Showing posts from September, 2018

The Diet Industry Takes It All

Lately I’ve been getting more into Instragam (in the words of Sam Seaborn/Aaron Sorkin: Let’s forget the fact that I’m coming a little late to the party and embrace the fact that I showed up at all…”) I’m not sure how I got there, but I found myself on a page of things that IG seemed to think I would enjoy. Except IG was dead fucking wrong.It was a bunch of “before and after” weight loss pictures (of course they didn’t include the “after after” picture that will happen when almost all of them regain their weight in a few years.) People were commenting about how their “prayers were answered,” and their “hopes and dreams came true,” and a bunch of them said something about “celebrating” with many asking people to celebrate with them.And that’s when I was reminded that diet culture conditions us to hope and pray and dream that someday we will be less than we are now, and to celebrate – and ask others to celebrate when there is less of us (for however brief that time may be.) Back in my d…

Exercise Reduces the Risk for Gestational Diabetes in Higher Weight Women

The Padded LiliesHere is a recent research review that found that physical exercise reduced the risk for gestational diabetes (GD) in "obese" and "overweight" women during pregnancy.Here is a summary of the research review, and also a discussion of how to use exercise and food timing and choices to keep your  blood sugar as normal as possible during pregnancy.Quick View of Study DetailsThe authors reviewed 13 studies with a total of 1,439 participants. On the up side, they found that physical exercise reduced gestational weight gain and the risk of gestational diabetes (GD). This is good news.On the other hand, exercise made no difference in the risk for blood pressure issues, macrosomia (big babies), cesarean rates, or premature births. This isn't bad news, but it does point out that exercise is not the panacea that some doctors hope it would be.How significant are these findings? Well, it depends on the finding.The weight gain finding is negligible. The diffe…

A College Degree Shouldn’t Require a Weigh-In – But This One Does

Morgan Stacy is in recovery from bulimia.She has been behavior-free for six months, which is major progress.However, Morgan’s college is putting her recovery in serious jeopardy with one of their required courses.Morgan is a student at Vanguard University, a four-year, private “Christian” school that receives state funding.At Vanguard, every undergraduate is required to take a class in which they must calculate their Body Mass Index (BMI), which is a ratio of weight and height.They are also required to measure their body composition via Biometric Impedance Analysis (BIA) and measure and calculate their waist-to-hip ratio.In another lab, they are required to keep a food log and answer questions about their caloric intake like “what are you eating too much of?”Students are next given an assignment to determine the “factors” that “influenced your performance in these tests,” create a “body composition goal,” and then develop a plan for how they will achieve the results.In addition to thi…

Elephant in the Room

By Dr. Joy CoxReturning back home on a high from the ASDAH conference, I mulled over in my mind both the growth and attempts to do so that took place over the weekend. As my phone continuously vibrated due to the notifications from the Facebook conference group, I thought of all the ways an effort for inclusion and diversity had been made. I thought of how attendees of the BIPOC preconference expressed feelings of gratitude and thankfulness for having a designated space. I thought of how great it was to work with a team of activists that desired to see change in ASDAH and society as a result of us coming together.As the Chair of Diversity and Inclusion Committee, seeing these things come together effectively was by far the most satisfying accomplishment of my involvement in conference planning. For so long intersections have been the “elephants in the room.” Yes, we are visible and often invited to be present, however having a designated, carved out space is hard to come by. Our lived…

Answer to Family Feud’s Fatphobia

Reader Mandy was watching Family Feud re-runs and the question came up: “Name something that should be against the law for people to wear if they are out of shape.”If every single answer on the board isn’t “other people’s prejudices and insecurities”  and/or “this question is fatphobic bullshit and I refuse to answer” then we have some problems here.In no particular order:Fatphobia is so acceptable that game shows think it’s a funny jokePeople are comfortable with the idea that they should be allowed to dictate what other people should wearThe idea that it should literally be illegal to dress how you want didn’t cause anyone on the show (those who created the survey, producers, hosts, or contestants) to be taken aback enough to keep this off the airThis makes me think of the “clever” signs that pop up during warm weather suggesting that we “dress for the body you have, not the body you want” (from everyone from ophthalmologists to social workers) Or the ridiculous notion of “flatterin…

