healthism

Food Psych #192: Why We Can’t Fight Weight Stigma While Also Advocating for Weight Loss with Jeffrey Hunger

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Social psychologist and weight-stigma researcher Jeffrey Hunger joins us to discuss why we can’t fight weight stigma while also advocating for weight loss, how “wellness” has been co-opted by diet culture (aka The Wellness Diet), why we need to do more than just tell people “diets don’t work,” the role of critical thinking in taking down diet culture, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to handle cravings for sugar and “processed” foods after a restrictive Wellness Diet.

Jeffrey Hunger, PhD, is currently a postdoctoral scholar in Health Psychology at UCLA and will be joining the Miami University as an assistant professor in Psychology this fall. He received his Bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Minnesota, Master’s degree in psychological research from CSU Fullerton, and PhD in Psychological and Brain Sciences from UC Santa Barbara. As a social and health psychologist, Dr. Hunger is interested in using insights from psychology to understand and ultimately improve the health of stigmatized groups, including heavier individuals, and racial and sexual minorities. Dr. Hunger’s research is published in top outlets across psychology, public health, and medicine, and has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, NPR, and more. To learn more about him and his work, please visit JeffreyHunger.com.

This episode is brought to you by Poshmark, the fun and simple way to buy and sell fashion (including many plus-sized options!) Get $5 off your first purchase when you sign up with the invite code FOODPSYCH.

We Discuss:

  • The classist dynamics of the “whole food” movement

  • The barriers for working class families to meet current “healthy eating” recommendations

  • How family meals can support a positive relationship with food

  • Diet culture and pressures to be thin within the gay community

  • What initially informed Jeffrey’s current perspectives on weight and health

  • Why we need to do more than just tell people “diets don’t work”

  • How the concept of wellness has been co-opted to mean weight loss

  • Why so many people are attracted to The Wellness Diet

  • Mindfulness practice as an analogy for adopting intuitive eating

  • Stereotype threat, and how it connects to weight stigma

  • How diet culture and weight stigma show up even in weight stigma research

  • Why you can’t truly be anti-weight-stigma while advocating for weight loss

  • The evolution of Jeffrey’s framing of his own work

  • How intentional weight loss is like gay conversion therapy, and why both are harmful

  • Why the framing of weight is important outside of research (i.e. public policy)

  • How everyone deserves dignity and respect

  • How diet culture promotes the moralization of weight and body size

  • Why a multi-pronged approach is necessary to tackle weight stigma

  • Representation, and how it can help fight stigma

  • Why it’s important to name diet culture vs. diets/dieting

  • How Jeffrey and Christy are working to reject diet culture

  • Why you don’t need to be “perfect” to take down diet culture

  • Critical thinking, and its role in toppling the hierarchy of diet culture

  • Health vs. healthism

  • Weight Stigma Conference, and the interdisciplinary nature of the weight stigma field

 

Resources Mentioned

Some of the links below are affiliate links. Affiliates or not, we only recommend products and services that align with our values.

Listener Question of the Week

How can a person trust their intuition when it keeps on craving sugar and “processed foods?” What are some popular phrases and ideas that are espoused by The Wellness Diet? Why is it normal to crave sugar, carbohydrates, and energy-dense foods after a period of restriction? What does “balanced eating” really mean, or look like? What is the “restriction pendulum,” and how is it related to the “honeymoon phase?” What does an intuitive relationship with food look like? How can a vegan diet get in the way of eating-disorder recovery? What are some ways to contribute to animal welfare causes without following a vegan diet?

Resources Mentioned:

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Food Psych #189: False Pictures of Health with Tiffany Roe

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Mental-health counselor and fellow podcaster Tiffany Roe joins us to discuss how diet culture paints false pictures of what health and eating disorders “look like”; the connections between religion, shame, diet culture, and eating-disorder recovery; why we need to fight fatphobia in the eating-disorder-treatment field; the importance of learning to sit with feelings of distress and discomfort; why even therapists have internalized stigma about mental illness and treatment, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how navigating emotional eating fits into the intuitive eating process.

