26 - What to Do if Your Doctor is Pressuring You to Lose Weight for Health
Play • 40 min

This week, on the podcast, we're talking about the idea that weight loss improves health, and why doctors tend to focus on weight loss with their patients. We also look at what the science *actually* says about weight and health (it might surprise you), and how to advocate for yourself with your doctors.


Another factor we are talking about is weight stigma and how it can have negative effects on people's health. Weight stigma is shown to be pervasive among doctors (and dietitians), and it correlates with worse patient care and worse medical outcomes (which then often get blamed on the patient and their weight). Go ahead and hit play and listen to Katy break down this complex topic so that you can take care of your body and your health in meaningful ways. 

I would argue that weight is a false metric. It's easy to measure, easy to compare and thus it appears useful, yet it isn't, because weight actually doesn't tell us that much about a person. “- Katy Harvey

[00:01 - 10:27] Intentional Weight Loss Will Result In Weight Gain

  • Discussing the topic of health and weight pressure from doctors
  • It’s important to remember that everyone is different and what works for one person may not work for another
  • It’s important to be honest with your doctor and let them know your concerns about weight loss being part of your health regimen
  • How BMI is a flawed metric 
    • It does not take into account a person’s health
    • Weight doesn’t determine our health
  • The correlation between being overweight and certain health conditions
    • The bias and has been shown to shown to produce poor health outcomes
    • Being overweight does not mean it’s bad for your health
  • Intentional weight loss is likely to result in weight gain in the long run


[10:28 - 19:23] Understanding The Science of Weight Loss

  • Dieting is not effective and can lead to worse health outcomes
  • Physical activity is a better predictor of longevity than weight
  • Health promoting behaviors
    • Getting enough sleep
    • Taking medications
    • Having access to routine health care
  • Understanding the science before recommending weight loss
  • Weight cycling
    • Telling someone to lose weight will result to losing and regaining it


[19:24 - 29:10] Having a Relationship with Food

  • Being a fat is seen as the worst thing ever
    • Why people avoid medical care
  • The stigma on weight leads to poorer outcomes for fat patients
  • Doctors spend less time with their fat patients
    • Results in poorer outcomes
  • Ask you doctor to talk about your health without talking about weight
    • Asking your doctor to not be weighed
  • The societal obsession with weight
    • It can be harmful to your health
    • The doctor is using a weight-centric approach
  • Katy discusses the benefits and drawbacks of weight discussions with doctors
    • The discussion can be harmful if the doctor has concerns and recommendations about weight
  • Katy recommends that clients advocate for themselves when it comes to their health and weight
    • Don’t just blindly listen to your doctors about weight
    • Doctors should ask their overall relationship with food and health


[29:11 - 32:24] The Benefits of Intuitive Eating Over Dieting

  • Weight cycling is more unhealth than being chronically overweight
    • Weight cycling can be heard on the body and can lead to other health problems
  • Intuitive eating is correlated with improved health parameters
    • Dieting correlates with worsening health parameters
  • Lifestyle changes to improve your diet
    • Adding more potassium-rich foods
    • Physical activity that help manage conditions like blood pressure and diabetes
  • Getting physical activity regardless of weight is a better predictor of the longevity than your weight
  • Health promoting behaviors
    • These are proven to be more effective and enjoyable and sustainable that doing a temporary diet


[32:25 - 39:05] Wrapping up! 

  • Doctors are generally very kind and caring people
    • It is important to practice using your voice and being upfront and direct with your doctor
  • People can overcome fears and anxieties about their health through therapy and competent medical care
  • Save tons of time and money by planning meals ahead! Grab Katy’s FREE Six Simple Steps to Menu Planning guide at nondietacademy.com/menuplan!


Key Quotes

Sometimes people interpret intuitive eating or Health At Every Size to mean that we're disregarding health and that seriously could not be farther from the truth. We are very much in favor of health when we're practicing intuitive eating and a more meaningful and effective way rather than getting tunnel vision around weight and dieting because that fixation is actually causing more harm to help.” - Katy Harvey

We need to be supporting people with interventions that are actually health promoting, things like getting enough sleep, taking your medications, having access to routine health care, being physically active, physical activity is shown to benefit health, regardless of where a person's at on their weight spectrum.”  - Katy Harvey

There is a correlation between weight and health and some health conditions. I am not denying that correlation, but correlation is not the same thing as causation. And even if weight is the culprit, the recommendation to lose weight is a problem in and of itself.” - Katy Harvey 

Resource Mentioned:


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Let’s get connected! 

Instagram: @katyharvey.rd

Facebook: KatyHarveyRD

Website: https://katyharvey.net 

 LEAVE A REVIEW + and SHARE this episode with someone who wants to find their own freedom with food. Listen to previous episodes on Spotify, Itunes or Libsyn. 

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