organization is making fat people into thin people. There is not a single study that shows any lifestyle intervention that leads to long-term weight loss for more than a tiny fraction of participants."


Vitamins are like hope in a jar for me

by Samuel Leighton-Dore

“what I was really buying was the hope that came with the vitamins; the morning routine, the keen sense of choice and control, the idea that, like Nicole Kidman, I too could one day "live healthy and be happy" in a countryside montage.”


Here's how dads can help raise body-positive kids

by Kellie Scott

“Tell your children their body is strong, practise what you preach, embrace body diversity, be mindful of the media they're exposed to, and hug them — often.”


Muscle dysmorphia: Recognising a growing problem among young men

by Amanda Lyons

“the growing numbers of men experiencing muscle dysmorphia is an indicator of the way eating and body image disorders change and develop with the society that surrounds them.”


‘Fat talk’ is stopping kids from being able to eat mindfully

by Miranda Larbi

"Many of us have been brought up by mums who have spent years on diets. We’ve grown up watching them criticise their bodies...and it’s pretty obvious that having parents who diet might lead us to forge less-than-positive relationships with food ourselves."


Do Smaller Fat People Have Privilege?

by Virgie Tovar

“When I entered the fat movement, my brain was able to observe that there were people who were smaller or larger than me, but my own wound prevented me from acknowledging that those size differences impacted our lives in significantly different ways”


Making Peace With My Body Meant Saying Goodbye to High Heels

by Anna Sweeney

“When we call a truce in the war between our bodies & the standards we feel we need to live up to, we can use our energy to make room for the ways in which we are different instead of using it to try to push ourselves towards an elusive & unattainable standard.”


Dieting after birth can make mum’s self esteem worse

by Megan Lee and

Susan Williams

“Many new mums will go on a diet in an attempt to return to their previous shape. But dieting doesn’t usually work, and it only makes our relationship with food worse.”


Research &

Clinical Practice

"intuitive eating behaviors do not seem to compromise the nutritional quality of dietary choices. Further, intuitive eating is associated with fewer food anxieties and dieting behaviors, and greater pleasure associated with food."

Smith, TeriSue, and Steven R. Hawks. "Intuitive eating, diet composition, and the meaning of food in healthy weight promotion." American Journal of Health Education 37.3 (2006): 130-136.


When Do We Need Randomized Controlled Trials, and When Can We Manage Without Them?

by Vinay Prasad

“I would go as far as saying that this is the core problem of our profession. We become so seduced by practices that we become unable to test those interventions. The history of medicine is replete with examples”


Soapbox & Shareables

Like podcasts?

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This episode I take you through some components of the science of human persuasion. As my following on Instagram grew I started getting approached by ‘health and wellness’ brands to spruik their products, and one lot even sent me some samples of their product to try – without asking if I wanted them! They came with a lovely letter and some product information, filled to the brim with reasons why their product should be in every home across the country. So I’m going to dissect their arguments for your listening pleasure and highlight the tricks used in wellness-food marketing to persuade us to open our wallets and our mouths for just about anything.

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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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