Food Psych #204: Diet Culture and Masculinity with Aaron Flores

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Fellow anti-diet dietitian Aaron Flores returns to discuss unrealistic expectations placed on men and their bodies, why we need to “smash the weightriarchy,” the relationship between gym culture and diet culture, how pornography influences the way men learn about masculinity, tips for bringing your male loved ones into your process of diet-culture recovery, why providers need support to heal their own eating issues, and so much more. Plus, Christy answers a listener question about whether joining fitness competitions can ever be helpful in eating-disorder recovery.

Aaron Flores is a registered dietitian nutritionist based out of Los Angeles, California. With over 10 years of experience, Aaron has worked with eating disorders in a variety of settings. He currently works part-time at Center for Discovery and part-time in his private practice in Calabasas, CA. He is a Certified Body Trust® provider, and his main areas of focus are Intuitive Eating and Health at Every Size®. In his work, Aaron helps individuals learn how to make peace with food and develop body-positive behaviors. His work has been featured during Weight Stigma Awareness Week, in blogs for the National Eating Disorder Information Centre and National Eating Disorder Association. Aaron is a frequent speaker and has presented at the 2016 and 2017 Binge Eating Disorder Awareness Annual Conference, the 2018 and 2019 International Conference on Eating Disorders, the 2018 Association for Size Diversity and Health Conference, and the closing Keynote at the 2019 Multi-Service Eating Disorder Association Conference. Along with his work with eating disorders, he also is a co-host of the podcast, Dietitians Unplugged. Find him online at

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We Discuss:

  • How the Body Trust Certification program gave Aaron a sense of community with like-minded providers and supports his clinical practice with a social-justice lens 

  • The disconnect between the eating-disorder community and social-justice issues

  • Why eating-disorder treatment needs to address systemic issues 

  • Why providers need support to heal from their own issues, and how Aaron is helping provide that support to others

  • The contradiction of expecting eating-disorder specialists never to have their own struggles with food and body image

  • The difference between choosing to identify as “recovered” versus “in recovery”

  • How and why Aaron worked to help create a binge-eating-disorder program at Center for Discovery

  • How Aaron brings Body Trust® into his practice with men

  • Aaron’s theory on why most of the men he’s worked with happen to be cis men in larger bodies

  • The unique ways in which men experience fatphobia

  • How pornopgraphy influences the way men learn about masculinity

  • Unrealistic expectations placed on men and their bodies

  • Aaron’s tips for bringing your male loved ones into your process of diet-culture recovery

  • How diet culture targets men

  • The relationship between gym culture and diet culture

  • How diet-culture marketing uses science to manipulate people


Resources Mentioned

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Listener Question of the Week

How should you handle diet culture on pro-recovery social media accounts? Are these dieters doing it right? Are they still a part of diet culture? How can I tell if an account is truly pro-recovery and not promoting diet culture? Are the people that run these accounts as happy as they seem, or is there more than meets the eye? Is it possible to have a positive relationship with the fitness world and competition? How do you challenge your ideas about beauty when you see these accounts?

Resources Mentioned:

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