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HealthNotDiets Digest, Issue 44, 2018

October 26 - November 1, 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

‘We’re setting whānau up to fail’: rethinking the Māori approach to obesity

by Leonie Hayden

“He hopes that more healthcare practitioners will move away from the ‘personal responsibility’ narrative and the biomedical model, and frame the message in terms of relationships.”


Your poo is (mostly) alive. Here's what's in it

by Vincent Ho

Know your sh!t 😃


Reading (and Understanding) Scientific Literature Isn’t Easy. Here’s a Guide to Help.

by Brenda Wingfield

“In a world full of half truths, simplistic and misleading summaries, and outright “fake news,” being able to read and engage with scientific literature can be a powerful weapon.”


The Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger Language of Dieting

by Amanda Mull

“If people internalize the idea that changing your body should be as simple and necessary as cleaning up old files on your laptop, then the stakes for those who don’t or can’t do it could easily become even more severe.”


Rubella is officially eradicated from Australia

by Rose Brennan

“WHO has given Australia the eradication status because all spread of rubella can now be traced back to imported cases with no ongoing outbreaks that have lasted longer than 12 months.”


What’s really scaring the parents at Halloween?

by Rachel Wilson

“Let’s start with getting the facts straight on sugar”


A beginners' guide to the Non-diet / HAES approach

by Alison Stewart

"It has taken me hundreds of hours (literally) of listening to podcasts, reading, webinars and attending professional development days to see how diet culture manipulates, oppresses and takes away a person’s ability to be their true, authentic self. I hear it from my clients who are living it. I emotionally identify with them and so desperately want them to see what I can see.”


How to be a good Indigenous ally

by Summer May Finlay

"how do non-Aboriginal people support us but avoid paternalism and cultural appropriation? Well, the truth is there is no simple answer, and good intentions often aren’t enough. In lieu of an 'ally rulebook', here are some tips which may help non-Aboriginal people stay on the right side of THAT line."


Eating disorders are alarmingly common among pregnant women, and almost no one talks about it

by Caroline Praderio

“Pregnancy is a time of immense change in the human body. For people with eating disorders (EDs for short) – a group of illnesses linked by fixations on weight, food, and body size – these changes can spark profound distress."CW: includes descriptions and accounts of eating disorder behaviours.


'You can't undo surgery': More parents of intersex babies are rejecting operations

by Julie Compton

“Since she couldn’t predict the gender her child would didn’t seem like her decision to make.”


Activist Virgie Tovar on the realities of ‘fatphobia’ and why diets don’t work

by Lucy Pavia

“Fat people experience more anxiety in our daily lives. We experience the effects of something called “minority stress” — the negative physiological outcomes of discrimination, cruelty, and social ostracization over a lifetime.”


The First Thing You Will Notice About Me

by Your Fat Friend

"The first thing I will notice about you is the look in your eyes.”


Why Ugliness Is Vital in the Age of Social Media

by Alok

“If we didn’t live in an ableist society, we would recognize that our bodies are all different and have different capacities. Most of us are trying to squeeze our bodies into capitalism.”


Goals vs. Intentions

by Michelle May

“intention setting is the practice of living in alignment with your values now....Unlike hoping you’ll accomplish a goal that you’ll celebrate (or cross off) in the future, your beautiful life unfolds moment by moment.”


Stop being snobby about tinned food, cook says as she writes first canned food recipe book since 1939

by Helena Horton

"cookery doesn’t have to be this elitist or fashionable thing you’re sold on television.”


'It is fuel for me': Harnessing the revolutionary power of women's anger

By Anna Kelsey-Sugg

"If you're angry, be angry, and do something with it."


Naomi Watts is *not* being naughty eating pizza like nobody's watching

by Katherine Smyrk

"Diet culture is Naomi Watts admitting that she can only eat pizza when nobody is around to see her do it.”


