Rank #1: Pregnancy
Diet culture has a nasty habit of targeting women at vulnerable times in their lives, and this is particularly evident in pregnancy and birth. This week on All Fired Up!, I am venting with the incredible Hilary Kinavey and Dana Sturtevant from Be Nourished, who bravely walked into a medical conference and called out the rampant weight stigma which is hurting pregnant women. This is a not to be missed episode, how women in larger bodies are being treated by the medical profession is just NOT OK. Women are being told that their vagina is “too fat to give birth”, that they won’t live to see their babies grow up, that they need to lose weight! The fact is, most women in larger bodies have healthy pregnancies and births, but are having the bejeezus scared out of them with some seriously odious threats. Reclaiming your body and your power is possible. It’s time to take your body sovereignty back!!
- Hilary and Dana, anti-diet health professionals from Be Nourished, are utterly fired up about the never ending pressure that diet culture puts on women at vulnerable times of our lives, particularly with regards to fertility, pregnancy, and birth.
- They were invited to speak at a conference where they could talk about body positivity and managing risk in pregnancy. Whilst an awesome and much needed topic, they were the only speakers to talk about weight stigma.
- In the medical community there is some acknowledgment that weight stigma impacts health, but the vast majority of professionals are seeing weight stigma as a barrier to losing weight, which is just not reflective of a deep understanding of these issues.
- Stigma itself affects health, greatly, and this is not being researched nearly enough.
- Multiple sources of oppression intersect in pregnancy. Women are of course oppressed in general in a patriarchal society. Women of colour, and women in larger bodies who are of colour, suffer the most from these structural oppressions.
- Women who experience stigma can have a harder time giving birth, because of the stigma, not their weight alone.
- The history of gynaecology is implicitly racist and sexist. Early experiments in gynaecology were performed on Black women without anaesthetic, as it was believed they could not feel pain as much as white women.
- although we own the bodies that are giving birth, we are often told that we are ‘not qualified’ to make choices about our births.
- The concept of ‘weathering’ is when multiple levels of stigma impact on our bodies.
- Serena Williams’ experience of birth is reflective of this impact of stigma and the inherent disregard for women’s agency in pregnancy and birth.
- Higher rates of caesarian sections occur in women with higher BMI’s. But why? How much of this is due to the belief that as a woman in a larger body, you can’t deliver safely?
- This idea of ‘colouring’ - that when we internalise weight stigma, it colours our decisions and choices.
- The midwifery model is to view birth as an event, not an emergency.
- The vast majority of women in larger bodies have successful pregnancies and births. And if something goes wrong, this can be managed most of the time.
- The actual risks of complications in birth are being exaggerated by statistical buggery.
- Women are facing systemic discrimination in the area of birth. Women are often told they can’t give birth in their local hospital, in rural & remote Australia they are being flown to hospitals in capital cities. Imagine the impact of this. We are so vulnerable at this time and we need our support networks.
- Physicians are frequently scaring women and telling them that their weight means they are automatically a high risk pregnancy. This is because many health professionals receive training which views a larger body as a problem or a risk factor.
- If we believe we are not capable of a birth, this will reflect on outcomes.
- Once women pick up the idea that the medical professionals will judge their bodies, they will avoid pregnancies in order to avoid judgement, or choose to avoid medical care altogether.
- Society is messed up and your body is not, medical providers have been given a biased education.
- It is ok to grill your health professionals in order to assure that you are safe.
- If you do have a complication during birth, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person or a bad mother.
- Find out more about Hilary & Dana at Be Nourished
- Watch the Being Serena Documentary
- Nothing dear, you’re not qualified!
- The article about risks of birth defects in larger women and how statistical buggery is being used to inflate the risk.
- Fantastic article about how the medical community fat shames mums. This is the one where the woman was told her vagina was ‘too fat’ to give birth. And the awesome comment from Dr Shah.
- The Australian study on weight bias in maternity care.
- Awesome FB group for ‘plus size pregnancy’
- Help with diabetes through a weight inclusive lens - Megrette Fletcher
Rank #2: Weight Loss Surgery
My guest this week is the incredible Lisa Du Breuil, a social worker who specialises in helping people who have developed addictions and eating disorders following weight loss surgery. Lisa is also very across the issue of weight bias and how this impacts everything: people's likelihood of getting surgery, the types of research questions we're asking, and even the conclusions we're drawing from research. Lisa is totally incensed about the research on weight loss surgery - because most of the research is piss poor quality. And a LOT of information is being left out. We know that many people get into trouble after their surgery, but their voices are missing from the scientific journals. Lisa's also pretty pissed about the level of information people tend to get before surgery (spoiler alert - most people are not informed about all of the risks before they have the operation). In this episode, Lisa & I dissect the long term research on weight loss surgery outcomes, and discuss what we do know...and what we don't yet know. We also talk through some of the often overlooked but serious issues people can develop after the weight loss honeymoon is over. If you or someone you love is considering this surgery, please listen to this episode first!
Rank #3: Inside The Obesity Collective
DO NOT MISS this explosive episode of All Fired Up! The Obesity Collective is a sparkly new organisation gaining attention nationwide for its ostensibly ‘collaborative’ approach to ‘tackling’ obesity, whilst simultaneously erasing weight stigma (oh please how much of a mindboggle is that?!). But who are they really? My guest this week is Mandy-Lee Noble, anti-diet dietitian from Nourished Approach in Brisbane, and she has had a GUTFUL of industry interests penetrating our health narrative. Once we dug a little deeper into The Obesity Collective we found that the tentacles of Big Pharma have a firm hold on the goolies of all our so-called ‘independent’ Obesity organisations. You won’t believe how deep this goes. Next time you read a hysterical news headline highlighting the terrors of Obesity Epidemic, know who funded it!
- Content warning and Apology !! This episode contains multiple uses of the word ‘obesity’. This is a stigmatising term and not one I nor my guest Mandy Lee Noble are comfortable using. However, as the topic of this episode is all about an organisation called The Obesity Collective, there are a lot of “O” words used.
- There are also lots of swear words to make up for it!
- My guest, dietitian Mandy-Lee Noble is all fired up about conflicts of interest and vested interests in health care, and within weight centric research and industries in particular. Mandy & Louise fell down a massive rabbithole when they accidentally stumbled across a particularly troubling example of this, the subject of today’s podcast.
- During a HAES Australia leadership meeting, we came across the “Obesity Australia” website, and their “fact sheets” were rather hilarious.
- These fact sheets contained not just outdated, but frankly very bizarre advice regarding weight loss.
- “Obesity Australia” are ostensibly one of Australia’s leading ‘authorities’ on obesity, and many of the country’s leading researchers, practitioners etc, are involved. And yet the fact sheets look like they were thrown together by either a year 9 school boy or an elderly person with very little connection to the real world.
