Welcome to the All Fired Up podcast, with your host Louise Adams!
Louise is by nature a mild mannered clinical psychologist, but her alter ego – a FIERCE and fearless anti-diet crusader – is taking over! Louise specialises in helping people recover from disordered eating, and she’s COMPLETELY OVER trying to help people when the culture we live in is utterly sick, toxic, and screwed up when it comes to food, exercise, health, and body size.
Louise cannot for a second longer take the rampant injustice of a society obsessed with thinness and health. She can’t STAND how fat people are being treated like second class citizens. She is LIVID about the way weight science is being sold to make a buck off human misery.
And she’s SO OVER the diet bulls**t that she’s shelved her own introversion and started a podcast!
So welcome to All Fired Up!, where Louise delves deeply into diet culture and blows it the hell up! Each week we’ll meet brave and fascinating anti-diet warriors who are also fighting for equality, justice, and freedom. Join us, and get All Fired Up! about building a better world!
Obesity Australia, If You Are Listening...
At LONG LAST I am pleased to present Part 2 of our deep dive into the murky underworld of "Big O" - Australia's obesity organisations, and their links to Big Pharma. Join me and fearless anti-diet dietitian Mandy-Lee Noble as we reveal the disturbing progress which Novo Nordisk is making, steadily infiltrating our universities, academics, health professionals, consumer groups, and news media with one goal: to make larger bodied Aussies believe that they are diseased and need urgent treatment! And in spite of the obesity organisations repeatedly claiming to be 'transparent' about their funding sources, we keep discovering that NOTHING is what it seems! Smoke, mirrors and deflections abound, and there is SO much money being thrown at so many different groups, our heads are spinning. AND they're using weight stigma as a weapon to push their drugs and surgeries! It's diabolical double speak and it needs to be stopped. This is an episode NOT to be missed !
What’s firing up my wonderful anti-diet dietitian guest Mandy-Lee Noble? Since our last podcast, (Ep #55 - Inside The Obesity Collective), there have been some new developments on the Big Pharma front, particularly in how they are trying to shape hysteria around weight - driving people into treatment and portraying higher weight as being a health issue in and of itself. What has really spiked Mandy’s frustration is that at the start of 2020 the esteemed journal Nature (in their medical journal ‘Nature Medicine’) released a “Consensus statement” about obesity stigma. CONTENT WARNING - we’ll be using the stigmatising ‘o’ word (obese) throughout this podcast because of how the groups we’re talking about use it. But we HATE IT because it is implicitly stigmatising! So this group released a joint international consensus statement for the ending of stigma of the ‘o’ word (with that stigmatising word in the title!) We thought … maybe they’re starting to do the right thing? But … no. Upon reading, it reveals itself as just another push to get people into treatment simply because they are in a larger body. And what might be influencing this paper? Let’s check how many times Novo Nordisk is mentioned in this statement as a ‘conflict of interest’ … it’s in the double digits. 20 times, out of 40 authors. Novo Nordisk isn’t the only conflict of interest. The major supporters of this paper were pushing surgical devices for bariatric surgery (Ethicon). Mandy has issues about the use of the word ‘stigma’ here. Weight stigma is when you’re treated poorly just due to your weight, which we know is an epidemic and happening all the time and leading to poor health outcomes and disengagement from healthcare. When these industry groups use that word, they consider it a barrier to people using treatment! It’s all just dollar-signs to them. In the spirit of transparency - let’s go through the conflicts of interest for Louise and Mandy. Hope you’ve got some time …. (Louise played a cricket sound). ;) Basically f**k all, right? We’re not getting paid. We’re here for love, not money - not for the vested interest of corporations or even of ourselves. This kind of ‘investigative journalism’ research has an impact on our mental health, for sure! Mandy arcs up at the assumption that people at higher weights need treatment for disease - the stigma is there in the assumption. Let’s reflect on what happened after the last podcast. There were unexpected ripples from that episode. The powers that be at Obesity Australia were listening … either that or there were some totally weird coincidences. Some of the coincidences: the fact sheets disappeared! The fact sheets telling people that chips were lethal and to drink Diet Coke to put off their hunger, all of the magic 1920’s weight loss tips have vanished. The whole oldy-worl
Bright Line Eating: Part 2
In Part 2 of our Bright Line Eating episode, I explore Susan Peirce Thompson's grand claims that her weight loss program is "the most effective in the world", and come to a very different conclusion. I also chat with Dr Martina Zangger, who spent 2 years as a "Bright Lifer" and has literally been to hell and back. Not only is she thousands of dollars out of pocket, but she's had to overcome a Bright Line induced eating disorder. And she is NOT HAPPY! Diet culture constantly sells us the glossy testimonials, but the ANTI-TESTIMONIAL is much more important. The only winner here is the Bright Line Bank Account - you will not believe how much cash Susan Peirce Thompson is raking in from selling starvation. It's enough to run a small country, yet strangely, Bright Line Eating can't even squeeze out any decent research? CW for this episode, which has LOTS of explicit talk about eating disordered practices, numbers, and extreme dieting.
