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HealthNotDiets Digest, Issue 37, 2019

October 4 - October 18, 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

"It’s on you”: How to build an inclusive business, from Atlassian’s Aubrey Blanche

by Stephanie Palmer-Derrien

“If all of your female employees are in HR and marketing, you’re not actually creating diversity”


I Love Working Out with Bodies Like Mine

by Ama Scriver

“A body-positive trainer may frame all physical activities as feel-good activities. They might focus on your overall well-being rather than striving toward unobtainable body standards, like certain numbers on the scale.”


Nick Cave gives 16-year-old fan moving advice on body positivity

by Andrew Trendell

“Vulnerability is the very thing that permits us to connect with each other, to recognise in others the same discomfort they have with themselves and with their place in the world”


'Veiled in secrecy': call for surgeons to disclose complications rates

by Kate Aubusson

“Surgery is like sex: everyone talks up their performance...But getting the objective data to verify their claims is much harder to come by.”


The Bizarre and Racist History of the BMI

by Your Fat Friend

“As in so many subjects, the science isn’t nearly as pure or objective as we’d like to believe”

“the Body Mass Index is a product of its social context. And, even according to its biggest champions, it’s not an effective measure of fatness, much less health.”


It's so much more than cooking

by Zoe Fenson

“if you’re doing the cooking, then it’s only natural that you do all the other associated labor too. Because we have no separate name for that labor — it’s all just “cooking” — those who have internalized the mental load define it one way, and those who have been allowed to dabble see it very differently.”


The 'Wellness Influencer' Lifestyle Can Be a Gateway to Disordered Eating

by Katie Way

“The prevalence of eating disorders among wellness bloggers is symptomatic of the same sick cultural push toward thinness that’s been there all along, only now it’s dressed up in designer leggings, burning a Dyptique candle, and posting an #ad for the latest juice cleanse package.”


The HAES® files: A Tale of Advocacy: Two Knees and a Surgeon

by Theresa Jarosz Alberti

“I found myself at another “Now What?” moment. Even though I was still angry at Dr. X for refusing me surgery, I decided to return to him a year after my first visit. He had left open the possibility of me coming back and I was desperate. I knew I needed knee surgery. Would he now operate on me?”


Changing the terminology to 'people with obesity' won't reduce stigma against fat people

by Cat Pausé

“Shifting the language we use to talk about fatness and fat people can reduce fat stigma.But continuing to frame fatness as a disease is not a helpful contribution.”


Why Budget Cooking Tips Are Useless For Low-Income Families

by Christine Byrne

“all those antioxidants from fruits and veggies cannot stand up to the effects of systemic oppression [and] generational trauma”


Turns out near-death experiences are psychedelic, not religious

by Philip Jaekl

“The results indicated their phenomenological experiences after taking DMT were highly similar to near-death experiences – a finding not present after being administered the placebo.”


Why Veggies Won't Save Health Care In Real Life

by Liz Brinkman

“all those antioxidants from fruits and veggies cannot stand up to the effects of systemic oppression [and] generational trauma”


Our tastes change with adulthood, pregnancy, medication and more. Here's why

by Jo Khan

“Our food experiences and preferences are developing and changing throughout our entire life — even before we are born.”


8 Simple Ways to Spot a Bogus Health Fad

by Yvette d'Entremont

“Our desperation and biases are what the snake-oil salesmen count on to supplant evidence.”


Instagram's ban on weight loss ads is good, but not good enough

by Sarah Berry

“The changes on Instagram and Facebook were largely the result of activists standing up for young people and calling for their protection from diet culture and a weight loss industry that does not, would you believe, have our best interests at heart. The industry won't change, but we can."


Why Kids Don't Need To Diet, with Anna Lutz

by Amy Palanjian

“the fear that our culture has about weight right now sets the parent up to feel that they need to control what a child is eating—which can be damaging longterm”


What I Learned as an 11 Year Old in Weight Watchers

by Your Fat Friend

“I learned to blame my body for every failure. I learned to long for thinness as a pathway to another life, the technicolor world of happiness and success that those women described so longingly, which was just out of reach. I learned to chastise myself like they did. I learned to fear food, over time, coming to resent needing to eat at all.”


