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HealthNotDiets Digest, Issue 21, 2019

May 24 - May 30, 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

My Trans Wife and Daughter Taught Me How to Finally Love My Body

by Amanda Jetté Knox

"the way I felt, filled with shame and self-loathing, is not the way I feel today. Today, I feel stronger. I am stronger.”


Beyond Lip Service: Confronting Our Prejudices Against Higher-Weight Clients

by Judith Matz

“I’ve come to believe that the way we as therapists feel about our clients’ body size is not only a clinical concern, but a social justice issue. It’s not easy to challenge internal attitudes that are reinforced every day in the general culture, but if you’re willing to go against the cultural current, here are some things you can do to help you assess—and transform—your internalized views about weight and dieting.”


5 Ways You Equate Diet with Health — And Why You’re Wrong.

by Amee Severson

"There is no health condition that exists exclusively in fat people. We are all at risk for pretty much everything — just to varying degrees. Correlation is not causation.”


Nova Scotia woman seeking breast-reduction surgery wins discrimination case

by Nicole Munro

“Nova Scotians will no longer be required to have a body mass index of 27 or less for MSI-covered breast reduction surgery.”


You Can’t ‘Starve’ Cancer, but You Might Help Treat It With Food

By James Hamblin

“Nutrients or vitamins are not simply good or bad, cancer-causing or cancer-fighting. If a book or blog recommends a single “cancer diet”—or even a supplement that promises to fight cancer—beware. It could end up making things worse. Especially if there is a person on the cover in a white coat with arms folded, and with teeth that look like they have never been used."


The Lucrative Black Market in Human Fat

by Christopher Forth

“at the start of the modern era, fat played a very different role in Western cultures—that of a medical commodity."

CW: spectacularly gruesome with side orders of historical accounts of classism and colonialism


Put down the self-help books. Resilience is not a DIY endeavour

by Michael Ungar

“Resilience is not a DIY endeavour. Self-help fails because the stresses that put our lives in jeopardy in the first place remain in the world around us even after we’ve taken the “cures.” The fact is that people who can find the resources they require for success in their environments are far more likely to succeed than individuals with positive thoughts and the latest power poses."


Heard of Health At Every Size? Here’s What the Body-Positive Concept Really Means

by Nina Mills

"HAES [Health at Every Size] recognizes genetic body diversity as a natural phenomenon. Within this framework, weight is neutralized, and the relentless pursuit of thinness is understood as problematic.”


5 myths about registered dietitians

by Carrie Dennett

“I know that balanced nutrition, presented in a delicious way, is a powerful tool for health, well-being and pleasure, but practicing “good nutrition” is not a moral imperative.”


Periods, Fertility and Eating Disorders

by Funky Forest

"Having a period is NOT a reliable indicator of optimal health and nutrition status.”


Train gym coaches to spot potential mental health problems - call for change


“Personal trainers need to be equipped to see the danger signs [of eating disorders and compulsive exercise] and approach people without making things worse – they should definitely have mental health first aid training.”


Google Maps launches a 'wheelchair accessible' option for 6 cities

by Isobel Hamilton

“Big cities like London usually aren’t known for being easily accessible to people using wheelchairs, but a new feature from Google Maps is a step toward making it easier.”


Research & Clinical Practice

Against Moral Responsibilisation of Health: Prudential Responsibility and Health Promotion

by Rebecca C. H. Brown, Hannah Maslen and Julian Savulescu

"This article addresses the legitimacy of so-called ‘responsibilising’ approaches to state health promotion. Typically aimed at encouraging people to adopt healthy lifestyles, such approaches sometimes instruct [people] to ‘take responsibility’ for their health, or communicate that [people] are morally responsible—and potentially subject to moral criticism—for their (poor) health. We interrogate the claim that [people] are, and should be, considered responsible for their health, and the extent to which moral responsibility is relevant to assessments of health-related behaviour.”

Rebecca C H Brown, Hannah Maslen, Julian Savulescu, Against Moral Responsibilisation of Health: Prudential Responsibility and Health Promotion, Public Health Ethics, 2019, phz006


A Weight-Neutral Approach to Health and Fitness Instruction

by Brian Souza

Here's a great academic paper that summarises the HAES (Health at Every Size) approach for fitness professionals - it's a good one for other health professionals too!

"Much of the criticism of this approach fails to fully understand or acknowledge that accepting one’s size is not about giving up on health. To the contrary, the philosophy of the HAES approach to health is empowerment.

The HAES empowerment philosophy toward health can help fitness instructors inspire self-determined behavioral regulations, nurture perceptions of competence and relatedness, develop intrinsic motivation for health behaviors, and improve self-constructs such as body satisfaction and self-worth.

The HAES approach will help fitness instructors support and promote the multidimensional health and wellness of individuals of all sizes and abilities and will help develop ethical, efficacious, and culturally competent professionals."

Souza, Brian J. "A weight-neutral approach to health and fitness instruction." ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal 19.3 (2015): 17-22.


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:

'Health at Every Size Intervention Research Update'

Ep 23: This episode looks at the components and outcomes of interventions for individuals based on the Health at Every Size principles. I take a look at the randomised controlled trials by Bacon, Mensinger and Ulian in order to highlight intervention themes and outcomes as well as describe the characteristics and usage of quantitative and qualitative research in this field.

and instantly access 18 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



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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