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Should We Focus on a Women’s Weight During Pregnancy?

As any woman who has ever been pregnant knows, there is an intense focus on weight throughout pregnancy. From the first visit with your OB when you step on the scale and are given a prescription for how much weight to gain, all the way through the postpartum period when your body is scrutinized for …

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The Hidden Faces of Eating Disorders

What is the face of an eating disorder? Often, we envision a young thin white woman. However, research indicates that people at higher weights—fat people—are at increased risk for eating disorders. And their symptoms typically go unnoticed. A recent study (Lipson & Sonneville, 2017) examined 9713 students from 12 different colleges and found that body …

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No More Diets… and Other AAP Recommendations

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has just released new guidelines for the prevention of obesity and eating disorders in adolescents. These guidelines are a departure from the previous 2007 weight-focused guidelines, which encouraged physicians to use the term “obese” (despite awareness of increased stigmatization) and suggested interventions including commercial weight loss programs, weight loss …

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Has Obesity Prevention Led to a New Epidemic?

We have spent the last 20 years fighting a war against obesity. While we are still searching for a “cure” to obesity, we have witnessed the rise of a different epidemic: widespread body dissatisfaction and disordered eating. It is estimated that 1/2 of all teenage girls and 1/4 of all teenage boys are dissatisfied with …

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Step Away From the Scale (And Never Get Back On)

Scales are ubiquitous in American households. They are expected objects in a bathroom landscape. Few people think twice when they happen upon one. You may even have one in your own bathroom. However, when we actually step onto the scale, this innocuous-looking object becomes something far more sinister. In our culture, where thinner is always …

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Is My Doctor Fat Phobic?

Just like the rest of Americans, healthcare providers carry weight biases. That means that your physician, nurse, dietician, psychologist, and fitness professional may hold discriminatory attitudes about fat people. Studies consistently document weight bias in healthcare providers, including the tendency to view obese* patients as lazy, lacking in self-control, undisciplined, and noncompliant with treatment. Furthermore, …

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Is Your Self Worth Up for Sale?

Over the past few months, we have been interviewing experts on the topics of fat shame and body acceptance. Throughout these interviews there has been another topic that has come up again and again. That topic is industry–the food and diet industries to be exact. In our interview with fat shame expert Amy Farrell, she …

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Diabulimia

When we think of diabetes, eating disorders are not usually the first associations to pop into mind. However, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) estimates that eating disorders are three times more common in people with diabetes than without. Have you heard of diabulimia? Although clinicians have documented accounts of diabulimia for the past …

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Meditate Your Way to Better Sex

As Valentine’s Day approaches–along with the much anticipated release of the steamy 50 Shades of Grey film– sex is on the forefront of our cultural psyche. What is the magic to having better sex? We try exotic herbs, provocative lingerie, expensive meals out, and even prescription medications in our quest for a rocking sex life. …

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Why NOT to diet in 2015

As we countdown the final moments of 2014, millions of people will think not of the wonderful accomplishments of the past year, but of the improvements they hope to make in the year to come. Rather than gratitude and appreciation for all that we have, we see the New Year as a time to “start …

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Strong is the New Skinny

Has fitness become the new face of eating disorders? I was at the gym the other week when I noticed one of the trainers wearing a shirt stating, “Strong is the New Skinny.” The trainer seemed to wear the shirt as a message of empowerment, but I read it with fear. Has strong become the …

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Eating Disorders in Boys and Young Men: The Importance of Muscularity

It is widely believed that eating disorders primarily affect young women. Most research in eating disorders is conducted with female participants and most interventions are developed with women in mind. Even most professionals who specialize in the treatment of eating disorders are women. Women are far more likely to be diagnosed with anorexia nervosa or …

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Pickles and Ice Cream!

Food cravings are common, especially for women during pregnancy. It is estimated that 50-90% of women in the U.S. experience cravings for specific foods during pregnancy. In the U.S., chocolate is the most commonly craved food and women are twice as likely to crave chocolate as men. Despite the ubiquity of food cravings during pregnancy, …

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100% Consumer

How the diet industry looks at you. We may define ourselves by our profession: teacher, banker, physician, filmmaker, chef, nutritionist, psychologist, mother, or father. We may define ourselves by the things we love to do: cyclist, yogi, dancer, friend, pet enthusiast, or singer. But regardless of how we see ourselves, industry has a singular definition …

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Interview with Shayne Figueroa

In the second post of our Fat Shame series, Kim Buesser talks with doctoral food studies student Shayne Figueroa, who is fascinated by the post-war era in the US and its affects on American culture. Below is a transcript of Kim’s interview with Shayne Figueroa. Interested in reading more about Shayne, food culture in the …

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Is Fat the New F-Word?