- One of the ‘fact’ sheets was about drinks you should be having to lose weight, written by former head of Obesity Australia John Funder, whose diet tips have come directly from 1935. He recommends “egg flips” and “Miss Muffett’s favourite tipple, curds and whey”.
- Does ANYONE know what an egg flip is? And what about curds and whey??
- He then goes on to rage against fish and chips, and goes on a bizarre rant telling us to strip the fish and chips of batter, and ‘put it amongst the pickled onion’.
- What is he even talking about here? Where did the pickled onion even come from? 1970?
- John also has a huge grudge against potato crisps, which he says are ‘lethal’. Now Mandy, being a bit of a rebel, has on several occasions since reading that thrown caution to the wind and deliberately and vigorously eaten said lethal crisps, and has lived to tell the tale.
- Another tip was to ‘drink coke zero’, to ‘fool yourself into eating slightly less’. This tip appears to have come from Weight Watchers in circa 1980. Mandy believes this may work through the process of being forced to eat slightly less because you have no teeth! Seriously what’s with the totally SHIT advice here? This is from a highly regarded and very knowledgeable researcher?
- It’s encouraging behaviours that overall are not hugely health supportive, all in the name of weight loss!
- John also ‘recommends’ that a ‘rule of thumb’ is to always weigh the same as you did at the age of 25, even if we have less bone and muscle mass as a result. All of the actual research would contest that: there is a plethora of evidence to show that as we age we do get heavier, and preserving muscle mass as we age is very health supportive. It’s quite literally the opposite of what science tells us. People at a higher body mass are actually often healthier than smaller people as they age.
- Some of the information in the fact sheets started to lead us down a rabbit hole. One of them, written by Professor Joseph Proietto (who does not reveal his association with multiple pharmaceutical companies), states that most people who lose weight will not keep it off, and will regain, so he recommends the use of appetite suppressing medication.
- As we read, it became apparent that an agenda was peppered throughout these ‘fact’ sheets’.
- Repeatedly given is the message that most people who lose weight will regain it; that obesity is ‘a disease process’. We experienced a growing sense of unease - just who are Obesity Australia, and who is behind these organisations that claim expertise and leadership in the area of so-called ‘obesity’?
- People right now may not be hearing from Obesity Australia as much as “The Obesity Collective”. Now, this might sound like a trendy cafe or a tragic boy band, but it’s actually them who have featured in the media quite a bit in Australia recently.
- “The Obesity Collective” was launched on 31 July 2018 (happy first anniversary!), at a swanky reception at the Charles Perkins Centre, the University of Sydney’s $500 million hub for the study of ‘lifestyle diseases’ such as obesity. Headed by Professor Stephen Simpson, who also happens to be the head of The Obesity Collective.
- The Obesity Collective describes itself as “a group of committed individuals and organisations from across the community, working together to take on the obesity challenge together, with empathy and a whole of society perspective”.
- Doesn’t that sound warm, fuzzy….and a little bit scary!
- Mandy thinks they’re a bit ‘fast and loose’ with words like empathy!
- So Stephen Simpson is the academic director of the Charles Perkins Centre, and the executive director of Obesity Australia.
- Professor Simpson’s research interests are probably not what you’d expect:
- “Developing an integrative modelling framework for nutrition using insects that has been applied to a wide range of organisms, from slime moulds to humans, and problems, including the dietary causes of human obesity and ageing. He has also revolutionised understanding of swarming in locusts, with research spanning neurochemical events within the brains of individual locusts to continental-scale mass migration.”
- How much has he studied empathy within locust populations? Potentially more than he’s studied it within humans!
- Professor Simpson has accomplished a lot in his career, he went to Oxford University, and he’s one of these charismatic figures. He is definitely bringing a hip, urban edge to the Charles Perkins Centre, and also to the Obesity Collective, really trying to make it look engaging, warm and welcoming.
- He’s trying to portray the Obesity Collective as a great collection of warm and wonderful people who are going to combat not only obesity but obesity stigma, which is...an interesting challenge.
- Professor Simpson recently appeared on ABC’s The Drum program, on a show about obesity and fat shaming. Professor Jenny Lee was on (academic and fat activist), as was someone with ‘lived experience’ who was actually one of the Nepean Obesity Service’s weight loss ‘success stories’.
- Sarah Harry from Body Positive Australia was also featured, but did not appear live and wasn’t given enough screen time as someone in a larger body not riddled with internalised weight stigma. Jenny Lee was also somewhat sidelined by Professor Simpson, who remained resolute in his attitude that body size is a disease.
- The message of the show was definitely skewed towards eradicating the ‘problem’ of obesity, but let’s be nice about it. No amount of empathic-sounding buzz words can disguise the true intention.
- Professor Simpson asked Jenny Lee to join the Obesity Collective, but she declined.
- So the Obesity Collective’s launch at the Charles Perkins Centre in 2018 was funded by Novo Nordisk, a pharmaceutical company traditionally known for its production of insulin, but with a flooded market, has recently turned its hand to producing weight loss drugs.
- The Collective is trying to recruit different organisations and individuals including: NGOs, Academics, Young Entrepreneurs, The Private Sector, Community Leaders, Government, Healthcare Providers and people with lived experience.
- We couldn’t see any evidence that people with lived experience are actually a part of the Collective, there’s just this statement on their website that they’re there.
- Novo Nordisk have described themselves to be ‘active members’ of The Obesity Collective. It’s very prominent on their website that Novo is the Collective’s main funder.
- So what have the Obesity Collective achieved in their first year? They’ve been really good at raising the panic button. They’ve been in the media - not just the Drum, but radio, and print media. So they’re getting attention.
- They released a report called “Weighing in: Australia’s Growing Obesity Epidemic”. The report outlines statistics around the prevalence of obesity in Australia and bangs on about how much fatter we’ll be at this rate and how many diseases are caused by fatness. The cheekiest part of the report is where they re-cycle the statistics on the apparent economic cost projections of obesity, which they took directly from Obesity Australia’s 2015 report which was prepared by Pricewaterhouse Coopers and sponsored by Novo Nordisk. (more about them later in the conversation). !!
- The 2019 report did not disclose any funding from Novo Nordisk, it said it was authored by The Obesity Collective without naming who actually wrote it. But substantial sections have been taken directly from a previous report which had unlimited funding from Novo Nordisk.
- The Obesity Collective have also released a ‘fact sheet’ in which they say that obesity is ‘not just about personal responsibility’.
- Obesity Australia & The Obesity Collective just don’t get that the very framing of obesity is stigmatising. They really don’t get stigma. They actually think weight stigma is their tool to try to get people to lose weight (like take weight loss drugs!).
