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A Georgia physician pleaded guilty today to charges related to the sale of a purported weight loss drug product that contained human chorionic gonadotropin, or HCG.

Dr. Audrey Arona, 64, of Gainesville, Georgia, pleaded guilty to causing the introduction into interstate commerce of a misbranded drug product containing HCG and marketed under the name Releana. Pursuant to a plea agreement, Magistrate Judge J. Clay Fuller of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia ordered Dr. Arona to forfeit approximately $65,000.

HCG is a hormone produced by the human placenta. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved certain injectable HCG drug products for the treatment of some cases of female infertility and for hormone treatment in males. But the FDA has never approved any oral or sublingual HCG drug products for any use, and the FDA has never approved any HCG drug product for weight loss. In fact, FDA has specifically warned consumers to avoid HCG weight-loss products, advising, If you have HCG products for weight loss, quit using it, throw it out, and stop following the dieting instructions.

Doctors who distribute drugs must comply with federal law designed to ensure these products are safe and effective, said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton, head of the Justice Departments Civil Division. The Department will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to stop the distribution of misbranded HCG drugs and other misbranded drugs, including through criminal enforcement where appropriate.

Misbranded prescription drugs can present a serious health risk to those who buy and use them. The drugs may contain unknown ingredients and may be made under unknown conditions, said Special Agent in Charge Charles L. Grinstead of the FDA Office of Criminal Investigations Kansas City Field Office. We will continue to investigate and bring to justice those who traffic in misbranded prescription drugs.

According to court documents, Dr. Arona admitted to selling a sublingually administered HCG-for-weight-loss drug product to patients around the country. Dr. Arona further admitted that she represented to patients that the HCG-for-weight-loss drug product was FDA-approved and that it could assist with weight loss.

Dr. Arona was the third defendant to plead guilty in connection with the marketing and sale of Releana. In September 2022, Hoschton, Georgia, resident Maurice Bailey also pleaded guilty to causing the introduction into interstate commerce of a misbranded drug product containing HCG. According to court documents, Bailey admitted to preparing the Releana sold by Dr. Arona in a facility that was not properly registered with FDA, and to inaccurately labelling that Releana. In August 2021, Colorado resident Sarah Alberg pleaded guilty to causing the introduction into interstate commerce of a misbranded drug product containing HCG, with the intent to mislead or defraud. According to court documents, Alberg also distributed Releana, and she admitted to smuggling HCG into the United States from India and distributing HCG using bottles and supplies exposed to rodent droppings.

The FDA Office of Criminal Investigations investigated the cases.

Senior Litigation CounselPatrick Runkle and Trial Attorney Michael Wadden of the Justice Departments Consumer Protection Branch prosecuted the cases against Dr. Arona and Bailey, with assistance from Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Keen for the Northern District of Georgia.

For more information about the enforcement efforts of the Consumer Protection Branch visit the Branchs website at

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Apr 26th, 2023 | Filed under Dieting

Peer pressure, bullying and trying to fit in with social media norms are some of the reasons that may lead children to go on a diet as they approach puberty. However, some children start developing an unhealthy relationship with food and exhibit dieting behaviour at a much younger age, public health specialist and registered nutritionist Antonella Grima says.

This could be in response to stressful events in their lives, pressure to lose weight or to model the behaviour of older siblings, peers or adults in their life, she explains.

Various international studies found that children may start dieting from the ages of eight to 10 but some actually take part in some sort of dieting behaviour at an even earlier age.

Grima explains that, just like adults, children may go on a very restrictive diet, leave out entire food groups and fast for long periods or eat minute quantities of food in the hope of reaching the desired weight quickly.

Quick fixes are appealing to everyone and children and adolescents are no exception, she notes.

This not only deprives the body of essential nutrients at a time of growth and development but may also lead to eating disorders such as binge-eating disorder or anorexia nervosa.

Dieting not only deprives the body of essential nutrients at a time of growth and development but may also lead to eating disorders

Older children and adolescents are also likely to follow fad diets they come across on social media.

Fad diets and treatments come and go with the seasons and tend to gain popularity if celebrities and influencers are following them, Grima points out.

Fad diets include low-carbohydrate diets, the grapefruit diet, the cookie diet and the blood type diet, to name a few.

Read the full article on the new Times of Malta website, X2.

For more child-related articles, click here.

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Why children should not diet - Times of Malta

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Apr 26th, 2023 | Filed under Dieting

Feel like youve tried every diet under the sun but nothing has worked long-term? Truth is, thats how diets work. Theyre temporary fixes that often leave us feeling deprived and unsatisfied. But what if I told you theres a better, more sustainable option? Becauseyesyou deserve to feel your best without meticulously counting calories or putting certain foods on a naughty list. Neither of these are truly sensible. Food is medicine, but its also culture, spontaneity, and fun! Lifes too short to diet your way through it. Ultimately, balance is best. Enter: blood sugar. Say hello to improved energy, a stable mood, and better health by prioritizing foods that lower blood sugar.

