Diets don’t work. So why do health providers continue to recommend weight loss?
Let’s face the truth: the mainstream framework of health is rooted in weight bias.
Thanks to Diet Culture, which tells us thin is better than fat, health providers are taught that we can understand someone’s health just by knowing their weight or size.
But larger bodies can be healthy, and a person’s weight is not a true indicator of health. People can be fat and healthy, while others are thin and unhealthy.
Correlation is not causation. Although research shows a relationship between being higher-weight and having various health conditions, there is no good evidence that those conditions are caused by the weight itself. More accurately, the stress of being judged as a larger body can do more harm than the actual weight.
More than 95% of people who lose weight through dieting will gain it back over time and their health and mental health will suffer long-term.
When we set people onto a never-ending quest for weight loss, we’re not actually helping them achieve health. We’re instilling them with eating disorders, disordered eating, and a lifetime of body dissatisfaction. We're perpetuating fatphobia, and actually making health worse.
If we truly care about promoting health, we need to stop shaming people for their weight or size, and take a more holistic, size-inclusive approach to treatment.
It’s not our fault that we were conditioned by a biased system, but it is our responsibility to learn the truth about weight, size and health.
I designed this course to help providers like you, who are ready to spread the anti-diet message.
I want you to have the knowledge and tools to explain to your clients (and colleagues) why health is not predicated on weight loss.
Busting the Diet Culture myths about weight will position you to better support your clients, and promote body acceptance at any size.
With a solid understanding of weight science, you’ll have the confidence to fight fatphobia and dismantle Diet Culture, both inside and outside of clinical settings.
In this course, you will:
Learn why efforts to maintain weight loss typically fail within a few years.
Explore the genetic and environmental factors that contribute to body size.
Dispel Diet Culture myths about weight, size, and health (including the myth that being higher-weight is inherently “unhealthy”).
Gain the knowledge to help your clients/patients reject Diet Culture messaging and pursue authentic health, at any size.
Learn through 4 in-depth video modules, optional text lessons, self-reflection activities, and quizzes at your own pace, from the comfort of your home
As a bonus, you will also receive:
A self-reflection worksheet and journaling prompts to help you uncover biases and process reactions to the material as you go along.
An exclusive downloadable Compassion Meditation to use in your own practice and share with your clients.
Downloadable PDF handout explaining Body Size Myths vs. Facts
Downloadable educational handouts to use in your clinical work and share with your clients/patients
Course completion certification
Priority access to future courses, including Intro to Intuitive Eating (launching Fall 2021)
LIFETIME access to all course content, and FREE access to any future updates to this course!
These materials and resources are the result of years of research, training, and education, summarized into an engaging, easy-to-absorb self-paced course.
Instead of doing hours upon hours of reading and research to catch up on the weight science, you can gain a strong knowledge base in a single afternoon. I’ve done the grunt work for you, so that in less than 90 minutes you can learn everything you need to know to begin challenging Diet Culture in healthcare
I’m Dr. Paula Freedman, a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, educator, and Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor dedicated to dismantling Diet Culture and celebrating body diversity.
I write, teach, and consult about disordered eating recovery and rejecting Diet Culture. I’ve been a featured expert in the New York Times, Reebok, and have a regular series in Psychology Today.
Diet Culture harms all of us, but it’s especially harmful for those whose bodies are larger. As someone who lives in a body that isn’t discriminated against (having “thin privilege”), I’m aware that I will never understand what it’s like to experience the world in a higher-weight body. I work to be as strong of an ally as possible, and to introduce providers like you to the anti-diet movement so that you can then continue to learn from others in this space.
As health providers, we have a responsibility to think critically about the things we’ve been taught about weight and health, instead of making assumptions about the people we treat. I’m here to give you the full story about weight and health, so that you can confidently challenge fatphobia and weight stigma in healthcare settings.
Together we can reduce the harm we cause to higher-weight patients. Let’s make health and mental health safer and more welcoming for everybody, across the spectrum of weight and size.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
I already have training/experience treating eating disorders. Can I still benefit from this course?Absolutely! Although this course is designed with beginners in mind, it also contains newer research and perspectives that may differ from previous training you’ve received. There is an in-depth module on the diagnosis of Orthorexia Nervosa, which is not yet included in the DSM. The second half of the course is entirely focused on Diet Culture, Weight Bias and Weight Stigma, so even if you have experience with eating disorder work, you can certainly benefit from a deeper dive into these concepts and how they may be affecting your practice. If you have extensive training and experience with both eating disorder treatment and the anti-diet/ Health at Every Size movements, this course may not give you brand-new information. However, even if you’re an expert in this area, it never hurts to brush up on your knowledge. Plus, as providers we know that the inner work is lifelong. This course will provide you with opportunities to continue challenging internalized fatphobia and weight stigma.