- And weight loss drugs like Novo Nordisk’s Saxenda, if you can tolerate the side effects, will maybe give you very modest weight loss results - if you can believe their own industry funded research!
- In 2015 in Australia, Novo Nordisk got TGA approval for their new weight loss drug, Saxenda.
- Since then, they have been quite aggressive in their tactics in raising awareness of how ‘awful’ obesity is and how urgent it is that we ‘act’. Through avenues such as these organisations, Obesity Australia & The Obesity Collective.
- The Obesity Collective also provided a submission to the Senate Select Committee on the ‘obesity epidemic’ - as did HAES Australia.
- In their submission to the committee, they said ‘we are working to transform the way society thinks, speaks and acts on obesity to reduce the impact obesity has on all of us”.
- What a mind fuck of a statement! In one part, they claim to be working to de stigmatise obesity, in the next breath, they stigmatise it all over again.
- What they are aiming to do - eradicate larger people - is implicitly stigmatising.
- They think stigma is a barrier to weight loss.
- They want people not to feel stigmatised coming in and asking for weight loss drugs.
- Mandy & Louise have been blown away by how pervasive the industry funding is in this area. We don’t have enough time or woman hours to delve completely, but this rabbit hole is massive.
- In their submission, The Obesity Collective stipulate the causes of obesity to be genetic, epigenetic, and biological drivers. But on the next breath they say this does not excuse people from committing to try to lose weight. So again, in one breath stating how body weight is not within our control, in the next demanding that we as individuals keep trying to control it.
- This thread runs throughout: on the one hand, all of the recognition of the science is there, and an almost HAES-y style of writing, and on the other, we’re back to keep trying to lose weight!
- Same science: different conclusions.
- They also referred to the Novo-funded report from 2015 in their submission, saying that the overall direct costs of obesity to Australia in 2011-12 Australia were determined to be $3.8 billion, while indirect costs were calculated to be $4.8 billion (PWC 2015). But if you compare even this figure (which Mandy really doesn’t think is totally convincing), considering that our total health expenditure for 2011-12 was $150 billion, then it’s just a drop in the ocean of our health care spending, hardly the health sector crushing scenario we’re often given.
- The same report also argued that the costs incurred from the stigma of obesity, including discrimination across education, work, and social spheres, is ‘incalculable’. It’s so much more than the actual cost! They are using stigma for their own agenda.
- These ‘reports’ put out by bodies such as the Obesity Collective or Obesity Australia are always the same format: 1. Obesity is bad, and getting worse, 2. obesity causes all sorts of diseases, 3. obesity is going to cripple our health system, and 4. we MUST urgently act and do something.
- And - it’s not your fault and it’s hard to fix - so - here’s some thing (ie drugs, put them on the PBS).
- But who are The Obesity Collective? They are actually a subsidiary of Obesity Australia. Essentially, Obesity Australia are the parent company of the Obesity Collective.
- Obesity Australia are a registered charity, and they have been in operation since 2011.
- They describe themselves as “an independent, not-for-profit, legal entity’.
- The ‘independent’ angle is interesting, because Obesity Australia receives most of its funding from industry ‘partners’, including Weight Watchers, Allergan (a pharma company who make the lap bands), and other pharma companies including inova and Novo Nordisk, who gave around $200 000 to Obesity Australia between 2011 and 2015.
- In 2011, Allergan kicked in quite a bit of money to get Obesity Australia started - around $150 000. Over 3 years they kicked in around $300 000.
- Allergan had actually gained a lot of cred for helping to fund these organisations, it helped them to be seen as a company doing ‘good’. But it wasn’t all good: Allergan, and the Centre for Obesity Research (CORE) in Melbourne received negative publicity in the media when their plans to target poor and Aboriginal teenagers for their weight loss experiments were disclosed to the media.
- Between 2011 and 2015, Obesity Australia received just over $1 million in funding. Of this, 80% was spent on “Board Expenses” and ‘consultancy’. Of that, 30% was “Board expenses”. Tax concessions also apply as this is a charity.
- It’s a LOT of money for all of that independence. And what exactly are these ‘Board expenses”?
- Many of the Board members of Obesity Australia have also received other money (for consultancy fees etc) from the pharma companies.
- Since 2015, Novo Nordisk has provided Obesity Australia with ‘unrestricted grants’ to produce reports about how dire the obesity epidemic is, and the URGENT need for interventions, including - no surprises here - pharmacological medicines.
- It is an urgent need for Novo, because in 2015 they finally got their weight loss drug Saxenda approved by the TGA.
- They’re not even bothering to hide it - on the Obesity Australia website you can click through to a presentation by Novo Nordisk to Obesity Australia in which they blatantly reveal that Novo are committed to ‘create legitimacy and urgency for the medical management of obesity’.
- Really, what Novo are after is to have obesity declared a disease: if this happens, they can push their drugs more heavily and even get weight loss drugs on the PBS, a massive potential windfall for them.
- The principles of Obesity Australia and the principles of Novo Nordisk are very much aligned with each other. Even the Charles Perkins Centre refer to obesity as a ‘disease’, when actually it’s not. In Australia, the Australian Medical Association do not classify higher body weight as a disease, nor do the World Health Organisation. They do talk about weight being a risk factor, but not a disease within itself.
- There are many people in larger bodies with no or very few health issues, if we classify this as a disease suddenly a whole pile of people become suddenly sick.
- How we think about our health status can really impact on our actual health status.
- And the influence of Novo Nordisk does not end with funding for Obesity Australia, and the unlimited funding for their ‘reports’. In the newly formed Obesity Collective, 8 of their academics on their boards receive direct financial benefits from Novo Nordisk, for consultancy, travel costs, etc, another couple of academics work at an institutions that receive funding from Novo Nordisk and a further 4 people on the Board are employed by PriceWaterhouseCooper (PWC). Which is interesting, because Novo Nordisk is a well established and long existing client of the multinational auditors PriceWaterhouseCooper.
- One of the academics enjoying funding from Novo Nordisk is Professor Stephen Simpson himself - the head of The Obesity Collective, Obesity Australia, and The Charles Perkins Centre. He has just received a grant for his research Ancestral causes of obesity: Understanding epigenetic transmission by spermatozoa; with co-author Romain Barres, Professor, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Professor Barres enjoys unlimited research funding from Novo.
- This information is not being hidden, it is right there on the Charles Perkins Centre website on Professor Simpson’s information page.
- It’s hard to find academics involved in Obesity Australia who are not being paid by Novo Nordisk in some capacity.
- And this reaches beyond the Obesity Collective and Obesity Australia, because Novo Nordisk are busily paying our medical doctors and health professionals as well.