Tiffany Roe is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor, psychology teacher, speaker, podcast host, & the owner of Mindful Counseling in Orem, Utah. She passionately helps her clients remember they are enough. Tiffany has focused her career on treatment for women navigating disordered eating, poor body image, poor relationships with themselves and food, anxiety, life transitions, and low self-worth. Tiffany personally survived an eating disorder and has been fully recovered for over 12 years. She passionately works to dismantle diet culture and feels called to work with women and to help them find their true purpose and self-worth. Tiffany believes you can love yourself, your mind, your body, and your relationship with food.

She attended Argosy University where she graduated with honors and received her Master of Arts degree in Mental Health Counseling in 2011. She received her Bachelor degree in Sociology from Brigham Young University in 2008. Tiffany is an award-winning teacher & speaker. She taught psychology courses in the Behavioral Sciences Department for Utah Valley University from 2012-2017. Tiffany regularly speaks for community events, workshops, and retreats. She wants to change the mental health game and make therapy accessible and cool. Find her online at TiffanyRoe.com.

This episode is brought to you by Ori, a new clothing brand that makes cute, comfortable, and modern pieces specifically designed to fit larger bodies. Head over to WearOri.com/Psych for an exclusive 15% discount for Food Psych® listeners.

This episode is also brought to you today by Katie Dalebout’s let [a podcast] out course. If you’ve ever wanted to start a podcast, this workshop, which features interviews with over 100 podcasters (including Christy,) will help you learn the ins-and-outs of podcasting, so that you can focus on crafting your own unique content. To learn more and sign up, visit LetAPodcastOut.club, and use promo code FOODPSYCH for $25 off at checkout. Sign up before March 21, 2019 to receive an additional $75 off the course.

We Discuss:

  • How growing up in a large family steeped in diet culture affected her relationship with food and with her body

  • The factors that led to her eating disorder

  • How disordered eating is often normalized or ignored because of stereotypes of what eating disorders “look like”

  • Why people who are diet culture’s “picture of health” are often secretly struggling

  • How moving to another country as a Mormon missionary exacerbated her eating disorder

  • How recovery changed her relationship with her faith and identity

  • The connections between shame, religion, and diet culture

  • Post-traumatic growth

  • Intuitive eating, and its role in eating-disorder recovery

  • What inspired Tiffany and Christy to work with eating disorders

  • Why we need to fight fatphobia in eating-disorder treatment and dietetic training

  • The importance of recognizing our own biases

  • Being open to being called out/in and educated

  • Why it’s essential for helping professionals to be aware of social justice and systems of oppression

  • Healthism in healthcare institutions

  • Sitting with our shame and discomfort in growth and recovery

  • Mental-health stigma amongst therapists

  • Tiffany’s work to break down the stigma around mental illness and treatment

  • Vulnerability, and arriving at a place where it feels safe to share personal information and experiences

  • Trust in eating-disorder recovery and intuitive eating

  • Tiffany’s podcast, Therapy Thoughts

 

Resources Mentioned

Some of the links below are affiliate links. Affiliates or not, we only recommend products and services that align with our values.

  • Be Nourished, and Food Psych® episodes with co-founders Dana Sturtevant and Hilary Kinavey

  • Therapy Thoughts podcast

  • Tiffany’s website, counseling practice, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

  • This episode is brought to you by Ori, a new clothing brand that makes cute, comfortable, and modern pieces specifically designed to fit larger bodies. Head over to WearOri.com/Psych for an exclusive 15% discount for Food Psych® listeners.

  • This episode is also brought to you today by Katie Dalebout’s let [a podcast] out course. If you’ve ever wanted to start a podcast, this workshop, which features interviews with over 100 podcasters (including Christy,) will help you learn the ins-and-outs of podcasting, so that you can focus on crafting your own unique content. To learn more and sign up, visit LetAPodcastOut.club, and use promo code FOODPSYCH for $25 off at checkout. Sign up before March 21, 2019 to receive an additional $75 off the course.