By eating whole, nutrient-dense foods (while leaving wiggle room for your favorite treats!), you can create sustainable habits that support your overall well-being. Today, were diving into the science behind blood sugar balance and exploring why eating to balance your blood sugar isnt a diet. Its a lifestyle shift.

Featured image by Michelle Nash.

The wellness world is filled (read: overflowing) with different ways to eat. And this isnt surprising. Food brands and dieting companies have figured out the secret: that variety is the spice of life. If paleo doesnt work for you, try vegan. Want to cut carbs? Go keto. Need to improve your heart health? Opt for the Mediterranean diet. The list goes on and on. But with so many options, its hard to know whats best for you. At the end of the day, how you choose to fuel your body is completely personalized. Its based on your current health conditions, well-being goals, as well as your lifestyle and circumstances!

And bring on blood sugar balance, instead! To begin, start shifting your focus from short-term, restrictive eating patterns to a more holistic approachone that prioritizes your overall health and well-being. This means incorporating more whole, nutrient-dense foods into your diet, listening to your bodys hunger and fullness signals, and finding joy in movement and physical activity. It also involves embracing self-care practices that support your mental and emotional health (i.e., mindfulness, stress management, and positive self-talk). By adopting these habits, you can create a sustainable, long-term approach to nourishing your body.

Regardless of the specific eating style you gravitate toward, choosing foods that keep blood sugar levels stable is crucial for optimal health. By doing so, you can avoid the spikes and crashes that cause fatigue, mood swings, and sluggish body composition. Additionally, keeping blood sugar levels stable can reduce the risk of chronic diseases and health conditions, like diabetes and PCOS. In other words, while there are many different ways to fuel your body, aim to keep blood sugar balance at the forefront (your body and mind will thank you!).

Lets back up. Without knowingexactlywhat it means, youve probably heard of the term. Blood sugar, also known as blood glucose, is the amount of sugar (glucose) in your blood at any given time. Where does glucose come from? The starchy and sweet foods you eat. And its your bodys primary source of energy. Your blood sugar levels are influenced by a variety of factors, including the typesand amountsof food you consume, how active you are, and how well your body produces and uses insulin.

Blood sugar levels fluctuate throughout the day. In fact, you may already be familiar with spikes and dips in blood sugar. Hello, intense sugar cravings and hanger! We expect a steady rise in glucose after waking, while we exercise, and after eating. However, we want to minimizereallyhigh spikes and equally low dips. These are known as unhealthy blood sugar responses. Over time, these can lead tounwanted health conditions. That said, a healthy blood sugar response is one where we haveglucose balanceafter eating.

To help prevent a variety of chronic health conditions, the goal is to keep blood sugar stable as often as possible. So, what does this mean? For someone who hasnt consumed anything other than water (also known as the fasted state), normal blood sugar is below 100 mg/dL. Anything ator above100 mg/dL is considered borderline high, and a fasting blood sugar of 126 mg/dL (or higher) is often indicative of diabetes. Throughout the day, ideal blood sugar should be between70-110 mg/dL, and should fall below140 mg/dL two hours after eating a meal.You can learn about your specific blood sugar response by wearinga continuous glucose monitor. Otherwise, your healthcare provider can test your A1C via a blood draw.

A big tell-tale sign: a blood sugar crash 1-2 hours after eating (typically, a meal high in carbohydrates without adequate protein and healthy fats). This happens when your blood glucose rises too high too fast, and your insulin overcompensates. You may feel sweaty, shaky, light-headed, or experience brain fog. Another sign is strong carbohydrate cravings, especially in the afternoon or evening. Its a sign you haventproperly fueled your bodywith protein, fiber, and fats throughout the dayespecially for breakfast.

Along with eating foods that lower blood sugar, below are three steps to help you achieve stable blood sugar, improve your insulin sensitivity, and minimize hormonal imbalances!

For ultimate satiation and stable blood sugar, include all three macronutrients in your meals and snacks: complex carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats. Prioritize protein, slow-digesting carbslike beans, legumes, sweet potatoes, and squashand load up on omega-3 fats (salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, walnuts, flaxseed, and chia seeds). At every meal, pack in as many non-starchy carbs as possible (leafy greens, broccoli, eggplant, summer squash, mushrooms, bell peppers, etc.).Heres meal inspo to get started!