- According to a news article from Crikey, Novo have spent $3.2 million over 3 years on speaker fees and for experts to sit on its medical advisory boards. Novo’s declarations show 1300 separate payments to Australian GP’s, nurses and specialists over 3 years, with recurring payments to a handful of prominent specialists.
- Basically, Novo are hell bent on creating an air of scientific legitimacy to penetrate a potentially very lucrative market.
- The Obesity Australia website has a ‘response’ to ‘recent media attention’ which is really talking about the Crikey series of articles. They don’t actually refute anything that was said in the articles, they simply say that Novo is not their only funding source!
- They also said that Obesity Australia relies mainly on ‘unpaid volunteers’, which Mandy calls bullshit on! Unless these volunteers are working a million hours, this is simply not true! In their financial reports, there are less than a handful of individuals who are actually listed as volunteers.
- It said that they have strict guidelines about industry funding and that any engagement with ‘third parties’ are passed through their industry guidelines - “Obesity Australia is transparent around funding and projects that are funded by third parties are passed through our engagement with industry guidelines. These consider the nature of the project to be funded in relation to potential conflicts of interest (real or perceived), and the degree of alignment between the commercial interests of the funder and improving the lives of those living with obesity.”
- We do have to say that we don’t know the ins and outs of Obesity Australia’s funding from 2017 onwards as they have not posted any financial statements yet. From 2015 onwards Obesity Australia’s financial reports became a lot less detailed. In 2015, Obesity Australia changed and was taken into the Charles Perkins Centre: “Obesity Australia, founded in 2011 has now joined with the Charles Perkins Centre, which will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of Obesity Australia. Obesity Australia remains in independent legal entity and will continue to be governed by the OA Board.”
- So we now have a lot less detailed financial information about the ins and outs of funding for Obesity Australia & The Obesity Collective, but we know that Novo Nordisk are still a major player in The Obesity Collective. Their logo is all over the Obesity Collective website.
- It is interesting because the Charles Perkins Centre really pride themselves on actually researching the impact of industry funding on how research and how knowledge is produced.
- None of the Charles Perkins research on the impact of industry funding has been directed towards Novo Nordisk.
- In September 2018 there was a flurry of media attention to the Charles Perkins research which showed that industry funding had a huge impact on research outcomes.
- Basically, corporate funding will skew the results towards industry not the people.
- Disclosure of payments by pharma and industry is important.
- Professor Simpson himself has had a lot to say about industry funding, coming out against Coke funding research at the Boden Centre for Obesity Research at the University of Sydney.
- Professor Simpson said that the Charles Perkins Centre had ‘strict guidelines’ regarding engagement with industry. And Louise had a look at these, and they basically say it’s really important for the centre to engage with industry. So there you go!
- So they are saying as long as we are transparent about our engagement with industry, it’s ok.
- Professor Simpson is actually also the Director of the engagement with industry committee!
- To their credit, The Charles Perkins Centre are transparent on their websites about Novo Nordisk funding their launch, about Professor Simpson’s research grant, and the unlimited research grants from Novo to write a series of reports about how awful the ‘obesity epidemic’ is, but there is a lot missing as well.
- Off the back of these reports came a shit tonne of publicity. Louise counted 11 different news articles in which the contents of these reports were discussed by either Professor Simpson or one of the Obesity Australia board members, and not once is the industry link mentioned in any of these press releases.
- This means that for the average person, there is no transparency. The average person would need to visit the website and trawl around to see who is funding the Obesity Collective in order to know. This is NOT transparent.
- There is a narrative being created which is being orchestrated by big pharma.
- Mandy has been asked to become involved in this world, but as a completely independent dietitian she declined.
- We will do a whole podcast on Saxenda, because we don’t have time now! Because the way the research is being conducted needs to be discussed. Also, Novo have more weight loss drugs in the pipeline, and Australians are being targeted for their market.
- With sparkly shopfronts like The Obesity Collective, positioned in prestigious universities, it’s really hard for the average person to figure out what science is really saying, and what marketing and funding is doing to how we think about all of this.
- Sydney uni and the Charles Perkins Centre even put on an entire event called “fighting truth decay” which was all about how industry funding can get in the way of seeing the truth! And who hosted it - you guessed it - Professor Locust!
- What a great technique to build trust, to be a university who talk about the corrupting influence of industry funding. But then to still do it???
- Another of the Charles Perkins Centre events was about lived experience of ‘obesity’, but lo and behold they did not bother to record that!
- Speaking of lived experience, the Obesity Collective say they have this section called the “Weight Issues Network” which is apparently for people with lived experience ‘and their carers’ (condescending much??). But Mandy and Louise could find no evidence of this actually existing. Louise even emailed them asking to join, and so far - no response…
- In fact - CRICKETS!!
- How ironic that the lived experience of people in larger bodies is being erased by the Obesity Collective - who do not seem to have any larger people involved. There’s not even a picture of a larger person on their website, I mean COME ON.
- On the Obesity Australia website you can click through and see the members and they are all small. This is awful to see a committee writing about what they should do to solve the ‘problem’ of larger bodies…...with no one larger in sight.
- Maybe The Obesity Collective need to think about the reality of inviting people to be involved in a collective that wants to literally obliterate people who look like them.
- Representation is important, and this is not happening because this organisation cannot see past their own noses. Still stuck in 1935.
- We’ll end on a really scary quote from a Reuters story from 2017 about Novo where the CEO is talking about taking a ‘bet’ on obesity. “I see a huge opportunity in obesity and I don’t see a lot of competitors moving into the space,” he told Reuters during a visit to London.” “Saxenda only accounts for 2 percent of Novo’s overall sales but analysts expect it to sell more than $1 billion by 2023, according to consensus forecasts compiled by Thomson Reuters. “
- So - the big agenda is for companies like Novo Nordisk to provide funding to organisations like Obesity Australia and The Obesity Collective, to push to have Obesity declared as a disease, so they can increase the market for their weight loss drugs.
- If they can get their drugs on the PBS, there is huge profit involved.
- What has completely done our heads in throughout are the claims made by Obesity Collective - to be inclusive (no), to de-stigmatise (no), to be mindful of health inequalities (no), to be informed by evidence and prepared to innovate (oh my god), and to DISCLOSE POTENTIAL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST!
- Which they do - but only if you look really, really hard. The Obesity Collective is a lovely smokescreen, and media reports are still not disclosing the funding.
- Everyone - please post pics of you eating those ‘lethal’ potato chips!
- The Obesity Collective website (also the Obesity Australia website)
- The 1935 factsheet about Curds ‘n Whey “Drinks That Make It Worse (!)”
