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This webinar was presented live on March 11, 2019.
Most people attempt weight loss at some point, whether due to medical recommendations or efforts to fit into culturally accepted body norms. Yet scientific research and life experiences demonstrate that dieting does not result in lasting weight loss for the vast majority of people. These efforts are not harmless; weight loss interventions can cause collateral damage to mental health by fostering body image issues, depression, and eating disorders. The biological reason that diets do not work lies in the brain's role in defending a weight range that is specific to each individual. Fortunately, the brain also supports the learning of new habits that can contribute to better mind and body health, even without weight loss. By promoting a self-care approach for bodies of all sizes, dietitians are well positioned to improve mental health and well being while reducing weight stigma. Scientific evidence to support such a paradigm shift and practical skills for dietitians will be shared.
CPE Level: 2
Learning Need Codes: 5200, 1050, 6020
Performance Indicators: 1.3.4, 8.1.2, 9.3.3
- Describe the impacts of energy and nutrient restriction on the brain and body's function.
- Summarize research evidence that suggests poor long-term outcomes for weight loss pursuits, including physical and mental health.
- List practical skills dietitians can use for promoting self-care and behavior changes in complex clients without energy restrictions.
Rebecca Scritchfield, MA, RDN, EP-C
Rebecca Scritchfield is a registered dietitian nutritionist, certified exercise physiologist, author of the book Body Kindness, and host of the Body Kindness podcast. Through her weight-inclusive, Health at Every Size counseling practice, she helps people make peace with food, find the joy in exercise, and create a better life with workable goals that fit individual interests.
Central to all her work, Rebecca aims to develop self-compassion in place of shame by rejecting the rules of diet culture and the pervasive myth that to achieve better health one must lose weight. Rebecca is passionate about examining the cultural narrative around health and wellness and shifting the conversation inclusive well-being enhancement. She writes regularly on these issues for Washington Post, Self, and US News. Using her Body Kindness philosophy, Rebecca mentors registered dietitians and supports women from around the world in collaborative, online learning spaces free from unhelpful diet chatter and negative body talk. Rebecca has influenced millions through her writing, podcast, and appearances in over 100 media outlets. She lives in Washington DC with her partner and two girls.