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HealthNotDiets Digest, Issue 20, 2019

May 18 - May 23, 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

No Fluffy Self-Love: Sonalee Rashatwar is returning body positivity to its political roots

by Melissa A. Fabello

"I want the message to shift the way that we value bodies [and how] we understand capitalism, white supremacy, and colonialism as the influence of these ideas.”


Your trainer doesn't have to look like a fitness model to be good at their job

by Kimberly Gillan

“Being physically active is healthy for people of all ages, abilities, shapes and sizes [so] trainers should be as diverse as the communities we serve”

Note: whoever picked the images to go with this story clearly didn’t read it first!


3 Reasons To Throw Away Your Scale

by Meghan Kacmarcik

"one of the first questions I ask people during their initial assessments - “do you own a scale? What do you do with that information?” Because I find that oftentimes, the scale plays a pretty significant role in a person’s eating disorder or as a trigger for disordered behaviors.”


Calling BS on "burnout" & getting real on ethical, client-centered Dietetic practice

by Fiona Sutherland

“Attention dietitians: "we’re often not able to care in a way that centres the needs of our clients. Not only that, but the very ethics and values which have brought us into this profession (ie doing what’s right, or best) are being sidelined in favour of doing what is expected of us."


The Biggest Loser is coming back—but should it?

By Andy Dehnart

“The show is changing to focus on “wellness,” but that doesn’t change the evidence now shows that extreme diets and exercise don’t work.”


5 Ways to Lie with Charts

by Becca Cudmore

“In the right (or wrong) hands, bar graphs and pie charts can become powerful agents of deception, tricking you into inferring trends that don’t exist, mistaking less for more, and missing alarming facts.”


How to Explain Intuitive Eating to a Friend

by Brenna O'Malley

“By clearly setting the boundary and expressing how the phrases or comments are hurtful to you, you’ve set up a more healthful environment for yourself.”


Naming The Villain: A Strategy To Promote Body Acceptance

by Nina Mills

"It is time to get angry at the culture that doesn’t allow you to live peacefully in your body, rather than get angry at yourself.”


Redefining the ballet body

by Catherine Wells

“There is no such thing as a “dancer’s body.” There is no such thing as a “real body”. All bodies are real. If you dance, you have a dancer’s body.”


How to stay zen when your child has an eating disorder

by Ginny Jones

"Eating disorders are based on a complex ecosystem of factors that come together. This ecosystem needs to be healed in as many ways as possible to ensure a full recovery for your child.”


Eating Disorders in Transgender People

by Lauren Muhlheim

“The body discomfort of transgender people with eating disorders is complex and may not be successfully addressed by the same body image interventions designed with cisgender patients in mind. These interventions that focus on accepting aspects of their body may be experienced as invalidating.”


Tomorrow The Definition of The Kilogram Will Change Forever. Here's What That Really Means

by Michelle Starr

“Finally, 130 years after it was established, the kilogram as we know it is about to be retired. But it’s not the end: tomorrow, 20 May 2019, a new definition will be put in place - one that’s far more accurate than anything we’ve had until now.”


Does Plan B Really Not Work for Women Over a Certain Weight?

by Shannon Palus

“If you’re over 175 pounds or have a BMI greater than 25, and sperm factors into your sex life, it is probably smart to factor Plan B’s possible lowered effectiveness into your decision-making about contraception, particularly whether to use another form of birth control that might eliminate the need for emergency contraception altogether.”


Don’t tell me to be positive... when I’ve got cancer

by Sophie Sabbage

“inside our fear we can find what we’re willing to fight for. Inside our rage we can find what we stand for. Inside our despair we can find what we long for. There is no flow without ebb.”


Boys and Eating Disorders

by Christina Frank

“Because eating disorders often manifest themselves differently in boys, they are harder to detect by parents as well as healthcare providers."


I Never Gave a Shit About Your Poxy Fucking Diet

by The Angry Chef

“The idea that one diet might be perfect or ideal for everyone is just f@cking stupid.”

CW: not completely weight neutral


The Diet Culture Litmus Test

by Bethany Wheeler

“Need help deciphering through those “lifestyle programs”, “wellness plans” (or whatever it’s being called on the day you’re reading this) to know if they’re just a diet in disguise?”


Research & Clinical Practice

How feedback biases give ineffective medical treatments a good reputation

by De Barra, Micheal, Kimmo Eriksson, and Pontus Strimling

This study is a delight.

They looked at the clinical effectiveness of a weight loss diet versus the apparent effectiveness of it according to Amazon reviews and found (of course!) that people with bigger weight losses to brag about were more likely to post reviews. Additionally, they found that those reviews and other similar positive reports from non-scientific sources were more persuasive when someone was deciding to undertake a diet.

The graph that shows the comparison of apparent effectiveness is a scream.

Favourite lines:

"we found support for our hypothesis that ineffective and even harmful treatments may spread in a population when (1) treatments depend on word-of-mouth reputation, (2) treated individuals with poor outcomes can remain “invisible”’ if they so wish, and (3) there is a broad range of outcomes."


"distortion [of perceived effectiveness] may [also] occur when doctors forget about patients who die under their care."

Full text article for your enjoyment here.

De Barra, Micheal, Kimmo Eriksson, and Pontus Strimling. "How feedback biases give ineffective medical treatments a good reputation." Journal of Medical Internet Research 16.8 (2014): e193.


Orthorexia nervosa: A review of psychosocial risk factors

by Sarah McComb and Jennifer Mills

“Perfectionism, obsessive-compulsive traits, psychopathology, disordered eating, history of an eating disorder, dieting, poor body image, and drive for thinness were positively associated with greater likelihood of [Orthorexia Nervosa].”

McComb, Sarah E., and Jennifer S. Mills. "Orthorexia nervosa: A review of psychosocial risk factors." Appetite (2019).


Unpacking Weight Science Podcast

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:

''Deep dive into the Look AHEAD Study: face-saving through shifting goalposts'

Ep 22: The Look AHEAD study included over 5000 people with diabetes and aimed to see whether intentional weight loss resulted in reduced chance of death. After 9 years they found it didn’t but that hasn’t stopped them singing the praises of weight loss. This episode unpacks why.

and instantly access 16 episodes before the rest of the world!

Episodes 1-5 are now on iTunes!

Search 'Unpacking Weight Science'

to listen to them for free!


Training Opportunities in 2019


Fremantle, Western Australia, 26-27 June

Auckland, New Zealand, 7-8 October

Melbourne, Victoria, 12-13 October

Newcastle, New South Wales, 21-22 November


Perth, Western Australia, 28 June

Auckland, New Zealand, 9 October

Melbourne, Victoria, 11 October

Newcastle, New South Wales, 23 November




Enrol in 'Unpacking Weight Science' or 'The Non-Diet Approach for Dietitians' online courses and receive free enrolment in 'The Science of Self Compassion' course!

(enrolments must be finalised by May 31st and your bonus enrolment will be added manually as soon as I see it)

Want these 'live'? Then follow me on Twitter (@FionaWiller), Facebook (@HealthNotDiets) and Instagram (@FionaWiller)

Want more info about 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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