Weight-Inclusive Medical Care with Jess Campbell | #23

The Conjuring Up Courage logo, a photo of Jess, and the words, "Weight-Inclusive Medical Care with Jess Campbell Episode #23"

Click here to access a written transcript of this episode.

Horror stories abound from clients, friends, and people on the internet about their negative experiences with medical professionals while living in larger bodies. Unfortunately, medical weight stigma is alive and well around the globe, and it’s harming a significant portion of the population.

Even though they can be difficult to find, medical professionals who practice from a weight-inclusive and Health At Every Size lens do exist, and Jess Campbell is one of them. It was lovely to interview her about her experiences in medical school and her hopes for the profession.

We discussed:

  • How Jess came to do the work that she does and why she decided to go to medical school.
  • The turning point that brought Jess to the Health At Every Size movement.
  • The importance of having a community of like-minded people when going through a weight-centric medical school or nutrition program.
  • The need to work laterally when you’re in a weight-centric program to share about HAES and weight stigma.
  • What BMI is and why Jess doesn’t recommend using categories like “ob*se” and “morbidly ob*se.”
  • How Health At Every Size practitioners don’t deny that there are associations between body size and certain diseases, but instead look at the bigger picture, which includes the strength of those associations and causality.
  • The nonmodifiable nature of weight, particularly as compared to lifestyle interventions like smoking cessation and exercise.
  • What Jess thinks doctors can do better to help their patients in larger bodies.
  • Reasons why Jess believes HAES and weight-inclusive care are still seen as so radical.
  • The role that systems and cultural hierarchies play in why certain people are not represented in the medical field.
  • Clues to keep an eye out for that can tell you a piece or study is driving the anti-“ob*sity” narrative.
  • What to look for in scientific studies as a layperson, beyond headlines.
  • How Jess defines health and wellness for herself at this moment in her life, in particular, leaning into the gray, practicing self-compassion, and going slow.
  • How to handle it when you get called in or called out and learn to see it as a kindness.

Mentioned in This Episode

Featured in This Episode

Jess smiles for the camera. Her long hair is in a side braid and she's standing outdoors in front of a body of water.

Jess Campbell (she/her) is a New Zealand-based non-diet nutritionist & medical student passionate about weight-inclusive healthcare practices, eating disorder prevention, & therapies. She supports the team at Body Balance Nutrition, a group practice providing body-positive nutrition and dietetic care with a focus on eating disorder nutrition rehab and fat-positive fertility care in person and online New Zealand-wide. You can find Jess on her Instagram and through the Body Balance Nutrition website. You can also access non-diet resources and a consult toolbox from Jess here.

Share the love!  

Subscribe to

The Queer Agenda

The Queer Agenda is a newsletter dedicated to uplifting LGBTQIA+ folks (where our accomplices benefit too) by sharing thoughtful tools, strategies, advice, and encouragement to help us heal and come home to ourselves. It’s equal parts warm hug, gentle kick in the ass, and queer magic.