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HealthNotDiets Digest, Issue 36, 2018

August 31 - September 6, 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 & Blogs

Fat-Shaming The Pregnant: How The Medical Community Fails Overweight Moms

by Brianna Snyder

“medical professionals are not immune to society’s tendency to disrespect fat people. The stigmatizing message many heavy women get in the doctor’s office is that by their own poor decision-making, they have put themselves and their unborn children in danger.”


Families 'can't afford to follow healthy diet guidance'

by Katherine Sellgren

“affordability could be achieved through two overarching approaches: increasing the resources and incomes of low income households and ensuring that healthy foods are available and affordable to those on a low income.”


If You Want To Talk About Physical Health, We’re Probably Going To Talk About Mental Health First

by Jes Baker

“I saw light bulb after light bulb appear above each participant’s head as they learned that there was an alternative to shame, guilt, and restriction/diet based living.”


Australian women want weight management advice

by The Medical Journal of Australia

“The survey also asked women which were the top five health topics that they wanted to know more about. Weight management topped the list (34.9%), followed by healthy eating and nutrition (31.7%), mental and emotional health (29.3%), anxiety (28.3%) and menopause (24.9%).”

Looks like we’ve got our work cut out for us! Time to unpack those weight science myths and misunderstandings!!


What I learned about weight loss from spending a day inside a metabolic chamber

by Julia Belluz

“Our metabolism silently shifts under new conditions and environments in ways we’re not usually aware of.”CW: very weight centric but interesting account of metabolic testing in someone with weight concern, restrained eating and a smaller body


Calories 101

by Colleen Reichmann

“The best path to making peace with your relationship with food? Work to take away the negative associations that we have with calories. Calories are simply units of energy.”


Diet advice and tiny seats: how to avoid 10 forms of fatphobia

by Virgie Tovar

"Here are 10 of the most common instances of fatphobia that personally affect me and many others – with some advice about how to combat them.”


Victorian health campaign sees positive results with more active women

by Kate O’Halloran

“These are authentic stories of real women, who have shared that fear of judgement and how it holds them back,” said Rechter. “Women are smart and savvy enough to know when they’re being sold something, and this campaign isn’t selling them anything.”


Stigma, stereotypes, and under-diagnosis of eating disorders

by Tabitha Farrar

“Outdated information, misrepresentation, stigma, assumptions, ignorance. These things all contribute to people with eating disorders who don’t “fit the mold” not being diagnosed.”


What would cities look like if they were designed by mothers?

by Christine Murray

“To stand at the bottom of that flight of steps with two kids and a newborn in a pram is to experience the kind of despair usually reserved for rat-infested dungeons.”


The macho sperm myth

by Robert Martin

"The entrenched notion that human sperm, once ejaculated, engage in a frantic race to reach the egg has completely overshadowed the real story of reproduction, including evidence that many sperm do not dash towards the egg but are instead stored for many days before proceeding.”


Aussie pub culture was a mystery for migrants like my family

by Nadine Chemali

“When you befriend someone from another culture, it’s almost always to learn about their culture, eat their food, embrace their way of life. Which is lovely. But they still feel like an outsider.”


'A baby cannot provide ... consent': Calif. lawmakers denounce infant intersex surgeries

by Tim Fitzsimons

“These surgeries should be performed only with informed consent by the person whose life will be permanently impacted...A baby cannot provide that consent.”


People can be healthy at any weight

by Kristin Bulzomi

“By making the impossible the ideal, they’ve made customers for life...Furthermore, since the most common long-term outcome of dieting is weight gain not weight loss, they have created a problem that continues to get worse the more you try to fix it.”


Bathtubs are scarier than sharks

by Gid M-K

“it might surprise you to hear that there is something that, as a scientist, I find far more frightening than a shark. It has fewer teeth, no tiny inhuman eyes, and is rarely found stalking prey through the massive expanse of the Pacific Ocean.I am talking, of course, about bathtubs.”


Research &

Clinical Practice

Effective advocacy strategies for influencing government nutrition policy: a conceptual model

“we have developed a conceptual model to help guide stakeholders who are poorly-resourced either through lack of funding, skills and/or time, to more effectively influence the policymaking process.”

Cullerton, Katherine, et al. "Effective advocacy strategies for influencing government nutrition policy: a conceptual model." International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 15.1 (2018): 83.


Listen… and Speak: A Discussion of Weight Bias, its Intersections with Homophobia, Racism, and Misogyny, and Their Impacts on Health

"knowledge of weight does not change our intervention with that person. We live in a toxic pool of weight bias, and we must be vigilant to avoid it. And that the social aspects of one’s life, such as income, social isolation and adverse childhood experiences, are the key determinants of health and they must be addressed in step with our nutrition interventions. Lastly, dietitians are leaders in action against weight stigma and will continue to lead."

Kasten, Gerry. "Listen… and Speak: A Discussion of Weight Bias, its Intersections with Homophobia, Racism, and Misogyny, and Their Impacts on Health." Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research 79.3 (2018): 133-138.


The Challenge of Reforming Nutritional Epidemiologic Research

“implausible estimates of benefits or risks associated with diet probably reflect almost exclusively the magnitude of the cumulative biases in this type of research, with extensive residual confounding and selective reporting.”

CW: weight centric

Ioannidis, John PA. "The Challenge of Reforming Nutritional Epidemiologic Research." JAMA.


Graphic Medicine and the Limits of Biostatistics

by Sathyaraj Venkatesan and Sweetha Saji

“these graphic pathographies reveal what it means to be human in the age of biomedicine.”

Venkatesan, S. & Saji, S. “Graphic Medicine and the Limits of Biostatistics”. AMA Journal of Ethics 20.9 (2018): 897-901.


​​Slim Chance for Permanent Weight Loss

by Esther Rothblum

Fantastic review of weight loss research. All weight loss dietitians, nutritionists, public health workers, everyone who give weight loss advice and everyone who wants to lose weight should read it ASAP.

Rothblum, Esther D. "Slim chance for permanent weight loss." Archives of Scientific Psychology 6.1 (2018): 63.


Soapbox & Shareables


Brilliant animation about supporting positive body image in kids (with tips for adults too!).

A positive body image is about respecting your body whatever its shape, size or colour. The way you feel and talk about bodies and eating has a big impact on children's self-esteem and feelings about their own body. Teach children to be confident in their own body. Read more.


Intentional weight loss (ie dieting) is not fit for purpose. It's not just ineffective in clinical trials in the long term, but we know that it does not deliver on it's promises in the population either. _____

Here is a study using a representative Australian sample (ie not people in a weight loss study, just Aussies out there in the population doing their regular things) which shows us that even when people are dieting (or 'changing their lifestyle' with weight loss intent) that the result is more weight gain than had they not been dieting, even when controlled for physical activity, BMI and health status. _____

Siahpush, Mohammad, et al. "Dieting increases the likelihood of subsequent obesity and BMI gain: results from a prospective study of an Australian national sample." International Journal of Behavioral Medicine. (2015) 22(5), 662-671.

(sorry it's behind a paywall)


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.

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One of my favourite theories of social science is the Diffusions of innovations theory. It so beautifully explains how new ideas spread through social groups and populations. The adoption of Intuitive Eating and Health at Every Size by individuals and by health and counselling professionals has followed the predictable patterns laid out in this theory. This episode I’ll be running through these characteristics and importantly, showing you how you can recognise where someone is on their path towards HAES adoption and how you can most effectively nudge them towards decision-making.

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



Sydney Sept 27th and Melbourne Oct 19th 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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