Welcome to part two of our deep dive into Susan Peirce Thompson’s program Bright Line Eating - if you missed the last episode, go back and have a listen. Last episode we talked about the rules of the Bright Line Eating program, which is basically a monetised version of Food Addicts Anonymous. We talked about neuroscience with Dr Susan Aamodt, and how she found some peace in the non-diet approach. Susan also gave us a great overview of how our brains regulate body weight, and how the food addiction model isn’t well supported by evidence. Now we’re going to continue by looking at the alleged ‘research’ that ‘backs up’ Bright Line Eating, and then hear from Dr Martina Zangger who nominated Bright Line for the Crappy awards and brought this rant to us. And to round things out - just how much money is this program making, and where is it heading? Content warning - there is some mention of numbers (weights) as we go through some research. Susan Peirce Thompson is always talking about research in her book, her emails and thousands of messages she sends out to program members (and prospective members) - research that supposedly proves the effectiveness of her program. The truth is that the research is much less shiny and sparkly than Thompson makes out. On her website - four publications are listed. Actually, only one of them is a published paper. The other three are posters from conferences. At conferences (for example, in the nutrition world) there are lecture presentations, panels and then ‘poster presentations’. Anyone from an Honours or Masters level student, a weight-loss industry group can put up a poster - they’re not the same as a published research paper. So, on her website there’s actually only one published research paper. And it’s interesting - Thompson has been in academia for most of her life, yet has so little in her name in terms of research publications. It’s usually a requirement of being employed at an academic institution, to be publishing often. So, let’s look at that paper. It’s from the Journal of Nutrition & Weight Loss, and the title is ‘Evaluation of a Commercial Telehealth Weight Loss and Management Program’, published in 2018. Thompson is not one of the authors. The paper overview evaluated her online eight week bootcamp, part of her monetised program. The paper said that between October 2014 - March 2018 (roughly four years), 18,778 people enrolled in the bootcamp. WOW - this program costs US $900 per person, and nearly 19,000 people have been through this program. 9,996 of these people agreed to participate in this ongoing research study of the program, and then eight weeks later 5,374 people completed the return survey. That’s a drop out rate of around 50%. Remember - you’re just paid US $900 and you’ve dropped out after eight weeks. What they found out: Demographics - people buying this program are mainly white,
Bright Line Eating
In this gripping 2 part episode of All Fired Up, I explore the shadowy world of "Bright Line Eating", a super extreme diet cult which cherry picks neuroscience to convince people that they are 'food addicts', and then sells one of the world's most restrictive (and expensive) diet regimes to keep people hooked on the dream of achieving 'goal weight'. Bright Line Eating is the lucrative brainchild of neuroscientist Susan Peirce Thompson, a charismatic saleswoman who holds nothing back when it comes to the hard sell. Join me as I ask the question, who IS Susan Peirce Thompson - a food addict who has finally found the answer to her addictions, or someone who is still desperately stuck in her eating disorder? We also speak with neuroscientist Dr Sandra Aamodt, who literally attended the SAME UNIVERSITY as Susan Peirce Thompson, and has also experienced eating and body issues, but found peace through mindful and intuitive eating and body acceptance rather than continuing to white knuckle the revolving door of weight cycling. Dr Aamodt has very different ideas regarding this whole idea of food 'addiction'. Spoiler alert: Food addiction models = Binge Eating Disorder rebranded! DO NOT MISS this story, it's a ripper! But CW - these 2 episodes have a lot of talk about weight, details of diet rules, and eating disorders, so take care if you think you might be triggered.
