Nourishing Your Media Feed
by Lauren Williams, Dietetic Intern
Like many nutrition professionals, I experienced an “aha” moment that led me to the field of nutrition and health. I’m a former journalist who will sheepishly admit to covering several “wellness” topics from intermittent fasting to foods you “should” order at the drive through. With each article I published, I noticed alarm bells sounding in my brain. It bothered me that the science behind these stories was minimal at best. But what raised even more red flags was the fact that my “health” articles idealized one body type, promoted expensive supplements, and shamed readers for their takeout orders. That doesn’t sound healthy to me.
I didn’t know it at the time, but I was contributing to diet culture in the media. Christy Harrison, an anti-diet dietitian and journalist describes diet culture in my favorite way—as The Life Thief. She uses this term because so many folks waste precious time, energy, and joy trying to achieve a “healthy” ideal that’s rooted in fatphobia, ageism, ableism, and racism. (Notice that science, intuition, and self-love aren’t listed.) It’s hard to tune out the diet-culture noise when it’s promoted in all forms of media.
We deserve better than this.
Or as Christy puts it, you deserve to take back your life. I believe that the best nutritionists help their clients by adding more foods to their meal plans—not by taking foods away. Let’s do the same with media. I know that social media isn’t right for everyone, and that’s okay. But if you’re a podcast-lover or Instagram-scroller, hear me out. What happens if we like, follow, and subscribe to more HAES-loving, science-backed, anti-diet channels? Not only could we fill our feeds with nourishing content while supporting awesome creators, but we could also start to drown out some of that diet culture noise.
Here are a few of my favorite places to get started:
- @foodheaven – Follow Wendy and Jess, two registered dietitians, as they explore how culture impacts nutrition and food. (Bonus: You can find delicious recipe inspiration here too.)
- @unlikelyhikers – This beautiful corner of the Internet aims to show the world that nature is diverse—and so are the hikers who explore it.
- @dietitiananna – Anna, a certified eating disorders dietitian, provides daily nuggets of wisdom on intuitive eating and body image.
- nutritionalsarah – This newly-minted dietitian offers delicious recipes and witty comebacks for when diet culture tries to bring you down.
- bravespacenutrition – In her Fridge Talk series, this registered dietitian gives science-backed answers to nutrition myths fueled by diet culture.
- mad_about_food – There’s no diet culture talk here! Instead, you’ll find delicious, simple recipes from a three-ingredient breakfast quesadilla to cookies and cream cinnamon rolls.
- Food Psych – Christy Harrison interviews psychology pros and anti-diet activists about their paths to body image healing and recovery.
- Maintenance Phase – Two hosts “debunk the junk” surrounding wellness scams and “health” fads.
- Abbey Sharp – This registered dietitian dishes up recipes, cooking tips, and anti-diet content with a side of sass.
Lauren Williams is a dietetic intern at Northwest Missouri State University. In 2016, she earned a degree in Magazine Journalism from Drake University. Her professional goal is to become a media dietitian who celebrates body diversity, health at every size, and weight-neutral healthcare.