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HealthNotDiets Digest, Issue 33, 2019

August 16 - August 22, 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

Is Anti-Fat Bias Making People Sick?

by Renee Engeln

“After analyzing data from a four-year longitudinal study of several thousand older adults living in England, the authors concluded that the “psychosocial strain of weight stigma may account for a notable proportion of the obesity-related disease burden.””

CN: some stigmatizing terms used


I Started Dieting At Age 4. I Know How Harmful Weight Watchers' New 'Kids' Program Is.

by Savala Trepczynski

“My parents put me on diets because they were trying to protect me. They thought my life would be easier if I were thin instead of fat. They might have been right, but only because fat people are subject to irrational, cruel, highly political bias and discrimination ― not because there is anything inherently wrong with fatness.”


7 Ways to Help Your Daughter Love Her Body

by Katherine

"No matter how body positive an environment you create, kids are also going to engage with the wider world — which means that, eventually, they’ll encounter body shaming comments directed at either them or people around them....Give them a few phrases they can use to respond, so that they don’t have to come up with a reply on the spot.”


‘War on cancer’ metaphors may do harm, research shows

by Ian Sample

"Our work suggests battle metaphors could have a negative impact on how people think about cancer and those thoughts could undermine people’s intentions to engage in healthy behaviours”


New study: Assumptions, stigmatising language, and sub-standard practice from student doctors

By Angela Meadows

“Most talked about her weight, made assumptions, told her how to change her lifestyle, and many used stigmatising language. And over two-thirds failed to provide her with information about her osteoarthritis despite being given a clear indication that this was an information gap for the patient.”

Great commentary from Angela Meadows


Placebo and nocebo: unintentional impact on therapeutic compliance

by Chris Hogan

"It is not enough to make the appropriate diagnosis and provide appropriate therapy. Patient compliance relies on the patient wanting to start therapy and persisting with it. They must believe us. If they do not believe, they may not start the medication, abandon it or even develop unintentionally self-induced adverse reactions."


The Abrupt End of My Big Girl Summer

by Jennifer Weiner

“I’m old and I’m fat and I look age-appropriate for what my age is, and that is not what that whole scene is about...But, I’d much rather feel absolutely secure in my skin and who and what I am at my age as opposed to placing a value on all that other stuff.”


Whiteness On The Couch

by Natasha Stovall

"The very idea of white identity — or race itself — is anything but settled. Whiteness appears in no therapy manuals, is absent from catalogs of psychological ailments, is rarely mentioned as a factor in diagnosis or treatment, yet we know it when we see it.”


I Don’t Want to Hear Your Ableist Slurs Anymore.

by Lia Seth

“ableism: as racism is to race, ableism is discrimination against disabled people, in favor of able-bodied people. This can take the form of lack of equal opportunities, inaccessibility, word choice, bias, prejudice, and more.”


NEDA Statement on Kurby by WW

by The National Eating Disorders Association

Position Statement from NEDA about the Kurbo kids dieting app from Weight Watchers.

“We encourage parents who may be considering this app for their children – and adolescents thinking of using it themselves – to seriously consider the potential risks.”


15 Fitness Must-Haves That Plus-Size Athletes Swear By

by Louise Green

"It has become clear that plus-size women do work out, want to look great and feel comfortable in their activewear, and will spend money on the clothes that will let us do all that.”


This Woman Perfectly Explained the Difference Between Self-Love and Body Positivity

by Julia Guerra

"everyone has the right to love their body but that’s not body positivity, it’s self-love. And there is a difference”


Soapbox & Shareables

Weight Watchers have launched a new weight loss app for children and young people aged 8-17 years old, despite robust evidence that dieting during childhood and adolescence is dangerous and strongly increases the risk of eating disorders, lifelong weight struggles and disordered eating."

Sign this petition to send a message to those with the power to shut it down.


I was interviewed by Paula Kruger on ABC Radio Canberra this afternoon about the Weight Watchers app for kids (Kurbo)

TLDR: dieting apps for kids are not a good idea!

Here's the interview (I start at 1.34.50)


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 all previous episodes plus full show notes, reference list, self-test quiz and resource materials for use in practice for recent episodes. This equates to an hour of professional development activity each month :-)

Available for subscribers now is:

'Weight Loss is Not A Fertility Time Machine'

Ep 25: In this episode I take a look at weight loss recommendations for fertility, the research they’re based on, and the gaping holes in it, to find what’s real and what isn’t when it comes to weight and fertility.

and instantly access 20 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 SOLD OUT

Auckland, New Zealand, 7-8 October

Melbourne, Victoria, 12-13 October

Newcastle, New South Wales, 21-22 November


Perth, Western Australia, 28 June SOLD OUT

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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