Hello listeners! Remember me? I’m back! What a year we’ve had. I am back from a break where I was taking care of life for a while. Now I’m back and angrier than ever. Today’s episode is a two-parter, and we’ll be keeping the energy and the rants going on a regular basis again. Remember the Crappy Awards earlier this year? One of the nominations has been gnawing away at me. This is from Dr Martina Zangger, who sent us a rant about Bright Line Eating, a program by Susan Peirce Thompson. Bright Line Eating is a severely restrictive diet, and a very expensive program. Martina shares with us that she experienced Orthorexia and was at risk of Anorexia while engaging with the program - she was obsessed with every bite of food that passed her lips, and says she became a ‘not very nice person’ while so hangry and feeling superior to other people. That feeling of being superior and special was encouraged within the program. After two years, Martina was able to move away from the program and regain the weight she lost, and that process was so disheartening. However, two years after leaving that program, Martina is so much more at peace with her body. She’s able to find enjoyment in food, and in sharing food with friends and family. Bright Line Eating is making Susan Peirce Thompson rich and is such an unethical program from a practitioner who should know better. I’m still simmering with rage over this Crappy nomination. The impact of programs like this is devastating on people’s lives. Martina lost two years of her life and experienced an eating disorder, and her story of recovery needs to be heard. How are programs like this still happening, and being sold at such enormous profit? After I heard Martina’s story, I’ve been neck-deep in Susan Peirce Thompson and Bright Line Eating. It’s more than a diet, it’s more like a cult. There’s a variety of techniques being used in it to sell problematic ideas and encourage eating disordered behaviour in an apparent attempt to free yourself from ‘disordered behaviour’ - a mindfuck of the next level. So, I’ve been reading and researching and I’m ready to dive into a two part series - this episode is about Bright Line Eating and Susan Peirce Thompson. We’re going to talk about her story, her book, and more broadly talk about the topic of neuroscience as it applies to body weight, and also dive into food addiction models. In the next episode, we’ll talk more with Mar
Covid Contiki Tour Part 2
Part 2 of our Covid Contiki tour is here! We're continuing our whirlwind trip around the world to see what the data tells us about the relationship between body size and COVID-19. Diet culture is busily creating a narrative that being larger is a huge risk factor for contracting, developing complications, and even dying from the virus, and our BS detectors are UP! Alongside my fellow travel guides Jess Campbell (nutritionist and medical student) and Fiona Willer (anti-diet dietitian and statistical warrior), we're diving deep into the data to reveal the real picture - and the truth is VERY DIFFERENT from the headlines! In Part 1 we visited China and the USA, and in this episode we're off to France, Italy, and the UK. What we find will blow your mind! This is a MUST LISTEN!
CW - this episode discusses severe illness and death, and mentions the "O" word multiple times. If you're finding it all a bit much, wait until you've got some gas in the tank. But if you're ready to get totally fired up about how weight bias is impacting our understanding of this pandemic, let's go!
