Re-orientating Dietetic Interventions for Adults with Eating and Weight Concerns: A Qualitative Study of the Well Now course – Part II

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Abstract This research examines the impact of attending a Well Now course on participants’ wellbeing and contrasts this with their reports of previous experiences of seeking support with weight concerns. The Well Now course teaches health-gain and body respect. As such, it offers people a way of making sense of their experiences around food and eating that is premised
on criticality, compassion and respect. This is the second of two articles discussing research ndings. This was a qualitative,
community-based study using semi-structured interviews and focus groups. The participants were women and men who had completed a six session Well Now course. Interviews and focus groups were recorded and transcribed verbatim and data
were manually sorted. Coding categories were developed and participants’ quotes were assigned to these using thematic
analysis. The study had ethics approval. Participants described how engaging with the Well Now philosophy in a supportive
group had benecially impacted their sense of wellbeing and self-worth. The reorientation made available through Well Now
enhanced psychosocial variables and behaviours known to impact on health, such as mood, self-esteem, eating/exercise habits and interpersonal relationships. They recounted instances where recommendations to follow a weight-corrective approach, and attendant size bias seen in health practitioner’s attitudes, had had a detrimental impact on their wellbeing and sense of self-worth. A professional commitment to socio-politically aware practice, such as Well Now, is recommended as a means
of advancing equity, helping people heal from body shame and meeting our ethical responsibilities as health practitioners.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-76
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Critical Dietetics
Issue number2
Early online date31 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

'Through the use of open access publishing, the journal will be available free of charge to anyone who wishes to engage in ground-breaking examination of the dietetic profession.'

Nazanin Khasteganan has a background in sports science. She holds a PhD in behavioural medicine and is a researcher at Coventry University. Nazanin’s PhD study used meta-analysis and systematic review to compare the effects of ‘health not weight loss’ (HNWL) programmes with those of conventional weight loss programmes on cardiovascular risk factors. She also undertook a cross-sectional survey to identify the attitudes of a working population towards the concept of HNWL focused programmes.

Lucy Aphramor is a UK dietitian with a PhD in Critical Dietetics and a passion for spoken word poetry. She is committed to nding ways to meaningfully link self-
care and social justice so that nutrition practice helps people make sense of their experiences and regain a sense of agency in their own lives and as empowered communities. To this end Lucy developed and advocates Well Now, an approach that is compassion-centred, trauma informed and justice-enhancing. She is widely published across disciplines, often collaboratively, and performs her poetry as The Naked Dietitian.


  • Well Now
  • Critical thinking,
  • Social determinants of health
  • Compassion
  • Weight-equity
  • Shame
  • HAES


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