obesity

Deb Burgard: "I don't consider fatness a problem."

Welcome to another installment of "10 Words or Less," in which I put brief questions to interesting people and ask for brief answers in return. To be blunt, today's participant failed miserably — "I told you Michael, diets of any kind, even word diets, probably not going to work with me," she said afterward — but she has interesting things to say, and I'll take form over format any time. She is a northern California psychologist who works often with clients who have eating disorders. She is a leading voice in the Health at Every Size movement, which might be considered a response to body-focused America. 

Note: An unedited (considerably longer) video version of this interview is at the FatBoyThinMan YouTube channel.
Name: Deb Burgard
Born when, where "New Haven, I'm 55. I didn't live there very long, I actually grew up in St. Louis."
Any notable circumstance for that? "I was born on my dad's birthday."
Reside now "San Jose, and I work in Los Altos."
Family status "I just got married the whole way. I had been married in my state, and now, the feds recognize my marriage too."


Kay Sheppard: "Obsession with food, obsession with weight, and loss of control over the amount"

Welcome to another installment of "10 Words or Less," in which I ask brief questions of interesting people and request brief answers in return. Today's participant is a pioneer in the recognition and treatment of food addiction, and I should also acknowledge that she wrote the forward to my 2009 book, "Fat Boy Thin Man." She's the best-selling author of "Food Addiction, The Body Knows," published in 1989, and "From the First Bite," published in 2000, as well as other works. A licensed mental health counselor and certified eating disorders specialist, she conducts workshops for food addicts worldwide and hosts the Food Addiction Conference on AOL's Addiction and Recovery Forum. Please remember, "10 words" is an attitude, not a limit, so no counting! Besides, let's see you do it.

Name: Kay Sheppard
Born when, where Batavia N.Y., Aug. 25, 1938
An early formative event  "I had rheumatic fever when I was a youngster. Leg aches, a lot of pain. I was bedridden for almost a year."
First paying job "Babysitting. 50 cents a week."
Your education "I have a masters degree in counseling."


10 Words or Less video interview with Deb Burgard

Production deficiencies abound in this video installment of "10 Words or Less," but the content is great if you're willing to put up with my cut-off head and my amateurish lighting that fades with the rotation of the earth — how could I have seen that coming? The participant is a well-framed, well-lighted Deb Burgard, a psychotherapist in northern California who is a leader in the Health at any Size movement. She completely failed on the 10-words-or-less thing, but she's captivating, informed, and provocative.


Which group gives best nutritional advice? None of the above

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I was fascinated by the simple question put out recently by foodnavigator-usa.com — “Who is best qualified to provide nutrition counseling? RDs? MDs? a CNS? You or me?” — because I’d have to say: As a class, at least, none of the above.

What a shocking realization: We got nuthin'!


Not only not deprivation, it might be a step toward health

Let’s talk about deprivation. As in “deprivation diets don’t work,” which is a mantra of most of the registered dietitians I’ve encountered. Everything in moderation, because people won’t stick to a food plan on which they feel deprived.

I don’t disagree with that last part, “feeling” deprived, and I understand the necessity of meeting one’s patient where they are.


Too much, and not enough, in Atlantic junk-food story

My alert and studious friend Steve passed me this story from the Atlantic that springs from a familiar mold, taking the contrarian viewpoint on a reaction to orthodoxy. In this instance, the orthodoxy is our broken food system, the reaction is Pollanism, and David H. Freedman’s contrarian viewpoint is embodied by its headline, “How Junk Food Can End Obesity.”


Weight stigma and the Serenity Prayer

“Grant me serenity to accept things I cannot change, courage to change things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”

What I most like about the Serenity Prayer is that almost every quandary in life will be resolved by one of its three legs. But I’ve been thinking about one recently for which I need all three.


Canada enlists sugar king to fight diabetes

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Ordinarily I’d just tweet this ‘cause I don’t have much to add to it, but I wanted to highlight the bankruptcy of this in a headline.

One of the Canadian government’s “partners” for an anti-diabetes campaign is the Tim Hortons donut empire. As Dr. Yoni Freedhoff said in his headline, no, this is "not The Onion."


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