     

Listener Question of the Week

Given that emotional eating is normal, does the intuitive eating principle “Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food” still apply? What truly drives what we call “emotional eating?” Is it possible to turn to food for comfort without a background of dieting or deprivation? Why is simply replacing emotional eating with other coping mechanisms usually not effective? What are the first steps that a person take to recover from disordered eating? What are some coping mechanisms that a person can use in addition to emotional eating? What are some ways to reframe the idea of emotional eating?

(Resources Mentioned:

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Food Psych #183: How The Wellness Diet Harms Your Health with Katherine Zavodni

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Eating-disorders dietitian Katherine Zavodni shares her own experience with chronic illness and The Wellness Diet, how it ultimately led her to embrace a Health At Every Size® approach in her work, why the popular narrative of personal responsibility in diet and wellness culture is harmful, what to do when others are stuck in diet mentality, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to stop obsessing over getting “enough” exercise.

Katherine Zavodni is a registered dietitian in private practice in Salt Lake City, UT. She is a certified eating-disorders dietitian and specializes in child and family feeding concerns, intuitive eating and Health At Every Size in addition to nutrition therapy for disordered eating. She is passionate about non-diet work and particularly about a non-diet approach to school nutrition education, and is working on developing a curriculum to teach food and nutrition within a positive, age-appropriate framework. Find her online at KZNutrition.com.

This episode is brought to you by Poshmark, the fun and simple way to buy and sell fashion (including many plus-sized options!) Get $5 off your first purchase when you sign up with the invite code FOODPSYCH.

We Discuss:

  • How going through puberty earlier than her peers affected Katherine’s relationship with her body growing up

  • Fatphobic messaging in children’s media

  • Chronic illness, medications, and how they can affect weight

  • How diets often get the “credit” for weight loss outcomes, despite many confounding factors

  • What motivated Katherine to embrace a Health At Every Size, non-diet approach to her work

  • Why the popular narrative of personal responsibility in health and wellness is actually causing harm

  • The multiple therapies that Katherine tried to manage her chronic inflammatory condition

  • The lack of evidence behind applied kinesiology

  • Why it’s common to blame ourselves when diets and treatments don’t work

  • Elimination diets, and how they’re ineffective or harmful for most people

  • Shame within diet and wellness culture

  • The pressure on people with chronic illness to find a therapy that “works”

  • How the internet has accelerated the spread of The Wellness Diet

  • The similarities and connections between diet culture and wellness culture

  • How health and wellness messaging often comes from people with privilege

  • Katherine’s work in eating-disorder recovery

  • Taking off the “expert hat” as a helping professional

  • Why it’s important to respect body autonomy even when others are dieting

  • Being conscious of your influence on others, particularly for helping professionals

  • Turning inward instead of looking outside in regards to self-care

  • Intuitive eating, and how it often gets turned into another diet

 

Resources Mentioned

Some of the links below are affiliate links. Affiliates or not, we only recommend products and services that align with our values.

Listener Question of the Week

How can a person stop obsessing over getting “enough” exercise, or making weight loss the main motivator? What are some of the ways that diet culture influences our relationship with exercise? What are some of the consequences of both systemic and internalized fatphobia? How can we become more conscious of our motivations for movement? How can our relationship with movement affect our relationship with food?

(Resources Mentioned:

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Food Psych #177: Intuitive Eating, Chronic Illness, and Breaking Free from The Wellness Diet with Linda Tucker

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Health At Every Size® health coach and certified intuitive eating counselor Linda Tucker joins us to discuss how dieting causes health problems even while purporting to solve them, how diet culture and its new guise as the Wellness Diet twist the definition of self-care and health, how intuitive eating can help with managing a chronic illness, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to handle the feeling that things were just *easier* in a smaller body.

Linda is a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor who incorporates Health at Every Size, body liberation, and intuitive living into her private coaching practice. Linda works through a truly holistic lens, meaning that ALL aspects of someones lived experience are examined. She has her own history of disordered eating and chronic illness and wants to raise awareness and release shame around both. Find her online at LindaTuckerCoaching.com.

Registration for my Master Your Anti-Diet Message course is open for a few more days! If you’re a fellow Health At Every Size practitioner who would like to learn how to refine your marketing messages so that they are aligned with HAES philosophy, sign up at christyharrison.com/message.