Stress elevates cortisolone of our bodys main stress hormones. This can increase blood sugar and insulin levels. Cortisol also increases the secretion of leptin, a hormone that plays a role in appetite control. Leptin secretion can reduce satiety and make you feel more hungry. Find ways tolower your daily stressviameditationand settingproper boundaries.

All exerciseis beneficial for overall health and managing blood sugar levels. However, a moderately vigorous effortsuch as brisk walking, running, cycling, or strength trainingfor at least 30-40 minutes (3-5 times a week) can significantly benefit insulin regulation and blood sugar levels. Dont underestimate the power of a moderate,post-meal walk!

As a whole, foods that keep blood sugar stable are typically those that are low in added sugars and refined carbohydrates. Furthermore, theyre foods high in fiber, protein, and healthy fats. These include leafy green vegetables, nuts and seeds, lean proteinslike chicken and fishand low-glycemic fruits, like berries and grapefruit. Additionally, pair carbs with protein and fat. When you do this, glucose is released more slowly into the bloodstream. In other words, eating protein and fat with your carbs (i.e., toast with pesto and avocado) can make a world difference in your blood sugar response!

Without further ado, below is a universal list of foods that dont spike blood sugar. That said, theresno one-size-fits-allfor a metabolically healthy diet. (Note: Wearing a continuous glucose monitor can give you these insights.)

In essence, all non-starchy vegetables are great for blood sugar balance:

Like all other ingredients, everyone metabolizes packaged foods differently. However, because bread is primarily made ofcarbohydrates, it raisesblood sugar. That said, breads made from seeds or nuts can make a helpful difference! When possible, opt for sprouted, 100% whole grains, sourdough bread, or gluten-free tortillas made with almond or coconut flour. Love to bake? In lieu of refined flours andtraditional sugars, use blood sugar friendly-ingredients like almond flour, coconut flour, monk fruit, allulose, and stevia-sweetend chocolate chips.

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The Ultimate Glucose Guide: 80 Foods That Lower Blood Sugar - Camille Styles

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Apr 26th, 2023 | Filed under Dieting

The good advice guide

Scientist and author Tim Spector shows how to make small but important changes to improve the way you eat while still enjoying your food

Tue 25 Apr 2023 03.00 EDT

Whilst researching my latest book, Food for Life, I learnt that were very short of practical advice on food choices which are the most important things we can do for our health (humans and our gut microbes) and also to help the planet. I also learnt that how we eat can be as important as what we eat. Here are my top five, practical everyday tips to help you make small but sustainable changes across the year that will be far better for you than a few weeks of crash dieting or restrictive eating.

One of the simplest ways we can help our bodies thrive and prevent over-eating is to change the order in which we eat our food. Reaching for the bread basket or bowl of crisps at the start of a meal results in a rapid increase in blood glucose levels and a subsequent insulin response. This will likely leave you feeling tired, hungry and irritable just a few hours later. This is because glucose is rapidly absorbed from starchy foods, and this is even quicker on an empty stomach.

Why not start with a grilled vegetable platter, a selection of crunchy veggies or zesty fresh chopped herbs with a simple extra virgin olive oil and vinegar or lemon dressing. The extra acidity can reduce overeating on your next course, by reducing hunger signals and may also reduce harmful blood sugar spikes.

This can be grains, legumes, fungi or sustainable seafood sources. The importance of good quality protein in our diet is well known but what is less understood is that the classic combination of meat and two veg is not the only way to ensure we get the protein we need. Smoked tofu is surprisingly tasty and can be added to salads and stir fries for added protein.

I realised that not all fish is that healthy for us or the planet, but shellfish, such as clams and mussels, are an untapped source of sustainable, nutrient-rich seafood protein. These small and delicious foods are packed with protein, zinc, iron and B vitamins, as well as choline and iodine, making them a great addition to our diet.

Another unsung hero group in our diet is mushrooms. Mushrooms can replace meat in many dishes, bringing umami flavour, nutrients, protein and even vit D, if left on a sunny shelf, with a satiating and satisfying texture plus a positive impact on the environment.

Many of us find plain water a bit boring and Brits are world famous for their love of builders tea: the mix of black tea, milk and sugar can contribute quite significantly to our energy intake, especially when its the gateway to a biscuit or two.

Try some of these delicious swaps, to make your next drink choice healthier by choosing something polyphenol-rich, probiotic or both.

If you like hot drinks, simply opting for black coffee over your builders brew will make a big difference. Coffee is rich in polyphenols and contains fibre and wont contribute to excess energy intake if you drink it black or with a drop of unsweetened plant or whole cows milk. Green tea, especially matcha powder, has a host of well-known benefits thanks to specific polyphenols, including green tea catechins and fibre.

