Egret Visits the Convention Center

Losing Weight Loss at FNCE 2022

Weight loss is a complicated subject these days. For good reasons, many people hesitate to dwell on it. Moral panic about fatness, weight bias and stigma, and concerns about eating disorders have made this subject controversial at times. So as we look at the meeting at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that starts today – FNCE 2022 – we’re not entirely surprised that weight loss is a subject with a muted presence.

Client-Centered Weight Management

In fact, if you search for educational sessions on weight loss, you won’t find much at FNCE this year. Use a more neutral term – weight management – and the most substantive session on this subject comes into view. Hollie Raynor and Maria Morgan-Bathke will be discussing tailored approaches for client-centered weight management on Tuesday morning.

Raynor will discuss a proposed standard of care for obesity authored by Bill Dietz and Christine Gallagher in 2019 that emphasizes shared decision-making. Morgan-Bathke will review the process for issuing new guidelines for adult weight management. The draft of this got HAES-oriented dietitians all riled up last winter. A learning opportunity.

Meanwhile WW Is Reclaiming Weight Loss

But despite all angst about the weight loss, it turns out that a significant number of people feel distress when they gain weight. So they look for ways to lose it. And thus, WW – which walked away from the Weight Watchers name in 2018 – has come back to it. New advertising clearly proclaims it. “WeightWatchers is for people who want to lose weight.” No apologies.

Meanwhile Obesity Is Real

None of this obscures the fact that obesity is a real medical concern for many people. At FNCE, we find plenty of content to deal with this subject – 13 of educational sessions in fact. Everything from barriers to care to promoting youth nutrition and self-esteem in underserved communities. This will be rich programming indeed.

So it seems that FNCE has the balance about right, with the emphasis on health-oriented approaches to obesity more than culturally-driven weight loss. The meeting offers much to look forward to.

Click here for more about FNCE, here for the recent systematic review of adult weight management for obesity, and here for the proposed standard of care by Dietz and Gallagher.

Egret Visits the Convention Center, photograph by Ted Kyle

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October 8, 2022