This episode is brought to you by Poshmark, the fun and simple way to buy and sell fashion (including many plus-sized options!) Get $5 off your first purchase when you sign up with the invite code FOODPSYCH.

We Discuss:

  • The different factors that affected Linda’s relationship with food and her body growing up

  • Scarcity mentality, and how it played into her relationship with food

  • Struggling with body image despite having lots of privilege

  • Men and dieting

  • How fatphobia shows up in people with thin privilege

  • The toxicity of complimenting weight loss

  • Linda’s experience with diet pills and their side effects

  • Her personal journey with dieting, weight loss, and “wellness”

  • The tendency to give dieting the credit for weight loss and deny the harm that it can cause

  • Clean eating, and how it worsened her health and triggered or exacerbated chronic illness

  • Having compassion for people who are stuck in diet mentality

  • How diet culture and The Wellness Diet twist the definition of self-care and push us to blame ourselves for poor health

  • Isolation, and how it can make us susceptible to perfectionism and performing

  • Social media, and how it can perpetuate disordered thoughts and behaviors

  • Praising productivity, and how that can be problematic

  • What inspired Linda to start doing the work that she does today

  • How we sometimes use health and wellness goals to hide our true desire to lose weight

  • Diving into the meaning behind our wellness and weight goals

  • The contradictory messages from popular diet programs

  • Why intuitive eating alone isn’t enough for full recovery

  • Using the principles of intuitive eating, HAES®, and body liberation together

  • How Linda’s health concerns helped to solidify her belief in body liberation

  • Ableism, and its damaging messaging

  • The intersection of body liberation and chronic illness

  • The healing qualities of holding space versus offering solutions

  • How she uses self-care to manage her chronic health conditions

  • How our digestive system can carry a lot of tension

  • Why it’s important to oppose healthism

  • Acceptance and letting go, and how they can improve health

  • Being our “own client” first

 

Resources Mentioned

Some of the links below are affiliate links. Affiliates or not, we only recommend products and services that align with our values.

  • This episode is brought to you by Poshmark, the fun and simple way to buy and sell fashion (including many plus-sized options!) Get $5 off your first purchase when you sign up with the invite code FOODPSYCH.

Listener Question of the Week

What if being in a smaller body was easier? How can a person reconcile the freedom of intuitive eating with mourning a thinner body? Any advice to make peace with my body and its limitations today? Can changes in body size be seen as neutral? Can we manage the changes associated with weight gain without losing weight? How do diet culture and weight stigma make it difficult to live in a larger body? How can we harness our anger in mourning a smaller body? What are some ways to help reframe the discomfort that is associated with a larger body, and practice self-care and self-compassion?

(Resources Mentioned: Food Psych® episodes #113 with Sonya Renée Taylor, #119 with Ragen Chastain, and #62)

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Food Psych #169: The Truth About Fitness Culture and "Clean Eating" with Christine Yoshida

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Mental health counselor and Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor Christine Yoshida joins us to discuss how fitness culture affected her relationship with food, how she broke free and restored her relationship with her body, why diet mentality and “clean eating” can make health problems worse, how young children can be influenced by diet culture, using empathy and connection to spread the anti-diet message, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how to handle black-and-white thinking in eating-disorder recovery.

Christine Yoshida, MS, NCC, maintains a private counseling practice in Vancouver, Washington (north of Portland, Oregon). Christine is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, NASM certified personal trainer, and she is also currently in the process of completing a program to obtain her Eating Disorder Certificate. Her practice focuses on assisting teens and adults dealing with eating disorders and disordered eating. She is a practitioner and advocate of Intuitive Eating, Body Respect, and Health at Every Size.

While Christine loves working with and helping young children in a school setting (she has been an elementary counselor since 2007) she has an unwavering passion for helping all people struggling with body insecurity, poor relationships with food, eating disorders, chronic dieting, and over-exercising. Christine strives to help her clients overcome and unlearn the harmful messages and artificial standards created by the diet and fitness culture.

Away from work, Christine lives in Portland with her husband and two cute but troublemaking young children, Lucy and Matthew! Find her online at ChristineYoshida.com.

