The Racist Roots of Diet Culture Podcasts

Racism is a public health issue. We can’t talk about diet culture, intuitive eating, improve body image or discuss nutrition & wellness without understanding that all of these stem from and have roots in the oppression of some bodies, historically Black bodies. Following the #Amplifymelantedvoices call to action on social media last week, we must continue to take action, continue to listen, learn, and center Black and POC voices in our lives.  Throughout this past week, I had the opportunity to hear and see so many Black accounts in the wellness and food space.    I want to highlight specific podcasts and conversations led by Black women that bring attention to racism in America and specifically pertaining to body image, mental illness, and body trauma.  

1. BodyTraumapod hosted by Nia Patterson @TheFriendINeverWanted 

Episode #002 Growing Up Black/ How Racism Shapes Our Relationships With Our Bodies with Ayana Habtemariam 

Nia and Ayana discuss body trauma in Ayana’s life and how racism and discrimination based on both their bodies create trauma in their bodies. 

Episode #005 What Is It Like Being Black in America With Mental Illness and How Do We Treat it? With Alishia McCullough 

Nia and Alishia go further than only addressing mental health and blackness.  They cover the “ideal” beauty standards and messages from diet culture and society from an early age, how that caused body image issues as well as an eating disorder. 

Episode #006 Living with Mental and Physical Illness as a Fat, Black Woman in America with Evette Dionne

Nia and Evette address fatphobia, medical bias, physical health, mental health and creating new friendships as an adult. 

2. Be Well, Sis Podcast hosted by Cassandre Dunbar @withlovecassandre 

Episode 4 : Yes, Black Women Get Eating Disorders Too 

 Cassandre interviews Alishia McCullough on discussing eating disorders in Black and Brown communities, racial disparities in diagnosing eating disorders in marginalized communities, the importance of having boundaries for mental health, and coping strategies. 

3. The Food Heaven Podcast hosted by Wendy Lopez and Jessica Jones 

Season 9 Episode 17 Fatphobia & Racial Exclusion in Dietetics w/ Veronica Garnett

Wendy and Jess address their frustrations around the most visible voices in HAES/ Intuitive Eating movement are white and thin.  Veronica Garnett, a fat positive dietitian talks about fatphobia within the field of nutrition and how health professionals can work together to make diverse voices be heard and represented. 

Season 9 Episode 8 Fearing the Black Body w/ Sabrina Strings 

Wendy and Jess talk with Sabrina about the racial origins of fat phobia, weight bias, the thin ideal, the impact on our relationship to food and our bodies, how racial bias in research is a problem, and BMI. 

Season 8, Episode 7 Racial Bias in Healthcare w/ Maya Feller 

Wendy and Jess talk with Maya Feller, a dietitian specializing in chronic disease prevention.  They address medical bias, negative health narratives that affect people of color, and honoring culture through food. 

4. Intuitive Eating for The Culture hosted by Christyna Johnson

Season 1, Episode 21 Intuitive Eating for Unrest

This 7-minute episode will let you know that you are not alone. Christyna shares how to take care of yourself while fighting for social justice and feeling disconnected from your body.

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