I don’t work with eating disorders. How will this course benefit me?This course was actually developed for clinicians who don’t typically work with eating disorders, or who have very little familiarity or exposure to eating disorders. Even those of us who don’t treat eating disorders will encounter individuals who struggle with body image concerns, or who engage in disordered eating (i.e., patterns of eating or relating to food that don’t warrant an eating disorder diagnosis but are still worthy of clinical attention). Everyone has to eat, so each of us has a relationship to food that is often complicated. Plus, thanks to the social and cultural factors we’re all subjected to in Diet Culture, it’s practically a guarantee that some of your clients/patients will have negative beliefs or feelings about their bodies, or will experiment with dieting and weight loss efforts. This course prepares you to recognize these struggles no matter where they fall in the spectrum of severity. Overall, it will make you a more well-rounded clinician, and set you apart from others in your area of specialty by giving you tools to address food and body concerns when they arise. As part of the course materials, you’ll receive a robust list of resources for further learning, should you wish to pursue additional training or education in this area.
Can I share my course registration with a colleague or friend?Course enrollments cannot be shared. Once you enroll and payment is received, you will receive access to the full course content and will be assigned a unique username and password to log in. However, if you enjoy the course and would like to refer a colleague, you can request a referral code so that your colleague may obtain the course for a discounted rate.
Do I have to complete the course in a set period of time, or can I take as long as I want to complete it?"Once enrolled, you’ll have access to the course anytime of day or night, forever! You'll also get access to course updates in the future. You can complete it at your own pace, and can repeat sections if you’d like. It is recommended that you complete quizzes and activities shortly after their corresponding lessons, while the information is still fresh. However, if you decide to take breaks, you’ll be able to jump back in right where you left off!
I exclusively provide brief therapy (e.g., I work in a hospital setting). Can this course benefit me?"Yes, definitely! A significant component of this course is on proper assessment and diagnosis of eating concerns, and the importance of asking about eating, exercise, and body image beliefs and behaviors during the intake process. Even if you only meet with your patients once or twice, or for a very brief period of time, this course will give you useful information. You will learn to recognize signs and symptoms of eating disorders, so that you can pick up on indications that your client/patient may benefit from specialized eating disorder treatment or further assessment by a registered dietitian or eating disorder physician once discharged from your care.
I work exclusively with couples and families. Can this course benefit me?Absolutely! Body image concerns are particularly relevant to couple’s work, as one or both partners’ perceptions of their bodies (and their partners’ bodies) impact the relationship and can show up in sex and intimacy concerns, adjusting to bodily changes (such as following pregnancy and childbirth) and impact feelings of trust or security. In families, rules and beliefs about food, eating, and weight are often transmitted across generations, even if they aren’t discussed explicitly. Understanding how the family relates to food, physical activity, and body size will only enhance your ability to conceptualize and explore the norms and values of the family system.
Is this course appropriate for providers who exclusively work with children?Yes, this course is appropriate for providers regardless of the age or developmental phase of the populations they treat. Research indicates that children as young as 2 years old already demonstrate body image and are aware of anti-fat messaging. Eating and body image concerns often start early in life, and can be perpetuated by modeling and messages in the home. In fact, you will notice several of the case examples discussed in the course are stories from individuals whose disorders began in childhood or early adolescence.
Is this course appropriate for medical providers and professionals outside of the mental health field?Yes. Although there is an emphasis on mental health, this course is relevant to health providers across disciplines, including mental and behavioral health, all areas of medicine, dietitians, naturopaths, physical therapists, and so forth. This course is also designed to be your entry point into size-inclusive healthcare and is great to build upon with the companion course, Weight Science 101, and with further education from educators and activists in the Health at Every Size movement.
Can I get continuing education credits for this course?At this time, no continuing education credits are offered for this course. We are currently in the review process to obtain continuing education credits from several accrediting bodies. Your course enrollment includes lifetime access to all future updates of the course, so you may be able to obtain CE credits once approved. It is worthwhile to sign up now, while you can take advantage of the introductory pricing and begin using this valuable information and enjoying the resources included with the course!