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If you’re a smoker who is trying to quit, get the support you need through a unique, three-pronged approach with a Zero Quit Kit. Save $50 on your first month by visiting QuitWithZero.com/FoodPsych.

We Discuss:

  • Growing up with access to enough food even in poverty

  • How having privilege shielded Christine from many diet culture messages, and helped her to have an intuitive relationship with food as a child and adolescent

  • How fitness culture affected her relationship with food and her body

  • Going on her first diet, and how it quickly spiraled into disordered eating

  • Having health concerns dismissed or misdiagnosed due to being in a “normal weight range”

  • Wellness culture, and how even health providers can take advantage of genuine health concerns and feed into the diet mentality

  • “Clean eating,” and how it can actually trigger health problems

  • Remembering that healthcare providers are people too, and can be struggling with diet culture themselves

  • The prevalence of digestive issues in people with disordered eating

  • How we’re rarely taught to trust our intuition and inner wisdom throughout our lives

  • How dieting lures us by making us feel temporarily powerful and accomplished

  • Becoming pregnant, and how that helped Christine become more intuitive with her eating

  • The various forms of diets in disguise within fitness culture

  • Seeing the harms of a weight-centric model through her clients, and working to create a career and life that’s better aligned with her values

  • Having self-compassion for having worked within diet culture in the past, and also having compassion for people who are still in it

  • Learning about intuitive eating and Health At Every Size® for the first time

  • Why getting support can be important in integrating the concepts of intuitive eating into your life

  • How intuitive eating becomes easier over time

  • How diet mentality can be passed on to young children by parents and teachers

  • Fighting against diet culture messaging in subtle ways

  • Using empathy and connection to spread the anti-diet message

  • Christine’s private practice, and how that is different from her work as a school counselor

 

Resources Mentioned

Some of the links below are affiliate links. Affiliates or not, we only recommend products and services that align with our values.

  • Submit your questions for a chance to have them answered on the podcast!

  • My online course, Intuitive Eating Fundamentals, which includes monthly listener Q&A podcasts and access to my private Facebook support group

  • Health At Every Size, by Linda Bacon, and their Food Psych Podcast episode

  • Intuitive Eating, 3rd Ed., by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, and their Food Psych Podcast episodes (Evelyn’s episode, and Elyse’s episode)

  • Julie Bowman’s work

  • Katharine Jeffcoat’s work

  • Elizabeth Scott’s Food Psych Podcast episode

  • Hilary Kinavey’s work through Be Nourished, and her Food Psych Podcast episode

  • Christine on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

  • Save money with Paribus! Paribus monitors online retailers to make sure that you get the best price, and will even help you get compensated if your shipment arrives late. Head to GetParibus.com to sign up.

  • If you’re a smoker who is trying to quit, get the support you need through a unique, three-pronged approach with a Zero Quit Kit. Save $50 on your first month by visiting QuitWithZero.com/FoodPsych.

     

Listener Question of the Week

How do we handle black-and-white thinking in eating-disorder recovery? Can all-or-nothing thinking be a good thing? How are disordered eating, diet culture, and black-and-white thinking linked? What are some helpful first steps when someone is ready for eating-disorder recovery? Why might researching eating disorders be unhelpful in the early stages of recovery? What are some resources that can be helpful for recovery, and how do we know when we’ve found them? Do the anti-diet and Health At Every Size® communities engage in black-and-white thinking around weight stigma?

(Resources Mentioned: Health At Every Size® Community, Certified Intuitive Eating Counselors directory)

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Food Psych #166: How to Resist Diet Culture & Build Community with Lilia Graue

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Eating-disorders specialist and Certified Body Trust® Provider Dr. Lilia Graue joins us to discuss letting go of perfectionism, the importance of community in body acceptance and overcoming shame, diet culture as a form of trauma, why working toward societal change is just as important as individual recovery, and so much more! Plus, Christy answers a listener question about how the Health At Every Size® framework addresses the notion of an “obesity epidemic.” 