- Serious prejudice against fish and chips
- The infamous potato chips as lethal ‘fact sheet’
- Joseph Proietto’s fact sheet about the need for weight loss medication
- All about Professor Stephen Simpson, head of the Charles Perkins Centre, Executive Director of Obesity Australia, and head of The Obesity Collective.
- The Drum Episode
- The “Weighing In: Australia’s Growing Obesity Epidemic” report from The Obesity Collective
- Negative news stories about Allergan targeting poor and Aboriginal teens for their weight loss experiments
- More negative publicity about conflicts of interest in Australian obesity ‘experts’.
- The Novo Nordisk presentation where they blatantly reveal their aim to penetrate the Australian market (look under ‘resources from the 2015 summit’).
- Professor Simpson’s research grant buddy Romain Barr and his Novo affiliation.
- Professor Simpson’s Charles Perkins Centre Information page with his research grant from Novo.
- Just some of the payments made by Novo Nordisk to Australian health professionals.
- The Crikey articles discussing Novo’s plans to infiltrate Australia - there are a series of 4 articles, read them all:
- Obesity Australia’s response to the Crikey articles
- Sydney University research on the impact of industry funding on outcomes:
- Professor Simpson being all fired up about industry funding with Coke
- The Charles Perkins centre transparency guidelines for working with industry
- 11 news articles featuring The Obesity Collective or its members in which Novo Nordisk funding was not mentioned:
- The Charles Perkins’ Centre event Fighting Truth Decay
- Scary story from Reuters about Novo and how it’s taking a ‘bet’ on obesity.
Rank #4: Wake Up Weight Watchers With Rebecca Scritchfield
The latest ploy from Weight Watchers to capture our kids by offering ‘free’ memberships for teenagers has seen a MASSIVE and absolutely heartening backlash from a whole range of people. This week on All Fired Up! I was blessed to rant with Rebecca Scritchfield, anti-diet dietitian whose Washington Post article protesting against WW really helped to spur along the #WakeUpWeightWatchers campaign. Join us for an incredibly passionate and inspiring conversation about how strong and LOUD voices raised together can seriously change the world!
Rank #5: Diabetes
This week on All Fired Up! my guest is the incredible dietitian, diabetes expert & mindful eating pioneer Megrette Fletcher. She has had a GUTFUL of how diet culture is dumbing down diabetes, especially this idea that weight loss is the answer to everything! Don’t miss a fabulous deep dive into all things insulin resistant. Learn what diabetes really is, how gloriously complex it is, and how you can take a completely non-diet approach to looking after it! It really is possible to eat what you love and love what you eat with diabetes!
Rank #6: The Keto Diet
It’s the 50th episode of All Fired Up! and we are delving into the Keto Diet craze!! Join me and my fabulous guest Jessi Haggerty, RD and nutritionist, as we set the record straight on all of this ketosis nonsense. As Keto fever sweeps the planet, we really need to stick on our critical thinking hats. Just what is ketosis, and why is everyone trying to do it? Is it really the answer to life, the universe, and everything, or is it just another fad? (Spoiler alert: the answer begins with the letter F).
- Urgent call for action - In Sydney and Melbourne, the “Fast Track to Health” trial is about to kick off, and researchers are planning to subject adolescents to a starvation diet for an entire year. Please sign the petition to get this stopped!
- Jessi Haggerty, RD and nutritionist, has had a gutful of all of the ‘hot diets’ around in January. She has a special pet hate for the Whole 30, which she talked about on her podcast recently. The sister diet to the Whole 30 is the Keto diet! Keto is THE hot diet right now.
- Jessi wrote a great blog on this topic - a Dietitian’s take on the Keto diet - which is really awesome. Jessi’s intern did a lot of the writing and heavy lifting for this blog, so a shout out to her.
- The Keto diet has taken the low carb movement to the next level. It’s not like going low carb/high fat is new - we saw it in the 90’s with the Atkins diet. Well, the Keto diet is Atkins 2.0, but it’s even harsher than Atkins!
- Keto started as a medical solution for children with epilepsy. Paediatric dietitians help kids with epilepsy follow a very high fat, medium protein & very low carbohydrate diet. Dietitians typically recommend that 40-50% of our intake be carbohydrate based, on a keto diet this goes way down to about 5%. The primary reason for doing this for kids is seizure prevention. It is an extreme measure that is only used when the medications don’t work. Because doctors and parents know how difficult it is to stick to such an extreme diet. But this is a last ditch effort in a very difficult situation. And for these kids, the keto intervention only works about 50% of the time. The mechanism of why this type of intervention might work to reduce epileptic seizures is unclear.
- Somehow, this diet was adopted by the mainstream as a way to lose weight. Go figure!
- Some people talk about using Keto for disease management, but overwhelmingly people are using it as a weight loss/fat loss tool.
- Like any weight loss diet, keto has major downsides. Restriction like this is not fun for people, and can lead to disturbed eating patterns and even eating disorders. Metabolic disturbance is also a serious consequence of dieting.
- How on earth did this diet get so popular! It’s really big in gym culture in Australia - it’s just so popular.
- We just keep going for fewer and fewer carbs - what’s next!
- There is a difference between ketoacidosis and ketosis. Ketoacidosis can happen if you are diabetic and your blood sugars get very low. Ketosis is when your body doesn’t have enough sugar in your system to keep everything running efficiently, so your liver creates ketones to keep your body going. Ketones are your bodys’ ‘back up’ mechanism which makes sure you can survive, and find food again. Ketones are not your bodys preferred source of energy, they are a back up system to take care of you when you don’t have enough carbohydrates.
- ...And this is being sold as a ‘healthy diet’ for people!?
- We literally hear people bang on about ketosis as if it is a superior way of living.
- Just because our body can use alternative sources of fuel, doesn’t mean that we should or need to be aiming for it! You’re just putting stress on the body in the name of weight loss.
- What is the impact on the brain of starving it of glucose and carbohydrates? Brains love these!
- Jessi’s blog post brought the ire of people who have tried Keto and say that it has ‘worked for them’. Jessi challenges them - what do you mean by ‘worked’ - (it’s going to mean weight loss!).
- A lot of people told Jessi that it helped lower their blood sugar levels. Which if course will happen, because you’re not eating any carbohydrates!
- Fiona Willer talks about the concept of ‘metabolic austerity’, where when your body is really deprived of food, it isn’t even well enough to be sick…It doesn’t mean that the underlying health condition has improved, it’s just being suppressed.
- For every negative response to her blog, Jessi got 10 messages from people who said the Keto diet had major side effects - they couldn’t think clearly, couldn’t concentrate in classes etc. It chips away at you little by little.
