17: Michelle Allison and the Hungry Mortal Body

Michelle Allison, also known as The Fat Nutritionist, is a registered dietician based in Canada. She helps people work through various dietary and nutrition needs. I started following her years ago because the name “The Fat Nutritionist” caught my eye. Michelle’s work interests me for a number of reasons, and one of the fascinations we share is with death denial and the prevalence with which mortality salience influences our decisions not only with regard to nutrition, but to how we understand ourselves and each other. Topics we cover: mortality salience, fatness, food as poison, food as medicine, the tendency to prescribe individual consumer solutions to systemic, corporate problems. I loved talking with Michelle and hope you enjoy the conversation. I apologize in advance for the audio quality on my end — it seems the Skype recorder did a much better job of recording her end of the conversation and there are moments when it is hard to hear me!

Atlantic article by Michelle Allison: Eating Toward Immortality: Diet culture is just another way of dealing with the fear of death

Mentioned by Michelle, an article detailing a comprehensive dieting study that determined health outcomes with weight loss were not that significant: Is Dieting Worth the Trouble? by diet researchers A. Janet Tomiyama, Britt Ahlstrom, and Traci Mann

Mentioned by Michelle, a book that was formative for her, Losing It: False Hopes and Fat Profits in the Diet Industry by Laura Fraser

Book I mention: Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer by Barbara Ehrenreich

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