Committed to moving the dietetic profession forward
Originating as a Facebook community in 2018, Weight-Inclusive Dietitians in Canada (WIDIC) was officially launched in March 2020 by registered dietitian Vincci Tsui. As someone relatively new to weight-inclusive practice herself, Vincci found that while there were (and still are!) a growing number of resources for healthcare practitioners looking to practice using a weight-inclusive approach, many of them are US-based, and don’t account for some of the advantages and challenges of the Canadian healthcare system. Vincci also hoped to create a community of like-minded dietitians that were “closer to home.”
WIDIC’s mission is to strengthen the dietetic profession and dietetics practice in Canada through continuing education and community support, with a focus on elevating voices and groups who are often made marginalized in the dietetics and healthcare communities. Our ultimate vision is for intersectional, weight-inclusive care to be the standard for dietetics and healthcare, and the harms of intentional weight loss and weight management practices to be acknowledged, avoided, and addressed.
What is Weight-Inclusive Care?
Weight-inclusive care challenges the common but erroneous belief that health is predicated on body weight. One of the key differences between a weight-inclusive approach and conventional care is that the former rejects weight management as a health intervention. Weight management perpetuates weight stigma by pathologizing body size, as well as increases the risk of weight cycling and disordered eating, thereby causing harm and contributing to worse health outcomes.
A weight-inclusive approach works to promote overall well being, regardless of a person’s size. The term “weight-inclusive” (rather than “weight neutral”) describes an active position to include all weights and bodies in care. This approach is rooted in social justice, particularly the fat activism, fat acceptance, and body liberation movements. Practitioners aim to increase equity and access to people of all sizes and identities by avoiding stigmatizing and oppressive practices, working to undo the harm caused by these practices, and advocating for anti-oppression and increased access to safe and equitable resources in the world at large.
To strengthen the dietetic profession and dietetic practice in Canada through continuing education and community support with an intersectional weight-inclusive approach.
To make intersectional, weight-inclusive care the standard for dietetics and healthcare.
Fat Positivity & Body Liberation
A weight-inclusive practice is not one that simply “includes people of all sizes.” Weight-inclusive practice has its roots in fat activism, which is a movement started by and for fat people. As dietitians practicing using a weight-inclusive approach, we honour and follow the lead of fat people and activists, and centre the voices and lived experiences of fat people in our work.
Critical Approach to Practice
We encourage learning, deconstructing, decolonizing, and expanding the knowledge base that is considered central to dietetic practice. We reject the pathologizing of human diversity, including fatness, and challenge the systems under which the current empirical knowledge base has been established, as it is grounded in white supremacy, patriarchy, colonialism, fatphobia, and other systems of oppression.
Social justice is about working towards improved human rights, access, participation and equity for everyone. In the context of an intersectional, weight-inclusive approach to care, this means going beyond treating people with marginalized identities with respect and dignity; it includes understanding how social systems and structures contribute to inequity, how conventional weight-centric narratives contribute to these inequities and in turn worse health, and how to change the way we practice so that we can contribute to equity and better health for all. We recognize the ways that dietetics have been used in Canada and around the world as part of anti-Black, anti-Indigenous and other oppression, and are striving to do better.
We strive to create a community that is inclusive to everyone. While no space can be completely safe, we aim to centre the voices and prioritize the safety of folks with identities that are often made marginalized.
In line with WIDIC’s goals to create an inclusive community and centre the voices of those less represented in dietetics and healthcare, the purpose of the Advisory Council is to ensure that a diversity of voices are represented in decisions regarding the direction of the organization.
Vincci Tsui, RD (she/her)
Mohkinstsis/Guts’ists’i/Wîchîspa (Calgary, AB)
Tressa Beaulieu, RD (she/her)
Treaty 1 territory, lands of Annishinabeg, Anisininiwak, Dakota Oyate, Dene, Anishininiwag and the homeland of the Red River Métis Nation (Winnipeg, MB)
Marianne Bloudoff, RD (she/her)
lək̓ʷəŋən & W̱SÁNEĆ territories (Victoria, BC)
Bronwyn Coyne, MEd, RD (she/her)
Tk’emlups te Secwepemc (Kamloops, BC)
Julia Lévy-Ndejuru, DtP, MSc (elle/she)
Tio’tia:ke/Mooniyang (Montreal, QC)
Sarah McKay, RD (she/her)
Wolastoqiyik (Fredericton, NB)
Nat Quathamer, RD (They/Iel, ask re others)
K’jipuktuk (Halifax, NS)
Grace Wong MSc, RD, CEDS-S (she/her)
Mohkinstsis/Guts’ists’i/Wîchîspa (Calgary, AB)
Vincci is a 1.5-generation Hong-Kong-Chinese-Canadian who holds multiple privileges, including being thin, cisgender, heterosexual, able-bodied, and financially secure. She owns a private practice based in Treaty 7 territory (what is now known as Calgary, AB) where she strives toward providing inclusive care for all people and bodies through her work with individuals and clients alike.
Grace is a Chinese-Canadian dietitian based in Calgary, Alberta. Her practice focuses on eating & feeding disorders and weight-inclusive nutrition care for all ages. She is also a working mother navigating the smiles and tears of parenthood while resisting the grind culture.
Julia is a 2nd generation Montrealer of Rwandan and Jewish descent. She also identifies as being larger-bodied and neurodivergent. Julia holds multiple privileged identities, such as being cisgender, in a heterosexual partnership, and living in a financially secure household. She is currently pursuing a PhD in nutrition, where she strives to include a critical dietetics-informed perspective to the development of her project. She also works in private practice and offers continuing education on the weight-inclusive approach to care using an intersectional lens.
Bronwyn is a white, able bodied, cis-gendered, heterosexual, married, middle class woman of Irish and Scottish decent (though her family has been on so-called Canada for many generations). Despite being the epitome of privilege, Bronwyn cares deeply about shifting the systems that continue to keep people marginalized. This has become the main focus of her public health dietitian job, where she is working hard to promote anti-racism within her team, and to share the weight inclusive perspective more widely across the health care system. When not working to take down the white supremacist patriarchy, you can find her running on trails with her dog, watching anime with her cats or (when energy allows) quilting.
Marianne is a 3rd generation settler of Western European and Russian heritage who holds multiple privileges, including being white, cisgender, heterosexual, able-bodied, and financially secure. Marianne works as a Registered Dietitian in a residential mental health and substance use treatment facility.
Tressa is proud Métis woman, daughter, and lifelong learner. She has multiple privileges including living in a white-presenting, able, and relatively thin body. She works as a dietitian in the field of childhood nutrition where she aims to promote inclusive food and nutrition education. Tressa strives for connection in all things, within herself and most of all with her community to offer Indigenous-led spaces that promote learning and healing, notably through her business, Red Horse Connection.
Sarah is a woman of Scottish and French descent (though her family has been on so-called Canada for many generations) who holds multiple privileges, including being white, able-bodied, cis-gender, heterosexual and financially secure. As a person living in a small fat body working in the field of dietetics, Sarah has experienced some of the weight stigma from this society and in the field of dietetics.
Nat is a queer, trans non-binary settler of Eastern European descent living with mental illness. Their lived experience is shaped by the many privileges they hold, including being thin, white, newly middle-class, and physically able-bodied. Nat works as a dietitian in the non-profit field supporting nourishing, inclusive and equitable food environments for children and youth. In their free time, they seek to create healing spaces, dialogue, and research around body image and disordered eating that are queer and trans-affirming.