- Of course, not being able to poo is a problem because not enough fibre! This is a big deal!
- People are voluntarily not pooing? No thanks!
- Plus, the bad breath thing. It’s a side effect of the ketones having that specific smell. Gross!
- Keto diets have become so popular in Australia, that in some rural and remote areas the pharmacies have sold out of urine strips, so people with actual health condition can’t monitor themselves. Because gym dudes want to check they’re in ketosis!
- To be so obsessed with wee and to forget all about poo, doesn’t seem right to me.
- This diet is so unsustainable. Getting and staying in ketosis is really difficult. A lot of people who are doing this are torturing themselves and not even getting into this ‘glorified state’. It’s a lot of work for very little benefit. We have no solid research that this diet is helpful at all, aside from the evidence for kids with epilepsy. We don’t even do this treatment for adults with epilepsy.
- The research is only short term. And we know from 70 years of weight research that weight loss is likely to be temporary only, and the impact on metabolism is quite scary potentially.
- Although Jessi wrote the blog a while ago, she is still getting comments! One comment said that Jessi is “drowning in carb-tard cognitive dissonance”! WTF!
- The Keto people are a bit us and them - what is a carb-tard! If they’re saying there is something wrong with people’s brains because they eat carbs - that’s the pot calling the kettle black!
- If this diet makes you feel restricted and you’re struggling, it’s probably not for you. If it works for you, that doesn’t mean that the entire body of science is wrong. If the majority of people aren’t doing well, that means something - go elsewhere! Selling this as if there is no risk is the real cognitive dissonance.
- Won’t it be nice when we can go back to the high carb fads again! There will always be a fad to talk about.
- Louise tells her story about being scammed out of $300 with a ‘keto ultra diet’ pill!
- There is a lot of privilege involved in selling ketosis. It’s paying a lot of money to starve yourself.
- If you are tempted to diet, take a step back and ask yourself - what is the problem I am trying to solve here? Is there even a problem? A lot of the time, nothing is wrong. And these weight loss ‘solutions’ create a whole world of problems. And take a close look at the science. And always go non diet!!!
Rank #7: Dissecting The Superfast Diet
This week I’m back with the fabulous Fiona Willer from Health Not Diets, and we are SEETHING over the launch of yet another terrible diet! Join us as we dissect the outrageous claims of the “Number 1 Superfast Diet,” which is quite literally promising the world to anyone who’ll listen. Diet culture media has lapped up the bulls**t, without bothering to dig underneath any of the glitter. Fear not as me & Fi have DUG BABY – and you won’t BELIEVE what we unearthed! Don’t miss this fabulous dismemberment of diet world duplicity!
Rank #8: Diet Culture Is An Abusive Relationship
My guest this week is the phenomenal Kerry Beake from HAES Health, anti-diet health coach, nutritionist and HAES warrior. After reading about the "signs of an abusive relationship" online, Kerry made the uncomfortable realisation that diet culture itself is an abusive relationship! In this incredible episode, Kerry & I discuss how the manipulative dynamics of an abusive relationship are utterly mirrored in diet culture. We give you the 9 signs to look out for, so that you can protect yourself not only from abusive people in your life, but from an abusive, oppressive culture that constantly tries to trick, deceive, bamboozle and love bomb you so that you're always plagued with self doubt and totally under its control. If you want to get your life back and stop being controlled, listen to this episode! Knowledge is power!
Rank #9: Reclaiming Your Body In Diet Culture
In this week’s episode of All Fired Up, I am honoured to rant with Tracy Brown, RD and somatic coach from Florida, USA. Tracy is fed up with diet culture and how it basically forces us to leave our bodies!! The physiological impact of diet culture is disembodiment, which is a huge barrier to compassionate self-care. When we listen to diet cultures’ ‘rules’ about what is an acceptable body, we swallow the idea that we can’t trust our bodies at all. Don’t miss this fascinating discussion about how utterly shitty it is to be taught this message, and hear some seriously awesome strategies to get back in and reclaim our glorious bodies! There is NOTHING wrong with our bodies, but something is SERIOUSLY wrong with diet culture!
Rank #10: Why Michelle Bridges Sucks: A Feminist Perspective
Michelle Bridges. Personal trainer on the Aussie version of The Biggest Loser, fervent cult leader of wildly popular online starvation program the 12WBT, and media darling of Aussie diet culture. We all know she sucks, but this week on All Fired Up! I speak to an incredible woman who has literally WRITTEN A BOOK ABOUT WHY SHE SUCKS! Author and feminist warrior Natalie Jovanovski hasn't just got mad - she got even. By dissecting EXACTLY what's wrong with the Bridges of this world, in her amazing book Natalie unpacks the way our food culture is spreading toxic messages of female oppression, and making women police themselves! This is a not to be missed episode!
Rank #11: Yoga is Not A Weight Loss Tool
This week I speak to Janet Lowndes, anti-diet psychologist and yoga teacher. I completely ruined her Zen by sending her an article titled "the best yoga poses for weight loss." But here's the thing: YOGA IS NOTHING TO DO WITH WEIGHT LOSS! Janet is FURIOUS to witness the oppressive, appearance obsessed diet industry muscling into the beautiful, peaceful world of yoga. As we discuss, yoga is about learning to live in union with yourself, right now, WITHOUT trying to change anything. Cheapening yoga by making it a weight loss method or a way of getting 'bikini ready' is literally antithetical to the entire wisdom. Tune in for an INCREDIBLE discussion about what yoga truly is, and how it can be used as the most powerful way to truly transform yourself - not by changing your body, but by becoming more connected to exactly who you are :}
Rank #12: Skinny Sugar
This week I get All Fired Up with Meg McClintock, dietitian from Choose Nutrition. Meg has had a gutful of her fellow dietitians uncritically promoting new food products which buy into problematic ideas about food. "Skinny Sugar" exemplifies everything that's wrong with how we're marketing food these days. Not only does "Skinny Sugar" exploit the fear we're being fed about sugar and its 'toxic' impact on our health, it also directly tells us that we should be feeling GUILTY about consuming sugar. Throw in a COMPLETELY sexist website, some utterly incorrect 'facts' about GI, and a dodgy corporate backstory, and we have the perfect recipe for diet culture!!
Rank #13: Well, Actually: The Mansplaining of Wellness
Wellness influencers are everywhere; our social media is littered with shiny haired, sparkly toothed, spray tanned gurus eager to sell us a 'better version' of ourselves. Wellness is just diet culture in organic recyclable wrapping, and my guest Virginia Sole-Smith, feminist author, has had ENOUGH already. Who is responsible for this epidemic of commercialised wellness? WELL, ACTUALLY, our cultural obsession was engineered by thin white men! That's right, back in the late 1990's a bunch of privileged white dudes created a whole new way of gaslighting women! No longer content with the simplistic demand for thinness, wellness culture has added extra layers of guilt - not only MUST we be thin, we must also care about the environment, never eat processed foods, recycle, and remain ZEN. It's exhausting, confusing, and we've had enough! Join us for an epic rant!
