When “public health” loses the plot

Content note: dieting, weight loss surgery, fat-phobic healthcare ———————————– A colleague just shared the following tweet from the International Critical Dietetics conference with me: She noted: So it would seem. This is not the first time I’ve come across this very skewed view of what is important in health, and in life. I wrote about…

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Why do heavier children do worse at school? It’s not about their abilities

  Negative stereotypes towards heavier individuals starts to affect long-term life opportunities from a young age. A number of studies in recent years have suggested that bigger children fare less well in school than their slimmer peers. The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children followed nearly 6,000 children in the south-west of England and…

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Enjoy your HAES while it lasts (or is metabolically healthy obesity a myth?)

Yet another study was published this week that challenged the concept of ‘metabolically healthy obesity’. MHO is a phenomenon that has been recognised for over a decade now, with more and more studies coming out that suggest not all fat people are unhealthy. How many exactly varies with study, but a 2011 review found that…

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Do rich people really get more diabetes?

A couple of weeks ago, the American Diabetes Association had their annual conference. A bunch of news reports found their way into my inbox and left me chomping at the bit with stuff I wanted to rant about. This one is about two large epidemiological studies in Canada, both showing that highly walkable neighbourhoods are…

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It’s worse than we thought: new weight stigma study

Content note: Discussion of weight stigma experiences and use of medicalised term ‘obesity’ and BMI categorisation. A number of scientific studies have shown that weight stigma is prevalent and on the rise, affecting just about every facet of daily life.  More recently, numerous studies (including my own) have used a questionnaire called the Stigmatising Situations Inventory…

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Why hating us is bad for you too

Content note: Discussion of stigma and discrimination against fat people and other targeted groups. We all know that being a member of a stigmatised group is incredibly stressful. Not just the major, overt things, like people throwing stuff at you when you’re out exercising, or not being hired for a job because of your size.…

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Breakfast, weight-loss and crappy science

Content note: (1) irony – could be considered offensive – isn’t intended that way; (2) weight loss dieting. I’m not sure how we got onto the topic, but a few days ago, a group of us were talking about people who try to stow away in the wheel wells of airplanes, usually with tragic results.…

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What goes down, must come up: yo-yo dieting and your health

Content note: talk of dieting, yo-yo dieting, fat shaming, and use of the medicalised terms ‘overweight’ and ‘obesity’ throughout. I think blog-worthy material is like buses. You wait absolutely ages and then three come along at once. All of a sudden today there are so many things that have happened that I want to write…

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Are you ready for a fight?

Yesterday was the 2nd Annual International Weight Stigma Conference, this year held at the University of Kent, Canterbury. It was an amazing day and people came from all over the world. I want to thank everybody who was involved in helping put the event together, and to all those of you who sent me good…

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Blame and responsibility: the chicken or the egg?

At the beginning of this week, I took part in a Twitter chat about weight stigma. I mentioned in my previous blog post about it that I spent a lot of time expounding the view that it matters not a whit whether people are fat through their own ‘fault’ or ‘weakness’ or ‘poor character’ or…

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