For cold drinks, avoid fruit juices and soft drinks. Opt instead for unsweetened live kombucha, which has a natural fizz and flavour with the added benefit of probiotic strains and no added sugar as it is fermented by the microbes.

For a hearty, filling alternative to shop-bought milkshakes and smoothies, natural kefir (made yourself or shop-bought) is a delicious and healthier alternative for adults and children alike. Add some almonds for crunch or chopped fruit for different flavours.

The colours in our plants are there thanks to chemicals called polyphenols, also known as phytonutrients. These chemicals are produced by plants to protect themselves against environmental stressors, including drought, cold weather, hot weather, insects and parasites. A great example of this is the dark red colour of the oranges which grow in the foothills of Mount Etna in Sicily, where the nights are very cold and the days are very hot and dry.

It turns out these protective chemicals are also helpful for humans. This is why you should aim to eat lots of different colourful plants, choosing variety over the same familiar favourites, like iceberg lettuce and apple.

Different polyphenols are beneficial for different things. Beetroot is well proven to improve blood pressure and post-exercise recovery. Black beans are a staple in some of the longest-living humans and are the beans richest in polyphenols. A great way of introducing polyphenols is also to opt for colourful versions of your favourites, such as sweet potato and purple potato, purple carrots and purple sprouting broccoli, too.

Pick bread with high levels of fibre, seeds and no added sugar. Many supermarket breads have lots of added ingredients to make them last longer on the shelf and increase their palatability. True sourdough bread only needs a simple base of flour, with the sourdough starter, water and salt, which can be found in supermarkets (thanks to brands like Bertinet bakery) or can be made at a local bakery or at home. Choose to eat breads with whole grains, seeds and different types of flour, like dark rye, and always look for a high fibre content, rather than a healthy-looking label.

Before doing the ZOE programme, I thought my breakfast of muesli with skimmed milk was exactly what I needed for the day ahead. I soon learned that this breakfast, washed down with a glass of orange juice, pushed my blood sugar to diabetic levels and I quickly changed the menu. Adding mixed nuts and seeds to plain natural yoghurt with some polyphenol-rich berries is a great way to enjoy a nutritious breakfast that wont spike your blood sugar.

Natural yoghurt is also a great way to introduce probiotics to your diet so, if you want to give your yoghurt an extra probiotic boost, simply add a splash of kefir. This is also great for those who dont yet love the taste of kefir and want to find a way of including it in their diet. Kefir is also a great addition to soups and stews; just make sure you dont actually cook the kefir as it will kill the live microbes.

Another easy way to include more fermented foods every day is to use miso paste, rather than stock cubes, to add flavour and umami to your dishes. Simply stir a teaspoon of miso into your pasta sauce or into your steamed greens or to add flavour to a fish recipe.

Finally, swapping white rice and white pasta with whole grains is an easy win. Replace white rice with pearled barley, choose buckwheat over couscous (which is just mini pasta balls), and enjoy spelt spaghetti instead of plain white spaghetti, keeping your favourite dishes but making them more nutritious with these simple tweaks.






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Eat fibre first and ditch the juice: five quick and easy tips for a much healthier meal - The Guardian

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Apr 26th, 2023 | Filed under Dieting

In our study, weight regain, on average, took at least five years, and sometimes up to 14 years to regain, says Jebb. During the time your weight is lower, your blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol levels are lower. These are all risk factors for heart disease, so its very probable that your long-term risk of diabetes and heart disease is lower too.

We cant be absolutely certain because few studies have followed people up long term, but putting information from all the studies together, the trend is very clearly towards fewer cases of diabetes and heart disease among people in the group offered a weight-loss programme.

In short, this study adds to evidence showing that being lighter even for short periods seems to improve longer term health.

Jebb points out that the study didnt look at yo-yo dieting per se but, she says, we found no evidence of harm to physical or mental health during or after a period of weight loss and regain.

But doesnt yo-yo dieting make us flabby by reducing our muscle mass and replacing it with fat something that might slow our metabolisms further?

A study published in the journal Nature in 2020 suggested that while this might be true of slim people who repeatedly diet to become even skinnier, it may not apply to people who are overweight.

It stated, Studies in which individuals with obesity were subjected to one cycle or three successive cycles of dieting failed to show altered body composition.

And according to Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in the US, yo-yo dieting will not make it harder to lose weight in future.

Most studies show that weight cycling does not affect the rate at which the body burns fuel, it states. Also, a previous weight cycle does not influence the ability to lose weight again, or increase the amount of fat tissue or increase fat distribution around the stomach.

And in 2019 a mouse study found that mice subjected to several rounds of yo-yo dieting lived as long as mice kept at a stable weight on a low-calorie diet and much longer than steadily obese mice.

