Thursday, April 22, 2010

why don't health care professionals know about non-diet, HAES or feeding dynamics?

Had a great time talking to the LPNs at their annual conference in Alexandria this week. Great questions from these dedicated health care professionals. I got to introduce some important topics like Division of Responsibility in Feeding, Health at Every Size, being careful about growth charts and labeling patients...

One woman astutely asked, "Is this in the curriculum in medical school? Patients are going to trust their doctors on this."

Alas, the answer largely is "no," health care providers aren't getting the whole picture. There were huge chunks of data and information I was never exposed to in my training. Part of my mission is to spread the word to health care providers- at least expose them to another side of this complex story.

Here's what one internist said after she heard me at a conference last year. "Hearing Katja's presentation was really eye-opening. In some ways, I didn't know what I didn't know. The ideas and evidence she presented are revolutionary and it is unfortunate that it is not taught in our medical training. I am working on incorporating some of these ideas into practice and doing my own study of the research. I feel it is helping my relationships with patients be more positive and encouraging and I feel I am better able to help them." (Melissa, MD)

Then another nurse asked, "Why aren't we learning this stuff?"
Still trying to answer that one...

What do you think? Why aren't health professionals (I know a nutrition/public health grad student who has never heard of HAES or Satter's work...) hearing about this stuff? Are you in health care? Were you exposed to these ideas?


  1. As a dietitian, I had heard of Ellyn Satter but was never taught anything in school. It was up to me to seek out the information on my own. I'm not sure why more of Satter's work (and non-diet approaches in general) isn't taught in school and internships. Both the AAP and ADA say they support DOR!

  2. What amazed me is that Ellyn Satter doesn't even have a wikipedia page, which might be a good place to start.

    I just started reading "Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family" and it's so incredibly eye opening. I'm thinking about getting a copy for my doctor so hopefully will find it informative and tell his patients. My doctor isn't fat-shaming, unlike his PA who totally is, but he did once suggest Weight Watchers as a fool-proof way to lose weight, since he did it once and lost 20 lbs.

  3. What a great idea about Wikipedia. I'll pass that idea along! I love Secrets too! Glad you are thinking of passing it along. You can mention that the feeding principles are advocated by the American Dietetic Association. I love the feeding philosophy in it, and I'm also making more recipes from it too! Meatloaf tonight...
    Child of Mine makes a great baby shower gift too...