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Being healthy is more than size

06-05-2022 Category: General Posted by: danielle.skerman

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Today, No Diet Day, is the time to reflect on the importance of eliminating body discrimination, weight stigma and diet culture.

Just like the saying 'don't judge a book by its cover', body size is not always an indication of health. Erin Melhuish, Marathon Health Dietitian, spoke with us about this year's No Diet Day theme, Health at Every Size (HAES).

"A HAES approach is about making healthy changes to your diet and lifestyle without putting the focus on weight loss," Erin explains.

“There are many situations where it may be harder for someone to lose weight, so focusing strictly on weight can be very damaging to a person’s mental health.” 

It's not easy to eradicate diet culture in a body-obsessed society. It requires us to be aware of the unhealthy messages we receive about food and our bodies in order to protect ourselves from their impact.

Every year, it seems, a new fad diet emerges to aid in weight loss. While these might work in the short term, they can have a damaging effect on your body's health.

"It is possible for someone to lose weight by making some really unhealthy changes to their diet, like restricting whole food groups or over-restricting eating, which can lead to nutrient deficiencies and illnesses.

"It is important to put the focus on a balanced diet and lifestyle rather than just weight loss, and to encourage people to make small changes that they can maintain over a long period of time. If we want to improve and maintain our health, we need to make these healthy changes for the rest of our lives, not just for a few months like on a fad diet.”

Dietitians are often thought of as ‘someone who will put me on a diet’, but the ‘diet’ part of their names simply refers to food and having a greater understanding of how it helps or hinders the body. 

"We are here to support people to make meaningful changes to their diets that will help them become the healthiest versions of themselves."

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