Food Psych #109: Body Acceptance and Disability with Anna Sweeney

Anna Sweeney

Fellow Health at Every Size RD Anna Sweeney shares how having a disability has affected her relationship with food and her body, how she's come to terms with the identity of being a disabled person, why anti-diet work is about social justice and equality for *all* bodies (not just those that are considered socially acceptable), why having a loved one with an eating disorder can bring up conflicting emotions, how diet culture permeates mainstream healthcare including eating disorder treatment, and lots more. PLUS, Christy answers a listener question about the early stages of intuitive eating!

Anna Sweeney, MS, RD, LDN, CEDRD is a Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian, who provides nutrition care using a non-diet, Intuitive Eating, and Health at Every Size paradigm. Anna is an expert in providing care for individuals struggling with eating disorders, disordered eating, and body image concerns. Over the last decade, she has served in a supervisory role at multiple eating disorder treatment centers, and currently holds the position of National Director of Nutrition Services for Monte Nido.

Anna is also the owner of Whole Life Nutrition Counseling in Concord, MA, where she works exclusively with clients with eating disorders, disordered eating, or an interest in intuitive eating. Anna is passionate about nutrition, balance and wellness and works to empower her clients to trust their own body wisdom. Find her online at


We discuss:

  • How you can submit your questions for inclusion in the podcast, and today’s question from a listener named Gracie

  • Anna’s intuitive relationship with food growing up

  • The difficult transition of moving from the Midwest to the East Coast

  • Why the transition into puberty causes so much angst about weight and food

  • Anna's journey of getting diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), and how it changed her relationships and feelings about herself and her body

  • Anna’s introduction to nutrition and her interest in eating disorders

  • The limitations of traditional dietetics training on eating disorders and body image issues

  • Why most dietitians start out as part of diet culture

  • Opportunities to do a different type of nutritional counseling

  • Why unlearning is more important than learning when it comes to relating to food

  • Anna's experiment of following a particular diet to treat her MS, and how it affected her relationship with food

  • Why the field of eating disorders needs to do a better job of acknowledging disability and including all bodies 

  • Anna's decision to embrace her identity as a disabled person and speak publicly about disability rights

  • How you can find Anna’s survey for body image and eating disorder treatment professionals


Resources Mentioned

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