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Can anti-diet approaches be integrated with weight-loss?

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August 11, 2019 #obsm blog:  Can anti-diet approaches be integrated with weight-loss?

By Molly Jones, RDN/LD
@MollyJonesRD
 
Have you noticed the buzz about shifting away from using weight and body mass index (BMI) and towards promoting health and ‘anti-diet’? Many clinicians are now branded as ‘anti-diet,’ companies like Weight Watchers are ditching the word ‘weight,’ and many don’t believe we should be recommending “treatment for the disease of obesity.” While many clinicians can get on board with a shift away from focusing solely on weight as an outcome, there seems to be growing confusion amongst patients and health care professionals (HCPs) about the topic. 

Being “anti-diet” typically means you reject diet culture, promotion of “wellness-culture” or “weight loss” and, instead, follow the principles of Intuitive Eating. Intuitive Eating encourages honoring our body’s signals of hunger and fullness, not making judgments of our choices, and choosing pleasurable foods that help you feel good. The Health at Every Size® principles celebrate body diversity, challenge scientific and cultural assumptions, and encourages compassionate self-care, yet specifically and vehemently oppose recommending weight loss. 

As a clinician, it can feel difficult to know how, when, and if you should talk to patients about their weight or recommend weight loss interventions. We hear that patients want to speak with their HCPs about options, but also feel that the topic of their weight is not always addressed in an appropriate, compassionate way. Adding in the concept of the “anti-diet” movement, one begins to wonder if it is possible to integrate these concepts while still desiring or recommending weight loss. 
Read one view from Kelsey Pukala, RDN, LDN here, and dive deeper into the research with this information from Ted Kyle, RPh, MBA.

Please join the #obsm chat on August 11thto share your thoughts on this delicate issue.  We’ll address these questions:

1.    How should health care professionals address the topic of weight (if at all) with adult patients? 
 
2.    How should this conversation be different when talking to children or teens? 
 
3.    Is it possible to follow a non-diet approach (focusing on behaviors instead of weight-loss outcomes) if you desire weight loss? 
 
4.  How can Intuitive Eating (honoring our body’s signals of hunger and fullness, no judgments of choices, choosing pleasurable foods...) be integrated into post-bariatric surgery eating patterns?
 
5.  What non-scale motivators do you (or your patients) value? 
 
6.  How can we change the health care setting to shift toward focusing on behavior change or other outcomes instead of weight/BMI?
 
Image courtesy of CanWeAllGo.com.

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