- My guest is the fierce and fabulous Virginia Sole-Smith, journalist and author of “The Eating Instinct: Food Culture, Body Image and Guilt in America”.
- Virginia is enormously cheesed off with privileged, thin white men who get off on telling us what to do with our bodies and how big/small we need to be.
- I found a brilliant article that Virginia had written entitled “Well, Actually...The thin white men who rebranded dieting as “wellness”” - and just HAD to talk to her more about this.
- There are a truckload of ‘mansplainers’ in the wellness space. And in her article, Virginia is tracing back the timeline of our current wellness saturation.
- Virginia points out that currently, wellness ‘influencers’ are often thin white women, and they cop a fair amount of criticism for their messaging - RIGHTLY SO - but when we look at where they’re getting this world view of wellness from, it does tend to go back to thin white men who really think they know how everybody should eat.
- Back in the 1980’s diet culture was heavily influenced by thin white men like Dr Atkins (Atkins Diet) and Dr Agatston who invented the South Beach Diet. We’ve had men telling us what to eat for decades!
- This trend dovetailed with women entering the workforce since the 1970’s. If we can keep women focused on our bodies, on trying to stay as small as possible, that saps a lot of energy when we could be out dominating the world.
- In the 1990’s Naomi Wolf wrote in The Beauty Myth that dieting is the most potent sedative in women’s history, it keeps us focused in a really narrow way and not participating in the world.
- We can trace this trend of the Thin White Men back even further, back to Kellogg, to Banting, to these thin white men who dominated and create the narrative of deprivation for us to follow.
- Even Jenny Craig launched her business with her husband Sid who was really the driver of the business model, while she was ‘the face’. This often happens - a woman is the front of house but a man is powering everything.
- Guys often take credit for their thinness when in reality they’re born on 3rd base - they have bodies that are genetically programmed to be a smaller size. Others are programmed differently, theirs just happens to fit a cultural ideal. It’s not really through anything they did, it’s just biology & genetics that set them up this way.
- The ‘bootstrapping’ mentality - if you have success, that’s definitely down to you, but concepts like adversity, hardship, oppression - none of that really applies to the Thin White Men.
- In the mid 2000’s, Thin White Guys got more subtle, and more overtly political than their diet peddling forefathers In the 1990’s and even early 2000’s, we knew when a diet was a diet. But when Thin White Men like Michael Pollan (In Defense of Food) and Michael Bittman (Vegan Before 6) came along, they talked about food with an environmental and political agenda, this whole other mission of reducing meat consumption and embracing organic farming. Concepts like this - having a more sustainable food supply, or eating more plant based foods, - are fine, and useful ideas, but the Thin White men turn these concepts into dogma, and take it into communities who just don’t have access to this way of living and to be honest have bigger problems to face than the quality of the food they’re eating, and say hey, you should eat like me and the “o*esity crisis’ will be solved.
- For many people, it’s hard to connect with organic farmers, but if it is framed in terms of the weight issue, this becomes something that really grabs people’s attention.
- This is where the groundwork for our modern concepts of wellness came from - now it’s not about dieting, now it’s about wellness and healthy eating and sustainability. Except it’s not, it’s still about weight!
- We’ve really lost the environmental agenda but we’ve still attached this morality to these food choices.
- This is where it gets really elitist and classist and racist, in addition to the misogyny that’s been there all along. I’m better than you because of how I eat.
- Louise admits that early on in her anti-diet career, Michael Pollan’s book was for sale in her practice! He was so convincing. It took her a while to recognise how elitist and snobby (and white) it was to tell people that a certain way of eating was morally superior to another, without taking consideration of the multiple layers of disadvantage and inequality people experience.
- Michael Pollan did one great thing - he called out the ‘fake’ diet foods (especially low fat yogurt, how gross) which were very unsatisfying for people. The problem was he replaced it with another diet and did not empower people to trust their bodies.
- Pollan never questioned the thin is good rhetoric, he even talks about his way of eating as a way to solve the ‘problem’ of larger bodies.
- Pollan’s second book, “The Rules of Food”, is like a women’s dieting magazine article, but it’s written by a man. Ewwwww.
- The mansplaining of wellness is not just an American Thin White Man thing. In the UK, Jamie Oliver also talks up the power of unprocessed foods as a way of solving the apparent ‘crisis’ of larger kids.
- At first, approaches like Oliver’s seemed exciting, and Louise had his cookbooks as well, it was fun to enjoy cooking again with lots of fresh foods. But as time progressed it seems that his message has increased in fervour, that the reason to eat like this is to change the problem of fat bodies.
- Jamie’s habit of lunch box shaming drives Virginia crazy, as kids don’t really have a lot of choice as to what’s in their lunch box. It’s particularly stigmatising to poorer and disadvantaged kids, which is evil!
- Here in Australia, the King of the Humans when it comes to Thin White Men mansplaining wellness is Pete Evans or ‘Paleo Pete’, a celebrity chef from Masterchef who owned a pizza restaurant and was normal until he discovered the Paleo diet, lost 300 grams, and became an absolute zealot. He’s gone really extreme, totally rogue, anti-fluoride, anti-vaccination etc.
- The amount of moralising and dressing up wellness as a disguise for thinness is really awful with Pete. It seems he is everywhere right now as well.
- It’s really dangerous the way people like this use flimsy arguments or bring up totally shit studies to support their extreme views. And we are vulnerable to these people and these messages.
- In her article Virginia writes that celebrity influencers like Gwyneth Paltrow have been ‘simultaneously inspiring and terrorising their audiences”, and this works well for Paleo Pete too. It’s 5% inspite and 95% terrify and gaslight, introducing this distrust in our bodies. Don’t trust yourself, you need to outsource everything to this guru or expert.
- This was the foundation for Virginia’s book The Eating Instinct, that as humans, we generally know when we are hungry, what we feel like eating, and when we are full. We can trust this.
- Virginia is a journalist, who used to be a ghost writer for celebrity “lifestyle’ books, and used to cover ‘wellness’ for women’s magazines - right in the thick of it! As a feminist it was really hard and Virginia struggled with the messages women were being given around food.
- For a long time, Virginia looked for the ‘right’ diet - one that would work. And Michal Pollan offered that, or so it looked, so for a long time Virginia was on that bandwagon.