We’re back, and we’re heading to France! There’s a study out of France that’s again being used to push this idea of BMI being related to not just hospitalisation but seriousness of the COVID19 illness, such as the need for intensive interventions such as ventilation. It’s a small study with the title “Obesity is an independent risk factor for severe COVID 19”. So, it’s upping the ante in this article to claim that body size is an independent risk factor for severity, or how sick you get with COVID 19. The study is of 124 patients who were admitted to the ICU in a hospital in Lille, France. What the New York Times article mentioning this study said was that nearly half of the 124 patients in this study were ‘obese’ (Louise is feeling some fatigue at saying the ‘o’ word). They say that this is twice the obesity rate of a comparison group admitted to ICU for other reasons last year. It also claimed that as people's body weight went up, so did their need for ventilation. Things to look at in this paper - who were the people being admitted? 73% were male, average age 60. The study controlled for age, diabetes and hypertension, but didn’t control for other factors which have been found to be really important here - things like smoking, cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic respiratory disease. There’s no mention either in this paper of social disadvantage. Lille in France is a working class city with a really high poverty rate, so 1 in 4 people in Lille live below the poverty line. That fact isn’t mentioned anywhere in the paper or in the New York Times article. If you read something about body size and COVID symptom severity, you are not being told the full picture when it comes to health and what impacts on our health and our ability to fight back and recover from an infection which we have no immunity for. Next stop, Italy! Italy has been hit so incredibly hard by COVID, we’re seeing a huge impact there and some horrible statistics on death rates. They’ve managed to get some data together and put out some papers, which is an amazing effort. A paper released recently on the 20th of April 2020 looks at outcomes (deaths) and is pretty heavy-going. It’s a large study, including 21,500 people who died. It digs into the relationship between body weight and death outcomes, seriousness of outcomes, demographics and things like that. Jess takes us through it - this study is of 21,551 COVID deaths, but the data that they had about coexisting conditions was based on a limited sample of 1,890 people. So, that’s the number of people they could access medical files for. We have no idea if what we’re seeing in this paper is actually representative of everyone who dies. There’s a lot of missing data, all
Covid Contiki Tour Part 1
Not even a global pandemic can stop the feverish hysteria of diet culture! As COVID-19 wreaks havoc across the world, there’s a sh*tload of truly hideous media articles and speculative research editorials proclaiming that higher weight people get sick more often, more severely, and even die at a higher rate than thin people. This narrative is largely being accepted as an unquestioned ‘truth’ by most media outlets. But where did this idea come from, and what does the data say? This week on All Fired Up we’re travelling around the world on a virtual COVID Contiki tour, visiting the COVID-19 hot spots, finding out where these narratives came from, and digging deep into the statistics to see what’s actually going on. I am joined by my fellow tour guides Fiona Willer, anti-diet dietitian and weight science expert, and Jess Campbell, anti-diet nutritionist and medical student, in an intrepid mission to uncover the truth!
This is an epic 2-part series which is ESSENTIAL LISTENING. In such challenging times, we need objective and transparent information. It’s simply not OK to keep serving up weight biased BS. But be warned - this is obviously a very distressing topic, and this episode contains multiple uses of the “O” word (there was no way around it), plus we’re going into explicit discussions of disease, death, and BMI. Look after yourself!
This week I have multiple guests in an incredible 2 part series! We are super fired up about COVID-19 and the BS weight-related outcomes being speculated about left, right and centre. Fiona Willer, fearless anti-diet dietitian and weight science expert, alongside Jess Campbell, anti-diet nutritionist and medical student join me to unpack the COVID-covert-crap! We’re in the midst of an epidemic, with a terrible virus taking over the world. On the day of recording (26th April 2020) there’s something like 200,000 deaths across the world and so many countries in lockdown and in crisis. And as usual, we’re pissed off - we’re hungry for data, to understand and unpack the fast-moving science behind COVID-19 and what’s making it tick. This whole podcast is about the impact of how weight stigma and weight bias impacts how we understand the world, and it’s clear now how weight bias is shaping how we understand COVID-19. So, I’m so happy we have two of the finest brains on the planet to join me on this massive research rabbit hole that we’ve been in for the last few weeks. Today we’re going to unpack the science and the published data that we’ve come across. Not all of it - there’s mountains of it - but we’ll try and do a bit of a whistle-stop tour around the planet of what kind of data is coming out of different countries, and compare and contrast that with what is being said in some of our media and our journals. What fun! A “COVID Contiki tour!” So, what are we seeing? There are some really hideous media articles around that are basically claiming this idea that higher weight people are at increased risk of catching Coronavirus, that they have more severe symptoms and a higher death rate. So our starting questions were about whether this is true, and what is it based on? I wanted to start with some examples of the really s****y media articles that are coming out that have really damaged and upset people in larger bodies. Two of them came out on April 16th, 2020 - there was an article in European Scientist from Dr Aseem Malhotra called “COVID 19 and the elephant in the room”. Fiona reckons that the use of this idiom is a bit of a litmus test for uninterrogated biases. A warning that this episode will likely mention the ‘o’ word several times, as we discuss these articles. The first page of Dr Malhotra’s hysteria-raising article says in capital letters “OBESITY - THE REAL KILLER BEHIND COVID”. Dreadful. It basically
The 2019 Crappy Awards
It’s WAY overdue, but the 2019 Crappy Awards are finally here! 2019 was a SH*TTY year of diet culture BS, with countless examples of gaslighting opportunism from profit hungry snake oil salesman. From fashion brands and Big “O” stealing body positivity, to medical negligence and library invasions, NOTHING is sacred to the weight loss wolves hungry to make a buck off body misery! Our listeners have gathered together the MOST loathsome examples of these bottom feeding b*stards in a magnificent rant-fest of epic proportions! If you’ve had a gutful of COVID19, tune in for some truly furious take downs of the weight loss industry! I strongly advise a large quarantini and headphones for this ep as the swear-o-meter is set to high! Featuring guest judge Alyssa, our carry over champ from the 2018 awards ceremony. Who will win???