“But Don’t You Care About Health?” and Other Misguided Beliefs

by Amee Severson

“the anti-diet movement is not an attack on you or your individual actions."


Why I’m No Longer Talking About Health

by Fat Black Sadistic

“we treat health as though it can be seen even though it is impossible to measure by the eye.”


Exercising To Ease Pain: Taking Brisk Walks Can Help

by Patti Neighmond

“gentle physical activity, gradually increased with a health care provider’s tailored guidance, will in fact improve their pain, and they need to think about it as a form of treatment — something they can engage in safely and comfortably.”


Bariatric Surgery May Compromise Mental Health

by Kristen Monaco

“Patients presenting with their first mental health issue following bariatric surgery tended to have a higher rate of complications requiring repeat surgery.”


The Quiet Harm of #TransformationTuesday

by Your Fat Friend

“as long as you think fat is bad on you, as long as you celebrate the thinness of your body, you are sending a message to everyone around you subtly, but certainly, that you value thinness over fatness”


Male Body Image and Weight Stigma

by Aaron Flores

“this very act of normalizing the fear of being vulnerable is one of the key things that needs to change for us to make topics like body image more accessible to men”


Work with women and girls? It’s time to reject psychiatry

by Jessica Eaton

“Moving away from a deficit model means not only rejecting the diagnosis of women and girls as mad, mentally ill or hysterical – but rejecting the way we try to quantify, categorise and predict the future of oppressed and abused women and girls.”


Wellness culture's obsession with Fitbits, 23andMe and data isn't necessarily making us healthier

by Timothy Caulfield

"don’t let the flashy marketing or the intuitive appeal of the quantification trend fool you. More data is not always better and can, in fact, be harmful. It can also suck the joy out of your day”

CW: the piece suggests that self weighing might be okay at the end of the article, and while it can be innocuous for some, for others (esp with body dissatisfaction and a history of dieting) it is definitely related to harm.


Unsure What Weight Stigma Is? Here’s A Quick Explainer

by Nina Mills

"Weight stigma is a term that is commonplace in the anti-diet, HAES and eating disorder spaces. But if you are unsure exactly what weight stigma is, this article offers a quick(ish!) explainer."


Why Self-Compassion Beats Self-Esteem

by Carley Sime

“individuals who are self-compassionate...tend to have better psychological health and also greater resilience when compared to those with lower levels of self-compassion [and] self-compassion is positively associated with life-satisfaction, emotional intelligence and social connectedness.”


The Pressure To Breastfeed Can Hurt Moms. And Doctors Are Finally Realizing It.

by Catherine Pearson

"It is not possible for health care providers to be aware of all the factors that play a role in forming...infant feeding intentions...but so long as [they are] provided appropriate education to make informed decisions, clinicians must trust that [they] will choose to do what is best, even if the [parent’s] definition of best is different than that of the health care provider.”


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 Before Joint Replacement Surgery: The Cutting Truth'

Ep 27: I’m super excited to have been able to take a dive into this research for you as it’s something that comes up constantly for people – both health professionals and people who own troublesome joints. In this episode I take look at things from the surgeon’s perspective, the anaesthetist’s perspective, the patient’s perspective and the allied health professionals perspective, and provide you with both the science, and ideas for ways you can advocate for yourself and your clients to get the joint you need.

Subscribe now at:

and instantly access 22 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


The Non-Diet Approach for Dietitians (2 day workshop)

Fremantle, Western Australia, 26-27 June SOLD OUT

Auckland, New Zealand, 7-8 October SOLD OUT

Melbourne, Victoria, 12-13 October SOLD OUT

Newcastle, New South Wales, 21-22 November

Body Positive Counselling (1 day workshop)


Perth, Western Australia, 28 June SOLD OUT

Auckland, New Zealand, 9 October SOLD OUT

Melbourne, Victoria, 11 October . SOLD OUT

Newcastle, New South Wales, 23 November


Introduction to the Non-Diet Approach FREE

Unpacking Weight Science $79AUD

The Non-Diet Approach for Dietitians $199AUD

The Science of Self Compassion $39AUD


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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