Lilia Graue, MD, LMFT, is an eating disorders specialist and clinical supervisor; mindfulness, compassion and mindful eating instructor; and Certified Body Trust® Provider. With 18 years of clinical experience, she is intimately familiar with bodies and minds and our healing processes, and how we relate to, nourish and take care of ourselves and our bodies in ways that bring us closer to wholeness, radical presence, fierce embodiment and joy.

Lilia practices at the intersection of different healing modalities, centering lived experience and the body as a source of knowing. Her own life experiences with developmental and complex trauma, depression, anxiety, chronic pain, and a healing journey through psychotherapy and mind-body practices, have shaped her approach. Her practice is trauma informed, and rooted in intersectional feminism. She is Mexican and provides services in both English and Spanish.

Lilia loves working with providers navigating the challenges of advocating bravely for body liberation, embodiment and freedom from performative health who wish to cultivate and honor boundaries that allow for their self-care and replenishing empathy and compassion. 
Lilia is an avid amateur cook, baker, and foodie. She and her partner share their home with their beloved cats, Thomas and Ziggy. Find her online at fiercelyembodied.com.

This episode is brought to you by Casper. Get $50 toward select mattresses by visiting casper.com/foodpsych and using the code FOODPSYCH at checkout.

This episode is also brought to you by TomboyX. Go to tomboyx.com/foodpsych and check out their special bundles and pack pricing. Food Psych listeners will also get an extra 15% off with the code FOODPSYCH!

You can also get my Master Your Anti-Diet Message course in Spanish thanks to today’s guest, Lilia Graue! Just go to christyharrison.com/spanish to learn more and sign up.

 

We Discuss:

  • Lilia’s complex relationship with food as a child

  • Growing up with, and eating around, family members that had mental health concerns

  • How being a competitive swimmer while going through puberty affected her relationship with food and with her body

  • The interrelationship between depression and disordered eating

  • Fatphobia and healthism in the medical field

  • How performative health can actually push people into a disordered relationship with food and body

  • The role of privilege in intuitive eating and recovery

  • Being more connected to food through eating and cooking with our hands

  • Sensory issues, and how they can affect a person’s eating preferences and relationship with food

  • Incorporating gentle nutrition without falling back into the diet mentality

  • Yoga, meditation, and mindful eating

  • Attuning to our body’s own needs instead of trying to be “normal”

  • Learning from our mistakes in our intuitive eating practice

  • The role of trauma in our relationship with food

  • Diet culture as a form of trauma

  • Why intuitive eating and mindful eating are about more than our relationship with food

  • How our societal ideals are causing harm to non-conforming bodies

  • The importance of community in body acceptance and overcoming shame

  • White supremacy and the mythic norm

  • Why it’s typical for people with a history of trauma to become caretakers

  • Connection through embodiment and vulnerability

  • Moving past black-and-white terms in eating disorder recovery

  • Living with and resisting diet culture at the same time

  • Finding community in your recovery journey

  • The difficulty of translating concepts across cultures, and the need for local communities within different cultures

  • How diet culture has co-opted mindful eating

  • Why we need to work toward societal change along with individual recovery

  • Lilia’s current projects as a medical provider and mindful eating teacher

 

Resources Mentioned

Some of the links below are affiliate links. Affiliates or not, we only recommend products and services that align with our values.

Listener Question of the Week

How does Health At Every Size® fit in with research that shows that we are becoming heavier as a population? Is HAES® concerned with “obesity” prevention? If HAES views that there is nothing wrong with being in a larger body, and that there is no effective way to lose weight, does it matter what causes some bodies to be larger than others? How can “obesity” prevention potentially be harmful? What other changes have happened at the same time as our population increasing in weight? What are some resources where I can continue to learn about HAES?

(Resources Mentioned: Misclassification of cardiometabolic health when using body mass index categories in NHANES 2005-2012, Perceived Weight Discrimination and 10-Year Risk of Allostatic Load Among US Adults, Weight Science: Evaluating the Evidence for a Paradigm Shift, What’s Wrong with Fat? by Abigail Saguy, Medicare’s Search for Effective Obesity Treatments: Diets Are Not the Answer)

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