Jebbs Oxford study also found that people whod taken part in a weight-loss programme such as ZOE or Noom maintained health benefits longer than dieters who went it alone.

This might be because people whod had behavioural support stuck with lifestyle changes such as eating healthier foods and being more active. In the longer term, these boosted their health even if they increased their calorie intake.

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Why yo-yo dieting isn't as bad as you think - The Telegraph

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Apr 18th, 2023 | Filed under Dieting

Health is wealth! Celebrity nutrition coach Erik Young, akaThe Flexible Dieting Coach, has helped Hilary Duff, Mandy Moore, Molly Sims, Bebe Rexhaand more live healthy lifestyles through his balanced outlook, and now hes sharing his top tips with ET ahead of summer 2023.

"My approach to nutrition is sustainable weight loss. I have seen so many people go super restrictive with their food choices, as well as calories, and lose a lot of weight pretty quick, but its not sustainable. Once they fall off, they have a rebound with their weight and usually gain more on top of the weight they lost,"he explains.

To combat this cycle, Young createsrealistic food programs, so his clients can feel their best while still incorporating their favorite treats.

"When we put plans together for clients they are flexible as far as food goes. I stick to the 80/20 rule because we need whole foods, but still leave room for some fun foods. Clients never feel like they are on a diet because they are able to eat the foods they love,"the nutritionist shares.

And thats exactly why A-listersrely on Youngs guidance.

"Every single celebrity that I have worked with has never done anything like this. They usually crash diet with very little calories and the food is very bland and boring. Not to mention, most celebrities are usually on the go a lot, and have to eat out. We teach clients how to do that efficiently so they can still be compliant during the week," he says.

Daniella Midenge for WOMENS HEALTH

Another thing Youngs clients learn: "Doing this program inadvertently improves your relationship with food so you arent looking at food as good or bad. There is no good or bad food. Of course, whole foods are more ideal, but if you dont have other options, dont be hard on yourself."

"Dont just say, Screw it. I messed up my day, so this week is ruined. Give yourself some grace and get back to it the next day. One bad day wont ruin your physique, just like one good day wont give you a six pack,"he adds.

To stayon track, Young recommendskeeping track.

"This is a numbers game. If you dont know your caloric maintenance, you are literally shooting in the dark. Start tracking your food intake for a week using an app online. Average out your calories for the week and try to eat 500 calories less if possible to see fat loss,"he suggests.

"Your body adapts to the average calories you eat per week and it also adapts to the activity at some point. If you want to see weight come off, eat less than what you normally eat. ...There are a lot of other variables that come into play like the ratio of protein, carbsand fats. If you are too carb and fat heavy and eat very little protein, this will be a problem, but at least this will be a start in the right direction,"the nutrition expert notes.


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Celeb Nutrition Coach Erik Young on Why Hilary Duff and Mandy Moore Love His Sustainable Dieting Approach - Entertainment Tonight

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Apr 18th, 2023 | Filed under Dieting

Contributing columnist|AddFollow

April 17, 2023 at 11:43 a.m. EDT

American diet culture teaches us at an early age that fat is bad and thin is good. Fat is ugly and thin is pretty. Fat is unhealthy and thin is healthy. Fat is irresponsible and thin is virtuous. This cultural bias is so pervasive and insidious that it turns almost everyone into either victim or collaborator. Or, if youre like me, into both.

Fortunately, some activists and writers are fighting back, including Virginia Sole-Smith, author of the Burnt Toast newsletter and the forthcoming book Fat Talk: Parenting in the Age of Diet Culture.

Fat Talk details the toll that weight stigma takes on children and offers parents the tools to fight back. It describes the near-constant barrage of abuse and discrimination fat people face in addition to the physical challenges of navigating a world designed for smaller bodies.

Along with moving stories of the families she has interviewed, Sole-Smith offers data: studies showing, for instance, that fat children are bullied by their peers and underestimated by their teachers, and that Black adolescents in bigger bodies are disproportionately punished for dress code violations. She describes how doctors often have trouble seeing beyond a patients weight and reflexively prescribe dieting, regardless of the well-documented odds against permanent weight loss.

Fat Talk also questions the received narrative of the obesity epidemic and traces a far more complicated relationship between health, weight, diet, disease and mortality. It argues that whatever health risks might come from living in a fat body are compounded, not lessened, by anti-fat messaging.

The picture Sole-Smith paints is ghastly and infuriating, even if you already have a painful relationship with dieting. I hit puberty in the 1980s, a.k.a. the aerobics era, and battled my growing hips with Jane Fonda workouts and hunger. I remember being thrilled one day when my father looked at me and asked whether I was eating enough. Too thin? Triumph! What followed was a time-sucking, energy-draining, confidence-erasing absurdity: 40 years of losing and regaining 20 pounds.