I'm Sick of Being Fat-Shamed by Instagram

by Selene Milano

"The fact that I’m being targeted is a constant reminder that society views me, and my fellow plus-size people, as obsessed with weight loss, which is not true”


Body image after cancer or illness: You're not alone

by Tamar Rothenberg

​"Where can you turn if you have body image concerns after cancer or other illnesses? How can you befriend your body and begin to find its wisdom once again?”


Diet Culture and Diet Mentality

by Nina MIlls

​"Diet culture....a system of beliefs, customs, messages and behaviours, that places value and focus on weight, shape and size over and above health and well-being.”


Fat-Accessible vs. Fat-Friendly

by Vinnci Tsui

​"fat-friendliness is accepting bodies at any size, at any health status, as they are right now, as well as accepting their capacity for change (or lack thereof).”


Don't believe the hype, organic food doesn't prevent cancer

by Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz

​"while alarmist fearmongering over the scary chemicals in your food is all the rage, the reality is far more humdrum. It turns out that organics probably don’t prevent cancer after all"


How To Create A Self-Care Routine That Actually Sticks

by Kristen Adaway

​"While there’s nothing wrong with getting your daily dose of downward dog, doing something you have no real interest in defeats the purpose of self-care."


Real Women Share the Health Advice That Changed Their Lives

by Holly Van Hare


Is It Ok To Call Fat People Fat?

by Ragan Chastain

"learning to use fat as a neutral descriptor can be a part of dismantling size-based oppression. But it’s probably best if that work is led by fat people (as opposed to thin people telling fat people what to – and what not to – call ourselves.)”


Research &

Clinical Practice

"people wishing to lose weight should be informed that there might be associated risks. A strategy that leads to a stable body mass index with optimized physical and metabolic fitness at any size is the safest weight intervention option."


Note: this article is still quite weight centric but it's being shared here because it includes a fair assessment of the harms associated with intentional weight loss and may be useful for some readers.


Bosomworth, N. John. "The downside of weight loss: realistic intervention in body-weight trajectory." Canadian Family Physician 58.5 (2012): 517-523.



Health-related shame: an affective determinant of health?

by Luna Dolezal and Barry Lyons

"The persistent feeling of inferiority and social exclusion that comes with chronic shame means that it can become debilitating or even pathological, affecting one's life chances, one's relationships and, as recent research has demonstrated, one's health outcomes"

Dolezal L, Lyons B. Health-related shame: an affective determinant of health? Medical Humanities 2017; 43:257-263.


​Soapbox & Shareables

We need to do MUCH BETTER at communicating normal, expected weight gain during adolescence.


This new report from an Australian cohort study of children and adolescents (The Growing Up in Australia study) is horrifying but essential reading. It describes not only the disordered eating habits of adolescents in the study (lots of dieting!) but also the way they felt about their bodies, and how their body shape and weight impacted on the way they felt about themselves.


The graph attached is how concerned the 14-15 year olds were about gaining 1-2 kgs.


REALITY: 14-15 year olds are in the middle of the weight gain spurt window (11-17 yrs, 3 consecutive high velocity weight gain years occur during the window but start time is different for every individual) and can expect to gain in the realm of 15-25kgs during this time.


If they fear gaining 1-2 kgs we have failed miserably at our jobs of helping them to learn about their bodies.


If you're telling kids that weight gain is a problem, you're the problem.


Do you know a man who eats?

Researchers from QUT are looking for Australian men to do a 20 minute online survey about body attitude and eating habits.


​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:

"Dietary Quality:

measurement, magnitude and meaning"

Ep 16: In recent years nutrition research has moved from a focus on nutrients to a focus on foods and eating patterns. Dietary quality broadly refers to the variety of foods in someone’s usual eating habits. In this episode I’ll be bringing you up to date on the current state of play with this kind of research, how impactful dietary quality is on health outcomes, and how you can use it and measure it in your practice.

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

Episodes 1-4 are now on iTunes!

Search 'Unpacking Weight Science'

to listen to them for free!




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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