Speaking the unspeakable about our bodies. I recently received a concerned call from a colleague: “Some people were offended by your most recent email,” she delicately told me, referring to an email that I had posted to a listserv that I participate in. Yikes, I thought to myself, urgently checking through my sent mail to …

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Fat Shame

Lose 1-2 pounds per day! Burn fat fast! Unwanted love handles? Cleanse them away! We are constantly bombarded with media telling us that we must rid ourselves of fat. We can burn it off, shake it off, starve it off—if only we have the proper willpower and motivation. In our culture, fat has become synonymous …

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Fat Shame: Interview with Dr. Amy Farrell

In the first post of our Fat Shame series, Kim Buesser talks with Dr. Amy Farrell, a professor of American Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania and author of Fat Shame, a book which demystifies fat stigma in America by following its history across the globe. Below is a transcript of Kim’s conversation with …

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The Ironic Effects of Weight Stigma

Does stigmatizing obesity lead to weight loss? It is hard to turn on the television or pick up a newspaper without hearing reports of the “obesity epidemic.” America is fighting a “war on obesity”—or is it a war against obese people? Media campaigns targeting obesity depict fat people in dehumanizing and stigmatizing images. Fat people …

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I Resolve NOT to Diet

Take the No Dieting Pledge. Below is the No Dieting Pledge. If you want to take the pledge, please print, sign, and hang somewhere prominent (I suggest using the pledge to plaster over the “motivation” images currently hung on your refridgerator). To publically take the pledge, please write your name in the comment section of …

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Do Diets Work?

Does weight loss lead to long-term health benefits? Did you resolve to lose weight this New Year? If so, you are not alone. “Lose weight” is the #1 New Year’s resolution for 2014. Many people link weight loss with health improvements. In fact, “Stay fit and healthy” is the #5 most popular resolution. These resolutions …

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Coping With Stresses of the Season

‘Tis the season…for joy, peace, and holiday stress. “Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas means a little bit more” says The Grinch in Dr. Seuss’ classic tale. This holiday sentiment rings even truer this year given the recent tradgedies at Newtown, CT and the devestation wrought by hurricaine Sandy. I imagine that …

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Don’t Believe Everything That You Read

The Importance of Being a Critically Informed Consumer in a Society of Deception. Earlier this month, Annals of Internal Medicine published a metaanalysis titled “Are Metabolically Healthy Overweight and Obesity Benign Conditions?” (Kramer et al, 2013). This study pooled the results of 8 previously published research studies to conclude: “Compared with metabolically healthy normal-weight individuals, …

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Body Hating

Why body image dissatisfaction is the new normal. Only 12% of women aged 50 and over report satisfaction with their body size. That means that 88% of women prefer to be a different body size than the one that they currently inhabit. I find those numbers to be staggering. And I don’t believe that the …

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The Epidemic

What is really eating our country? I want to call your attention to two recent research studies in hopes that they may shed some light on our current “obesity epidemic”. In the study “Does obesity associate with mortality among Hispanic persons? Results from the national health interview survey,” by Mehta et al (2013) published in …

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Fat

Why the AMA’s classification of obesity as a disease is concerning. How are you feeling? On June 18th, 2013, approximately 1/3 of Americans woke up ill. They may not have had the usual signs of illness- fever, sore throat, aches and pains. These people didn’t even need to go to a doctor to diagnose their …

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Aspire: Medically Sanctioned Bulimia?

How medical weight loss tools resemble eating disordered behaviors. I recently read about the AspireAssist Aspiration Therapy System. According to the manufacturer’s website, the AspireAssist reduces the calories consumed in a meal by surgically connecting a tube from the inside of the stomach to a port on the outside of the abdomen. The “Skin-Port” has …

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Sugar Sugar

Why what we eat is more important than what we weigh. We’ve been hearing a lot about sugar recently. Especially in New York City where Mayor Bloomberg has tried to enact a ban on sugar-sweetened beverages in portions larger than 16 ounces. A recent study by by Basu, Yoffe, Hills, and Lustig (2013) published in …

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