Did you read that and think, Is that all? Youre right. I am a straight-size White woman who can fit into airplane seats and buy clothes at most stores. Although even thin people in our culture experience some level of fatphobia, as Sole-Smith writes, compared with serious victims of weight stigma, Im like a bystander shoved to the ground during a terrorist attack. My suffering is not the point.

But my complicity is. Sole-Smith shows how easily everyone, especially parents, can go from being victims of diet culture to being its enforcers. Precious few of us show up to parenthood with a glowing relationship with our bodies, she writes. And then we pass on our own internalized body ideas and weight biases to kids as early as preschool.

I know I did. When my own childs body changed from slim to husky, I didnt tell him to diet, but I know I radiated concern and an eagerness to help him lose weight.

At the time, I would have said I simply wanted him to flourish in a fatphobic world where people get more goodies if theyre thin. But even if that were true, even if my own anti-fat bias had nothing to do with it, I should have behaved differently.

Fat Talk argues that instead of urging children to conform to anti-fat expectations, parents could help them identify, critique and resist them. I should have told my son to trust his body, not suggest casually that he might enjoy yoga. I should have told him that, as Sole-Smith writes: Hotness is optional ... You can just show up online, offline, at work, at school, to vote in the body you have, with the skin you have, and still have every right to be there.

I agree with that how could a reasonable person not agree with it? but I dont think Ill ever really believe it for myself, or ever stop being tempted by, say, an injectable eating disorder posing as a miracle drug.

What I decided when I read Fat Talk, though, is that I dont have to believe it for myself. I have to believe it for children whose teachers assume they are dumber because they are heavier. For Black girls who are punished because their bodies dont conform to White body standards. For the women who avoid the doctor because they failed to obey the one impossible doctors order: lose weight.

I cant stop being a victim of diet culture. But I can stop being a collaborator.

I can, first of all, shut up about diets, about guilty pleasures, about resolutions to eat healthier, about any bodys weight. Whatever toxic notions I hold about food and weight I can at least keep from spilling out.

But Sole-Smith insists on more. Saying nothing isnt enough, she writes, because the rest of the world talks about bodies so loudly, all the time.

A few years ago, at my physical, I ventured to say, I think this is just what I weigh, and its okay. I was trying so hard to believe that. My doctor replied, You could stand to lose 10 pounds. And I didnt argue.

One day, though not for my sake but for the sake of some future patient I might just muster the courage to ask: What for?

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Apr 18th, 2023 | Filed under Dieting

Amy Bates on her wedding day (left) and 10 years later, after finding her 'happy weight'. (Supplied)

Amy Bates, 37, from Birmingham, spent 17 years on a constant and exhausting quest to be thinner. Shes now changed her relationship with food for good, given up dieting and learned to embrace her bigger body.

I've always dieted, I don't really remember a time that I didnt. Even when I was 16, I did the Atkins plan and would take sandwich boxes with slabs of cheese and cold pork chops to work.

Over the years, I've used meal replacement shakes and colon cleanse powders and followed WeightWatchers and Slimming World. My mum did those diets and there would always be low-calorie chocolate bars and low-fat yoghurts in the fridge, so I had those principles around me throughout my childhood and teenage years growing up.

I was never big, no more than a size 12, but I was bigger than my friends. It was just my body shape but, when youre younger, that doesnt sit very well, plus, I was always heavier than my mum by a good stone. Ive always weighed heavy, even when my body was slim.

I joined the police at 19 and had to have a medical examination where the nurse weighed me and I fell into the obese category according to my BMI. She could see that I didnt look fat but she sent me away telling me I needed to lose weight. I felt so angry that she said this to me at such a vulnerable age, and it just reinforced what I was already feeling about the number on the scales.

Amy enjoying a night out during her twenties which she spent yo-yo dieting. (Supplied)

Society is set up in a way where we think we need to be in a small body. Diet culture has become normalised and, when I was in my teens and 20s, that cycle of I'll get back on it on Monday was a constant. There were years of frustration where I'd yo-yo between diets, losing half a stone, putting it back on again, not really getting anywhere.

By 27, I was preparing to marry my now-husband Adam. I went on a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet and did a lot of running to get into my slinky wedding dress. I was at the peak of my physical fitness when, before my hen party, I found out I was pregnant with my son Ryley, now nine.

Story continues

Read more: Here's what happens to your body when you're happy

Food was my version of smoking or drinking or anything else people do excessively to comfort themselves, and so I decided I was fine with eating whatever I wanted because I knew Id deal with it afterwards. I piled on four and a half stone and had pre-eclampsia towards the end which gave me water retention.

