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HealthNotDiets Digest, Issue 8, 2019

February 22 - February 28, 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

Extreme fasting: how Silicon Valley is rebranding eating disorders

by Arwa Mahdawi

"drastically cutting calories in pursuit of a clear mind is not any safer than fasting in pursuit of a small waist. You can rebrand disordered eating, but you can’t remove its dangers.”

CW: some problematic ideas are included in here from interviewees- to be clear fasting is NO SUBSTITUTE for chemo.


A Beginner's Guide To Intuitive Eating

by Kaitlin Ugolik

“Intuitive eating means learning the difference between what is eating for emotional need versus physical need, and also really understanding that foods can be emotionally equal.”


Carrie Ann Lucas Dies At Age 47. You Probably Haven't Heard Of Her And That's A Problem

by Sarah Kim

"There is a toxic tendency of the struggles and injustices of people with disabilities being eradicated from the mainstream social justice and civil rights movements."

RIP Carrie Ann Lucas


Eating Disorders During Pregnancy: How to Cope

by Lauren Muhlheim

“Pregnancy is a time of tumultuous body changes that can be hard for any woman and exceptionally stressful for those with eating disorders. Even when symptoms of eating disorders decrease during pregnancy, concerns about shape and weight are likely to remain high”


‘We need to talk about her weight.’

By Shayna Brumbalough

“I watched the happy drain from my daughter’s eyes and turn to rage in mine.”


The deadly truth about a world built for men – from stab vests to car crashes

by Caroline Criado-Perez

“Crash-test dummies based on the ‘average’ male are just one example of design that forgets about women – and puts lives at risk”


Facts Don’t Change People’s Minds. Here’s What Does

by Ozan Varol

“When your beliefs are entwined with your identity, changing your mind means changing your identity. That’s a really hard sell.”


Take The Cake: 20 Ways To Be Fat Positive (No Matter What Size You Are)

by Virgie Tovar

"Most fat people have been taught to have fat-negative attitudes toward ourselves and other fat people. This is how we’ve been taught to cope with fatphobia, which is a very harmful form of cultural trauma.”


Australia on a plate: recognising Indigenous rights to bush food

by Alexandra Spring

“As interest in native food grows, its connection with Indigenous Australians must be protected"


A handy guide to the toxic language of Diet Culture

by Rosie Spinks, Annaliese Griffin and Indrani Sen

“handy guide to the toxic diet culture words and phrases you’ll hear a lot of this time of year—and what they really refer to.”


The Latest Diet Trend Is Not Dieting

by Amanda Mull

“We champion the war on obesity and the childhood obesity epidemic without regard for what our tactics actually do to the fat people — including the fat children — we hold dear. Yes, we have passively accepted scripts that were staged long before our time, but each time we recite their lines, we send a clear message that we don’t respect fat people, and that fat people’s dignity isn’t worth considering.”


Research & Clinical Practice

Australian dietitians’ beliefs and attitudes towards weight loss counselling and Health at Every Size counselling for larger-bodied clients

by Fiona Willer, Mary T. Hannan-Jones and Esben Strodl

The first paper from my PhD research has been published!

Willer, Fiona, Mary T. Hannan-Jones, and Esben Strodl. "Australian dietitians’ beliefs and attitudes towards weight loss counselling and Health at Every Size counselling for larger-bodied clients." Nutrition and Dietetics (2019).


Research suggests that dietitians now employ weight‐neutral (WN) approaches (Health at Every Size (HAES), Intuitive Eating and non‐diet) as well as more traditional weight‐centric (WC) approaches (weight loss counselling) to address adult weight concerns. This study aimed to compare the knowledge of and attitudes towards WN practice compared with WC practice in Australian dietitians who work with larger‐bodied clients as delineated by practice approach.MethodsA cross‐sectional web‐based knowledge, attitudes and practices survey was conducted with Australian dietitians who counsel adults with a body mass index >25 kg/m2. Based on their responses, dietitians were categorised into WC (preferring weight loss counselling), WN (preferring HAES counselling) or mixed approach (MA). Between‐group comparisons were conducted using Pearson's chi‐squared tests for knowledge and practice and independent t‐tests for attitudes.


Of the 317 respondents, 18.3% fulfilled the criteria for WN practitioners, 30.3% for WC practitioners and the remainder were classified as providing a MA. Weight‐neutral approaches were more positively regarded generally than WC approaches (84.5% vs 53.9%) as well as considered professionally responsible (86% vs 58.7%) and perceived as more helpful for clients (61.2% vs 35%). Knowledge of WN practice goals was poor with only 36.9% (n = 117) of the participants indicating correctly that this mode of treatment is incompatible with a weight loss goal.


Weight‐neutral practice was considered acceptable by Australian dietetics professionals who counsel larger‐bodied people regardless of their personal practice preference although many displayed inaccurate knowledge of WN approaches.


#BoPo on Instagram: An experimental investigation of the effects of viewing body positive content on young women’s mood and body image

by Rachel Cohen, Jasmine Fardouly, Toby Newton-John, and Amy Slater.

"brief exposure to body positive posts [on Instagram] was associated with improvements in young women’s positive mood, body satisfaction and body appreciation, relative to thin-ideal and appearance-neutral posts”

Cohen, Rachel, et al. "#BoPo on Instagram: An experimental investigation of the effects of viewing body positive content on young women’s mood and body image." New Media & Society (2018): 1461444819826530.


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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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