Goodness me, we’re dealing with multiple layers of fear and uncertainty at this time. We’re going to get through this but bloody hell, what an absolute shit-fight. I hope you’re all staying safe, and that this episode and The Crappys give you a needed belly laugh. Announcement! Why should we wait until the end of the year for The Crappys? For the rest of 2020, we’re going to ‘rant as you go’. If you hear something from diet culture that really gets your goat and gets your blood boiling, you can submit a rant to me anytime. While it’s fresh, do a quick recording - around two to three minutes – introduce yourself, rant about the thing that’s pissing you off, and send it to me as an .mp3 or .mp4 to email@example.com. I’ll save them up until the next Crappy Awards. A warning for this episode – plenty of swearing! And without further ado, I’m going to introduce the 2019 Crappy Awards! Grab a ‘quarantini’ and let’s rant about diet culture. Alyssa won our previous Crappy Awards in 2018 with a brilliant rant about the ‘cookie diet’ and so joins us as a guest judge this year. 2019 was a huge year for crappy diet culture crap. Huge. And it’s seeped into 2020 – just a quagmire of shit to rake through to pick the crappiest of 2019. Even as a non-competing judge, Alyssa couldn’t help but submit a rant herself. Alyssa nominates the book ‘How Not to Diet’ by Dr Michael Greger. It mentioned weight loss multiple times on just the cover blurbs, and the kicker – this book is about the “ideal weight-loss diet”. IDEAL WEIGHT-LOSS DIET. In a book called ‘how not to diet’. SERIOUSLY! “A timeless proactive approach that can stand up to any new trend” … even his own new trend? There’s too many of them! “Chock full of actionable advice and groundbreaking dietary research. ‘How Not to Diet’ will put an end to dieting and replace those constant weight-loss struggles with a simple, healthy, sustainable lifestyle”. We’ve got weight-loss, weight-loss, weight-loss, then ‘lifestyle’, hence a nomination for The Crappys. Some consistency here with her 2018 winning rant objecting to being mansplained at with the ‘cookie diet’! Dr Michael Greger is another thin white male entering the ‘how not to diet’ space. Is this a joke? A how-not-to-diet-step-by-step-diet? Alyssa has some judging criteria for the official 2019 entries – laugh factor, sarcasm factor, and WTF or ‘mind blown’ factor. Entry #1 – from Anna Hearn, founder of Haven Wellness. It’s a unique fat-positive fitness and yoga studio in Sydney, Australia. Haven focuses on helping members build a compassionate relationship with their bodies which is very different to typical gym culture, and to build a resilience against diet culture out in the ‘real world’. Anna wants to rant about body positivity being co-opted for marketing purposes. Anna had a conversation with a friend who reiterated the idea that fashion brands use thin bodies because ‘that
Customer ReviewsSee All
HAES weight limit?
Guest speakers were great!!! Loved this topic and coverage, new information for me. <<grateful >>💜
Glad to discover this!
I enjoyed the forthright attitude! And every week the fire is kindled anew. Fiona, too!
I love how unapologetic Louise and her guests are in taking down diet culture and calling out the systems of oppression that keep people stuck in the thin ideal