A girl I know made comments about how fat I was which just reinforced this message that were not even supposed to be big when were pregnant. I was gutted. I was already very aware and conscious of the weight gain so having someone say it out loud like that was just horrible.

Amy with Adam, pre-marriage and kids, attending a friend's wedding. (Supplied)

I lost most of the weight on a meal replacement diet and, two years later, I got pregnant with my daughter Cady, now six. I put a lot of weight on again and, afterwards, struggled with the headspace for a diet.

Id left the police and I started a new business, opening a beauty salon when Cady was six months old. I was busy and got into the habit of grabbing Diet Cokes and chocolate bars on the go.

Read more: 3 in 10 girls under 18 have an eating disorder, finds major new study

When COVID hit, I started following diets that were all about healthy fats and proteins, but I still wasnt losing weight. I hit a wall and started to recognise the fact I couldn't eat anything without having so much 'noise' going on in my head.

Every time I was preparing a meal there would either be a dialogue of This is a good meal. Aren't you a good person? You should be pleased with yourself or, if I was in a slump and eating something that I would consider to be bad, Id think, Look at you, youve got no self-control. It was absolutely exhausting.

Something needed to change and I started learning about body image and the psychology around disordered eating. I started to see an intuitive eating coach to work out how to eat according to my hunger and satisfaction, to learn to stop restricting myself and having rules around good food and bad food.

Amy Bates says 'changing the dialogue' in her head around food has been liberating. (Supplied)

It was like therapy and there was a lot to unpick. One of my issues was a real fear of hunger, which I came to realise stemmed from my days as a policewoman. There were times when I was very, very hungry and wasn't able to get food because of the work we were involved in, so that made me overeat because my brain was telling me, You don't know when you get to eat again.

Another issue was the concern about how my relationship with my mum would be affected if I was fat, because Id grown up with her always dieting.

After about six weeks of sessions with the coach, all the noise in my brain and the heaviness of mealtimes and eating started to fade away. I finally stopped thinking about counting calories and began to see food as nourishment for my body. Ive now got much better at leaning into what my body needs.

Read more: Teenager with fear of food who only had hot chocolate finally recovers what is the eating disorder 'ARFID'?

If Ive been running, my body might be craving protein so, the other day, I had a tuna melt for breakfast because I no longer have rules about what I should eat and when.

Sure, there are days where old thoughts creep back in, but Im better equipped now to shut the noise out if Ive eaten rubbish, then Ill think I'm feeling rubbish not I am rubbish. Ive changed the dialogue in my head and its absolutely changed my life.

It's like I've had an item on my to-do list for so many years and its no longer there. I'm just happy existing in this body. My relationship with my body now is about it working well and being healthy and what it does for me, letting me exist in it and getting me from A to B.

What it looks like isnt the most important thing. I coach other people on body image now through my company Beauty Rebellion, and encourage them to look at their strengths, their values and what is in their hearts and minds.

Our partners, our family and our friends, they love us. Sure, we have an attraction to our partners, but you don't have a long-lasting relationship with a person based on the fact theyve got a small bottom. They fall in love with your heart and your mind.

Amy Bates says she's a better parent since developing a healthier mindset around food, pictured with her two children last year. (Supplied)

I stopped weighing myself 18 months ago. The last time I stepped on a scale, I was 16 stone and it blows people's minds that you could be 16 stone and say That's fine, but I now eat to nourish my body. I'm also training to do the London Marathon with my best friend.

Training for a marathon is hard for anybody but it's really hard when youre bigger because youre not set up for that but it doesn't mean that I can't do it.

Ive never exercised before for any other reason than to lose weight. I would run because I was going out for a big meal later, it was always about punishment and reward.

Read more: Workouts not working? Experts reveal the reasons why you're not seeing progress

Now, Im doing it for my best friend, who is running even though she has been diagnosed with bowel cancer and is having chemotherapy, and to see what my body is capable of doing. Its the first time I have gone running and not come home checking whether my belly looks flat or my bum looks smaller.

My mind is clearer, Im calmer and its even made me a better parent because Im equipped to help my kids grow up establishing a healthy relationship with food and exercise and themselves. Im so much happier and have way better self-esteem than I ever did when I was younger and thinner.

Sponsor Amy in the London Marathon and raise funds for Bowel Cancer UK at

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After 17 years of dieting, Ive finally stopped and learned to love myself as I am - Yahoo Lifestyle UK

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Apr 18th, 2023 | Filed under Dieting

Andrew Clark Staff Writer

Have you ever wondered why people eat insects or have insect diets? Does that sound disgusting? Are you intrigued? Do you want to eat a cricket? This past Wednesday, April 12, the Nobel Conference committee hosted a showing of the new documentary The Gateway Bug about just that.

