Exploring the Gender Binary in Nutrition with Dr Catherine Morley PhD
One of the MOST important aspects of evidence-based nutrition practice is a commitment to looking critically at the science of nutrition as it evolves and allowing your practice to evolve with it. And it has always struck me that some of what we call evidence-based nutrition is actually just professional consensus. For example, why do we gender the recommendations for fibre…when the guidelines are clearly based on energy intake? The more you need to eat – which is mostly determined by your body size and activity level – the more fibre you need, full stop. It doesn’t make sense to tell all women that they need 25g of fibre daily considering that some of us are small, and not so active…and others are marathoners, or 6 feet tall!
As a new dietitian, I didn’t always feel empowered to question the status quo…and so I want to use this platform to bring these conversations public in hopes that we all feel more empowered to have these discussions. I have been looking forward to this week’s episode with Dr Catherine Morley, PhD for a while now so please join us for a look at the gender binary in nutrition as well as taking an anti-oppression approach to nutrition practice.
If you are in a healthcare role of any kind, I think that this is a really important episode to listen to, reflect on, and share with your colleagues. I believe deeply that our role as caregivers is to do everything in our power to deliver safe and supportive care for our patients and clients and that encompasses all aspects of their humanness, including gender. However, there is absolutely something here for all listeners, especially those looking to examine what they believe about nutrition and the origins of those ideas.
About Catherine Morley PhD:
Dr Catherine Morley, PhD is a recently retired professor in the School of Nutrition and Dietetics at Acadia University in Nova Scotia. Her research has focused on the meanings of eating, how feeding changes in illness as well as the food/eating/nutrition issues of transgender and gender diverse people.
She is currently the owner and principal of Catherine Morley Dietetics.
On this episode we chat about:
- What has contributed to the unquestioning, hierarchical culture of dietetics in the past
- What gender diverse and trans people need from us as dietitians
- Why BMI is not useful – and potentially harmful – for individual nutrition care
- Why calories should not have bearing on how you choose your foods
- The challenge of a low diversity profession serving a diverse population
- How funding bias drives research and research gaps hinder nutrition
- Examining whether gendered nutrient recommendations are actually best evidence
- The dramatic difference advising a large audience versus one-on-one care
- Why food security matters for all practitioners
- How marketing influences our ideas about health and nutrition
- Why releasing number crunching can help transform nutrition practice
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Thanks so much for listening to this episode of The Allsorts Podcast, which is produced by myself and edited by Brian McCalman. We are grateful to live and work and learn on the unceded and ancestral territory of the Squamish, Musqueum, Sto-Lo and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. Find out which traditional territory you live on by visiting https://www.whose.land/en/