- In 2013 when Virginia’s daughter Violet was born, everything changed. Violet was born with a congenital heart condition and she almost did. As a result of this, she stopped eating completely and was dependent on a feeding tube for the best part of 2 years.
- Virginia had done everything ‘right’ - really trying to look after her prenatal nutrition, exercise etc, and now her baby would not eat and no-one knew why.
- There are no experts, there are no plans here. There’s just me and this kid and we’ve got to figure this out!
- When Violet was too scared to eat, it really brought home the reality of food as a basic instinct. It’s not about finding the right ‘plan’, it’s about figuring out our own relationship with food.
- Virginia realised it wasn’t just about nutrition: food needed to provide comfort.
- In order to get Violet to eat, she needed to teach her that food was safe, comforting and pleasurable.
- In diet culture emotional eating is viewed as a ‘bad’ thing, when in fact this is what we’re programmed to do. Babies eat emotionally!
- The act of feeding a baby raises our oxytocin levels - the hormones associated with love, safety and comfort. And this is breast or bottlefeeding!
- Diet and wellness culture views eating as something to get ‘right’ nutritionally, and ignores all of these other important aspects of our relationship with food.
- Even in some non-diet spaces, there’s a message that if you learn the principles of mindful eating you’ll stop comfort or emotional eating.
- This is different to eating to numb difficult emotions - which we may call comfort eating, but it’s not really providing comfort, it’s more a habit of eating to escape or check out from difficult emotions. It’s more accurately described as ‘distress’ eating.
- At the heart of this kind of eating is restriction, and you can’t get away from this type of pattern unless you have full permission to eat.
- Once this sense of permission and safety is established, a beautiful self-regulation can appear, so you feel safe eating whatever you feel like, and you also know when you’ve had enough. That’s pretty radical, and something a lot of adults struggle with in diet culture!
- Many people who come to the non-diet approach arrive because they want to stop the binge or comfort eating. But establishing a safe foundation of food safety needs to happen first - not elimination of binge eating.
- When you start the process of permission and food safety, often you will eat more than you might be used to while everything is settling in. This can be scary for people, but it is necessary to keep embracing full permission, as it’s only when we feel truly safe that we can start to feel more in contact with physical signals.
- Going through the process of eating more is not pathological - you are healing from this deprivation induced trauma. It can take time & can be messy!
- In diet culture the restriction mindset is so dominant, particularly for women we are taught that we should always want less. It’s so difficult to eat, especially in public.
- This is this patriarchal message about food that we’ve really internalised.
- It’s a very radical thing to reject that, and to say I embrace my hunger, my appetite, my body, my right to take up space in the world.
- We’re fighting not just for ourselves, but for others, and for future generations.
- During Virginia’s experiences with Violet, she got to know a lot about paediatric feeding problems and how they are treated. In the USA, babies are treated at feeding centres, not eating disorder clinics.
- It’s behaviour therapy - kids are encouraged to push through their fears, and get rewards for eating a bite of food.
- Virginia was horrified - knowing that her daughter was going to grow up in diet culture, with so many messages already there to not listen to her body - and the programs would really strongly reinforce this.
- Virginia believed that Violet’s response to the trauma was logical, and that treatment needed to honour that.
- She researched & found out about the child lead model, a longer process but one which really allows the trauma to heal and for the child to re establish a sense of safety and comfort around food.
- The behavioural approach is quicker, it’s a kind of boot camp model. But for Virginia, it was like looking at dieting versus intuitive eating, and she wanted to do the intuitive model.
- Virginia began to realise that it is the loss of the eating instinct - the loss of knowing hunger, fullness, and a sense of safety and comfort - that underpins many eating struggles. So she wrote a book about it!
- The book has many stories of how people get disconnected from their instincts, and how this impacts their lives.
- Virginia’s experiences with Violet have really helped her with her second daughter, to navigate things like appetite fluctuation without panic.
- The feeding philosophy which underpins Virginia’s approach to Violet is called “The Division of Responsibility in Feeding” developed by Ellyn Satter, she’s been around for decades. This says that feeding is a relationship, that parents and kids have distinct roles. Parents are in charge of what, where and when to eat. Kids are in charge of how much to eat, and whether or not to eat everything on offer.
- With this model, food intake may not look ‘balanced’ at every meal, but over time, they tend to get everything they need.
- Also what appears is this ability to self regulate, for the kids to really know what they need, it’s so awesome.
- When you have kids who are intuitive eaters, things change all the time. And that’s ok. It’s about honouring the child’s instincts, not policing their nutrition intake.
- This is where the lunch box policing is not helpful! There are many other considerations than dietary quality.
- An awful news article came out recently comparing the lunch box contents of rich kids to poor kids, with the conclusion of look how much better the rich kids are eating…..tone deaf!
- It is a privilege to be able to think about dietary quality. It is ok to give your kids comfort food. And processed foods! Violet wouldn’t have learned how to get comfortable to eat without baby food pouches.
- Certainly, there’s something wonderful about improving our food supply. But we need to not shame people, and also to honour people’s individual relationships with food.
- Feeding kids is not easy! We need to honour the work parents are doing.
Virginia’s amazing piece for Bitch Media: “Well, actually…..”
More about Ellyn Satter & The Division of Responsibility model
The awful news article on school lunch boxes
Find out more about Viriginia Sole Smith
Rank #14: How One White Guy Created The Thin Ballerina Ideal
This week I speak with anti-diet dietitian Fumi Somehara, who is all fired up about the thin ideal and how it impacts on the world of ballet. Fumi is passionate about all things dance, and her perspective on how the thin ideal came to dominate the ballet world is fascinating. She talks about Ballanchine, a very famous choreographer from the mid 19th century, who had an obvious preference for very thin dancers. Ballanchine also happened to be brilliant, and wildly popular, so much so that his body preferences became the only acceptable body type in classical ballet. Join us for an absolutely fascinating chat about a whole range of ideas: about how ballet is traditionally not just sexist, but classist and racist, how a few brave females have pushed back against these systems of oppression within ballet world, and how Fumi thinks that maybe, just maybe, the world of dance might eventually force the outside world to embrace body diversity!
Rank #15: Self-Compassion Is Not A Diet
This week I chat with Dr Kiera Buchanan, anti-diet clinical and health psychologist, who is calming ME down as I am TOTALLY not ok with diet culture stealing the incredibly gentle and lovely practice of self-compassion and using as a frigging weight loss product! The rage is real as we chat about the horrendous concept of 'the self-compassion diet.' We discuss what self-compassion is actually all about - befriending yourself in difficult times - and how this skill is incredibly foundational to the non-diet approach, and to recovery from eating and weight concerns. Something that's meant to help CURE you from diet culture SHOULD NOT BE USED TO SELL YOU A SMALLER BODY!