Workplace Wellness – An Exercise in Frustration

If you are a regular reader of this blog or follower on social media, you’ve probably seen me discuss Al Lewis. Al is a wellness expert who often calls out the wellness industry on their fatphobia. Recently he took wellness companies to task saying, in part, “Attention, outcomes-based wellness vendors: can you please please stop harassing employees because of their weight…You are doing incalculable harm.”I’m against compulsory workplace wellness plans entirely – I believe that the only facet of employees’ lives that employers should be involved in is compensating employees with a thriving wage in return for employees doing their jobs. Under the current US model compensation should include wages and benefits including health insurance. It would be my preference that health insurance not be attached to one’s job, but as long as it is, it should be looked at simply as another form of compensation. One’s employer should no more be allowed to get involved in how someone uses their health i…

Weight-Neutral PCOS Series: A Quick Guide

This blog has an ongoing series on Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). Because so much information has been gathered about it, I am putting up this Quick Guide to the PCOS Series so the information is more searchable and easier to use. Keep checking back periodically. More posts will be added as they are finished.

This PCOS series is unique on the internet because it is weight-neutral. 

There are many other sites with information on PCOS, but most emphasize weight loss or strict dietary restrictions as cornerstones of treatment. (More on that below.) This series does not push weight loss or a particular diet as a treatment, but rather discusses approaches that are not weight-centric. Weight loss as an approach is mentioned on occasion because doctors recommend it so often, but it is not promoted, and its pros and cons are critically examined. No one is shamed because they do or do not choose weight loss as a treatment.

I encourage you to review many different sites on PCOS and to think c…

Funding Fatphobia With Kombucha?

Nora Haefele was downing a bottle of The Bu Kombucha when she saw it — the message on the bottle.“Health is our priority.The Bu supports and donates to organizations that fight obesity.”At that moment Nora realized that, as a fat woman, she had inadvertently funded the oppression of fat people with her drink purchase.After some quick research, I learned that it’s not just on the bottles.The Bu proudly discusses their fatphobia on the front page of theirwebsite:“Health is our priority.We, at The Bu Kombucha, are passionate about doing our part to curb the unhealthy American addiction to sugar.The Bu is a low sugar, low-calorie beverage alternative that is delicious to drink any time of day.No one should have to choose between good health and good taste!Sugar-sweetened beverages significantly influence obesity rates.Obesity is a risk factor for the development of diabetes and heart disease.The American Cancer Society says obesity is ‘clearly linked’ with breast, prostate and several oth…

The State of Things – Weight and Health

It’s been a rough couple months y’all. Several family members and friends (in several different states) ended up in the hospital and between that, other work, training, blogging, special projects, and regular life, something had to give, and it was blogging. I’ll put links to some of the stuff I’ve been up to at the bottom of this post, but I’ve been meaning to tell you about an interview I did on the show The State of Things North Carolina Public Radio.I was asked to be on the show to discuss size-based oppression. They told me that there would be a researcher coming from a similar perspective, and that they would like me to share my personal stories, especially as they related to me being a fat athlete. No problem, as long as there is someone doing the science I’m happy to tell stories about discrimination with humor that helps bring people’s defenses down – funny fat activist coming right up!It turns out the “researcher” was Penny Gordon-Larson. She is employed as a “professor and …

PCOS and Hirsutism: Treatment Options

Every September, we discuss Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) in honor of PCOS Awareness Month. Today we discuss PCOS and abnormal facial and body hair (hirsutism).

To review, in our PCOS series so far you will find an introduction to PCOS as a health concern:
The definition and symptoms of PCOSThe typical presentation of PCOSThe testing and diagnosis of PCOS The possible causes of PCOS Common treatment protocols for PCOS and their pros and consYou will also find a mini-series on insulin-sensitizing medications, including:
Metformin (Glucophage)The TZDs (Actos, etc.)The InositolsOther glucose-lowering medications for overt diabetesThere is a mini-series on other medications for PCOS, including:
Anti-androgenic medications for treating various PCOS symptomsProgesterone supplements for menstrual irregularityA 3-part mini-series on birth control pills for PCOSIn addition, we discuss specific conditions associated with PCOS and have an occasional post reviewing recent research studies on PCO…