The documentary is an introduction to many different topics including the benefits of eating bugs and talking about how to change dieting culture in the United States. The premise of the documentary is to bring light to Americas broken diet culture, and addresses the general publics ick factor when thinking about consuming insects, Sophomore Biology major Abby McCready said.

This documentary was recommended by Julie Lesnik, a speaker at this falls 59th annual Nobel conference. Lesnik spoke about different perspectives on eating bugs and the ways that it can be integrated into American dieting culture. She also discussed the potential environmental benefits of bug diets and how it can affect the climate crisis. Additionally, those who attended were invited to try cricket cookies. Lesnik is the Associate Professor of Biological Anthropology at Wayne State University. She has done extensive research into Ecology, nutrition, foraged food, human-animal relationships, and edible insects. Lesniks book, entitled Edible Insects and Human Evolution, is described as [a combination of] primatology, sociocultural anthropology, reproductive physiology, and paleoanthropology to examine the role of insects in the diets of hunter-gatherers and our nonhuman primate cousins.

Lesnik teaches a variety of classes, including Physical and Biological Anthropology, food and culture, and biology and culture. The Gateway Bug also focuses on the effects of bugs on the global climate crisis and how adding bugs to our diets could potentially impact the environment. Currently, over 2 billion people on Earth rely on eating insects for protein. Following daily habits that can help fix a food system that has been damaged by climate change Over 2 billion people on earth eat insects for protein. Following the rise and dramatic fall of edible insect start-ups, this documentary explores Americas disconnect with food, as climate catastrophe looms. Sharing daily eating habits we can all adopt, to fix the broken food system, one meal at a time, says.

[The film is] an informative journey following the dramatic rise and fall of edible insect start-ups in America. This award winning documentary explores cultural taboos in diet to uncover clues to fix our broken food system in the West. From nutrition and diet, to tackling food security in climate catastrophe, from the front line of commercial cricket farms in the rust belt, to bug eating festivals keeping Austin weird. Witness the inauguration of the first American Edible Insect Coalition in America, as lawmakers on Capitol Hill watch the water crisis in Flint threatening industrial ag[e] and the feeding of America, the official summary on IMDB says.

This event was one of many in the spring event series focused on bringing light to topics that will be discussed at this years Nobel Conference, entitled Insects: Little Body, Big Impact. The conference is scheduled to start at 8:30 am on October 4th. If you have any questions about the documentary screening event, please contact Abby McCready via email.

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The Gateway Bug - The Gustavian Weekly - The Gustavian Weekly

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Apr 18th, 2023 | Filed under Dieting

A BODY-POSITIVE gym lover has spoken out about the difficulties of having a happy relationship with exercising.

The TikTok influencer posted a video sharing her experiences of trying to overcome the desire to become "the smallest version" of herself.

Shelby (@shelbysaywhatblog) has almost 500k followers and often shares fashion tips for midsize women.

She captioned her recent video: "No one ever talks about how hard it is to build a relationship with exercise that isnt about hating your body.

"After youve spent years obsessively, losing weight, dieting, and burning calories only to be the smallest version of myself."

In a different style to her usual upbeat and glamorous videos, the influencer showed herself looking flustered and downbeat mid-workout.

It was accompanied by a trippy soundbite in the background of "hey, hey, hey, hey, are you even paying attention to me right now?"

The brunette opened up about her past relationship with her body.

"Pov: you're trying to build a healthy relationship w/ fitness that isn't about obsessive weight loss & dieting but then your body dysmorphia starts acting up at the gym," she wrote in screen-text.

Her followers rushed to the comments to share their support for her honesty and continuous positivity.

One wrote: "I LOVE seeing your gym content for the record, it makes me feel good."

They continued: "Its amazing how some days I feel totally confident & other days its absolute imposter syndrome like have I ever worked out before."

Another added: "Im proud of you. This is such an uphill battle. Its happened to me less and less as time passes and I hope the same for you."

Meanwhile, The U.S. Sun exclusively spoke to a 24-year-old toothless influencer who is embracing her appearance.

At just 19, she was left without teeth after continuous vomiting from medication obliterated her teeth.

She had to wear dentures, struggled to feel confident, and was left constantly hiding her mouth.

But now she has taken toTikTokto share her story and self-acceptance journey insisting she will no longer hide her smile.

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Im a curvy, mid-size gym girl and proud I shouldnt have to be the smallest version of myself... - The US Sun

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Apr 18th, 2023 | Filed under Dieting
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