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HealthNotDiets Digest, Issue 2, 2019

January 4 - January 10, 2019

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

How 'weight bias' is harming us all

by Sara FL Kirk, Angela Alberga, Erin Cameron, Mary Forhan, and Shelly Russell-Mayhew.

”research evidence has firmly refuted the effectiveness of body shaming as a motivator for weight loss. In fact, it has the opposite effect, doing more harm than good.”CN: links to some ‘anti-obesity’ organizations that recognize the corrosive effect of weight stigma but refuse to accept that their aims and activities play a role in stigmatization by pathologizing higher weight.


American Psychological Association links 'masculinity ideology' to homophobia, misogyny

by Tim Fitzsimons

“male privilege often comes with a cost in the form of adherence to sexist ideologies designed to maintain male power that also restrict men’s ability to function adaptively."


Study shows exercising for appearance's sake a blow to body image

by Deakin University

"exercise can actually make people feel very self-conscious about their bodies, and some people can have worsening body image immediately after exercising. People who have really high body dissatisfaction are most at risk of this."


Why I Will Not Be Dieting In 2019 (and I’m not making any lifestyle changes either)

by Alexis Conason

“There are countless reasons why I’m pledging not to diet, but in the interest of time, here are 4 of the most compelling”


“Strong is the new skinny’ isn’t as empowering as it sounds

By Anthony Papathomas

“The athletic and feminine ideal represent two contradictory masters; to serve one is to reject the other. Finding the middle ground necessary to appease both is an almost impossible task.”

CW: some body critique talk quoted


Avoid Diet Culture This January & Learn To Eat Intuitively

by Laura Thomas

“One of the major frustrations I have is the lie that diet culture sells us that ‘body positivity’ is accessed upon working upon and changing (often shrinking) our bodies. From a research perspective, a positive body image is conceptualised as acceptance, respect and appreciation for one’s body regardless of how it reflects society’s warped beauty ideals.”


I Preached Body Positivity - And Sank Deeper Into My Eating Disorder At The Same Time

by Sam Dylan Finch

“As I make my descent, slowly climbing down from the pedestal and stepping into the light of my recovery, I’m going to embrace the truth that every one of us needs to remember: It is okay not to be okay.It’s okay to not have all the answers, even if the rest of the world expects you to, even if you expect yourself to.”


Don’t fall prey to the cult of wellness.

by Margaret McCartney

"There has always been quackery, but vast swaths of the health and fitness sector, especially online, seem to have been colonized by what I term bollocksology....there is nothing new about the goodness of exercise as medicine – indeed, there is high-quality evidence that it helps prevent and treat many conditions. The wellness crusade, however, invites people to feel constantly anxious about their health, even when feeling entirely well.”


18 euphemisms for “I haven’t a f*cking clue” that make ignorance seem really intelligent

by The Poke

“It’s well known that different professions have their own jargon that makes perfect sense to those in the know and is a mystery to everyone else.”18 euphemisms for “I haven’t a f*cking clue” that make ignorance seem really intelligent


10 Reasons to Ditch Dieting in 2019

by Linda Baggett

“When you diet, you are essentially saying to yourself “my body needs to be better/smaller/thinner/more toned,” which is the same thing as saying to yourself “my body isn’t good enough,” even if you haven’t thought of it in that way before.”10 reasons to stop dieting and improve body image and health


How Millennials Became The Burnout Generation​

by Anne Helen Petersen

“Things that should’ve felt good (leisure, not working) felt bad because I felt guilty for not working; things that should’ve felt “bad” (working all the time) felt good because I was doing what I thought I should and needed to be doing in order to succeed.”


Childhood obesity is a fake epidemic

by Christopher Snowdon

“In an act of unforgivable statistical humbuggery, the government drops the threshold from the 98th percentile to the 95th percentile when it collects national data. Grossly inflated at the 98th percentile, the figures become truly ludicrous at the 95th. You only need to chart the childhood obesity figures next to the adult obesity figures to see how farcical this is. Since rates of obesity rise with age, we should see a gradual increase followed by a decline in old age. Instead we see unfeasibly high rates amongst children and an implausible drop once children reach adulthood.”


Note: I’ve seen this mistake made at academic conferences too- where the differences in prevalence by age were described as ‘risk for obesity’ periods when it was actually where the assessment methods changed: infant to childhood, childhood to adult categorization, and changes to the percentile cut offs between cohorts - it’s utterly maddening.


It’s not enough as a researcher to know your own data inside out, you must know your measurement tools and their history inside out too!


The Pioppi Diet is a superficial lifestyle guide based on distorted evidence

by Christopher Snowdon

“It’s a bizarre and ahistorical conspiracy theory which... would require paying off the medical establishment, the World Health Organisation, numerous charities, public health bodies and nutrition researchers around the world, and keep producing systematic reviews that show links between consumption of saturated fats and increased risk of heart disease.”


Why The Stress Of Dieting Is Making Us Miserable

by Andrea Yu

“Researchers have demonstrated that the impact of dieting is both physiological and psychological. Even if you aren’t restricting your diet, the act of tracking what you eat can stress you out and affect your mental well-being.”


I was feeling hopeless as a dietitian...until I found HAES (Health at Every Size®)

by Bethany Wheeler

“[when dietitians focus on weight control] it ignores the very real and prevalent societal/systemic factors that influence health and create health disparities. It is also neither compassionate nor has it proven to result in improving health in the long-term. It perpetuates shame and guilt.”


"OBESITY"​ - 2019: Here We Go Again?

by Jon Robinson

“As we move into the new year and review the research from the past 4 decades, we realize that until such time as the results of weight loss programs improve, we should stop subjecting people to them; or at the very least give them complete, transparent and informed consent beforehand.And especially for health professionals, we should become acquainted with and begin to promote HAES approaches that have been shown to improve the health of people of all sizes, while minimizing the negative consequences currently inherent in weight loss programs.”


5 simple chemistry facts that everyone should understand before talking about science

by The Logic of Science

“Nature is full of chemicals such as cyanide and arsenic that are dangerous at anything but a very low dose, so there is no reason to think that the “naturalness” of a chemical is an indicator of its healthiness.”


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.

The 20-30 minute monthly podcasts unpack different elements of weight bias & stigma, weight research, BMI, health behaviours and weight neutral approaches. Paid subscribers (only $5/month!) get instant access to the previous 15 episodes plus full show notes, reference list, self-test quiz and resource materials for use in practice. This equates to an hour of professional development activity each month :-)

Available for subscribers now is:

'Obesity': Unpacking 'Risk' vs 'Disease'

Ep 18: This episode delves into the definition(s) of 'disease' and 'risk factor' and how body size has come to be understood by various 'body size stakeholders'. At its core, the question is, is being fat the same as being sick? And can telling someone that they’re sick, even when they’re not, actually make them sick? is a condition that has both short-term and long lasting consequences. In this episode I unpack the science of malnutrition, it’s signs and symptoms (particularly in heavier people) and as always, how our intentional weight loss focus results in dangerous malnutrition invisibility.

and instantly access 15 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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