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HealthNotDiets Digest, Issue 45, 2018

November 2 - November 8, 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

I Quit My Job Because of Chronic Illness

by Lisa Marie Basile

“The sick body is at odds with many things—itself, for one, the people who exist around it, and society’s endless demands.”


The curious case of the missing workplace teaspoons

by Peta King

“This type of data collection provides a simple example of what makes a good longitudinal study.”


The Body Positive Skincare Trend is Driven By Women's Fear of Aging

by Sangeeta Singh

"Beauty is a business that has always thrived by fostering women’s insecurities. In 2018, companies are using the language of self-care and empowerment to sell products that target women’s fear of aging. Lately, that has proved more profitable than selling shame.”


‘Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat’ Changes the Rules for Who Gets to Eat on TV

by Jenny G. Zhang

“for many viewers, the existence of that [food TV] fantasy is propped up by an underlying tension: the tangled relationship between food, weight, and self worth.”


What If You Changed The Way That You Viewed Self-Destructive Behaviors?

by Jennifer Rollin

“Ultimately, you can find more life-affirming ways to get your needs met, gradually putting your eating disorder (or addiction, self harm, etc) out of a job.”


Go ahead and laugh at the wine and egg diet – it's as mad as the rest

by Kasey Edwards

“despite a lifetime of weight loss failure, we still hold out hope that the next wonder diet will defy all logic and reason and actually work.”CW: description of extreme diets that may elicit nostalgia-dread-horror. Seriously though, you may find it triggering, tread carefully.


9 Facts Shatter The Biggest Stereotypes About People Who Are Fat

by Julianne Ross

“Widespread anti-fat prejudice typically stems from misconceptions about health, weight and body positivity, and negatively affects millions of people every day.”


"With self-compassion, we give ourselves the same kindness and care we'd give to a good friend"

by Claire El'Jor

"self-compassion may act as a buffer between viewing highly edited media images and our feelings of body dissatisfaction.”


Is alkaline water a miracle cure – or BS? The science is in

by Arwa Mahdawi

"you’re literally just flushing money down the drain”


To Hell with Fatphobia? Working through the Contradictions of Weight Loss and Body Positivity

by Philippe Leonard Fradet

“I have to remind myself...that the self-loathing I feel for my body is much less a true, autonomous feeling about myself than it is a product of the status quo of fatphobia in our society.”


Is Anorexia the Latest Treatment for Obesity?

by Alexis Conason

“Anorexia nervosa is a vicious disease with dire physical and emotional consequences. Fatness does not protect against it; in fact, people at higher weights are at increased risk due to the tremendous pressure to lose weight.”


Is Your Relationship with Exercise Genuinely Healthy?

by Margarita Tartakovsky

“signs that you might have an unhealthy relationship with exercise"


'There is no validity': Unproven blood tests for food sensitivity widely offered in Canada

by Charlsie Agro and Tyana GRundig

"These [food] tests scared the crap out of me...scared me into believing that whatever I put in my mouth was toxic.”


Fat and anorexic: Everyone praised me for my weight loss but I was sicker than I’d ever been

by Maggie Spear

“This dangerous disorder can hurt anyone, regardless of weight, class, race or gender. It doesn’t discriminate.”


Landmark study to examine health benefits of Indigenous connection to country

by Lorena Allam

“The health benefits of connections to identity, culture and land for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are to be measured in a study...that will follow them for up to 50 years."


Research &

Clinical Practice

Here's a nice little example of how weight-centrism has given the impact of energy restriction an invisibility cloak in dietary pattern research.


What is the study? 63 adults (average BMI 32) who had recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes were randomised to either have 'up to 2 pieces of fruit a day' or 'more than 2 pieces of fruit a day' for 12 weeks in order to try to discover if a higher fruit intake impacted negatively on blood sugar control.


Critically, both groups were also actively trying to lose weight, and some had also recently started taking diabetes control medications (others had been on them for longer).


They found that while the average blood sugar control (measured by HbA1c) had dropped from the beginning to the end of the 12 weeks (the pic shows what happened to each person - they get a line each), there was no difference between the results of the two groups.


Both interventions had been equally as effective at reducing the frequency of high blood sugar events. Both groups also lost about the same amount of weight. The conclusion of the authors was that fruit consumption makes no difference to blood sugar control in people with newly diagnosed diabetes.


Except they forgot to clarify that that is only on the background of energy restriction, and they did not acknowledge the masking effect of energy restriction as a limitation of the study.


We know that the energy restriction required to elicit weight loss strongly ramps down HbA1c regardless of the foods being consumed. To truly investigate the impact of fruit intake they needed to have had their participants in energy balance (weight stable).


Another interesting tidbit from the study is their inclusion of a chart that shows each person's HbA1c results - you can see clearly that most people didn't have that much change (even with the energy restriction!) and it was a handful of 'biological super-responders' who dragged down the group average.


What you're looking at is the response at an individual level of energy restriction over 12 weeks on HbA1c levels. This is not representative of people who are meeting their energy needs at any weight. It's not representative of people in the long term. It's the weight-loss-biochem-party-trick again.


So does fruit make a difference to the blood sugar fluctuations of people with diabetes? The answer is not found in this study!


Christensen, Allan S., et al. "Effect of fruit restriction on glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes–a randomized trial." Nutrition journal 12.1 (2013): 29.


​Soapbox & Shareables

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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