Why thin people aren't necessarily healthier

There are links to higher body weight and certain diseases

Dr George Balalis, a bariatric, upper GI and general surgeon based in Adelaide tells Body and Soul, “In Western cultures, such as Australia, the U.S and U.K, there are increased risks related to increased weight.” He says these may include “high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, sleep apnoea, and atrial fibrillation,” among others. But despite this, Dr. Balalis does not believe that weight by itself is a perfect determinant of heal

Sobriety is your choice. Stop preaching that it should be mine

Most of the time I’m simply cosplaying as a responsible adult. Like many Millennials, I’m increasingly startled by the suggestion that I’m now genuinely a grown-up, though seeing my childhood 90s fashion return to vogue renders it pretty hard to ignore. There are myriad ways in which I fall short. For example, I’m eternally forgetting to buy milk, and I habitually neglect to move the clothes from washer to dryer fast enough to avoid smelling like a musty swamp. Spurn alcohol if you wish, but don

Having a low body confidence day? These tips can help

If you’re out there in the world, living in a body you often struggle to love, then you dear friend, are in excellent company. A recent study from The Butterfly Foundation found that over 90 per cent of young people feel dissatisfaction with their bodies, with further research across multiple English-speaking countries suggesting body image distress is on the rise across all ages and gender identities.

Over the past several years, many of us have been discovering new ways to be in better union

Why couples should split the bill on the pill

There are all kinds of jobs involved in heterosexual sex. Some are more fun than others. But it’s women who have long been tasked with outlaying the time and money to facilitate a baby-free-bang. Yes, much like domestic chores, the mental load, child-growing and subsequent rearing, pregnancy prevention is typically a woman’s role.

Science is here for us of course, working to develop a possible evening-up-of-the score in the form of the male contraceptive pill. But if men’s historical reliabilit

‘My daughter was fat shamed by a stranger. She's 2.’

*Kayla was sitting with her little girl, freshly two years old, sharing a pastry on the bench at the playground. It was a sunny Wednesday and the two were having a lovely snack break when an older woman strolled past and remarked, “She’d better slow down on those with a belly like hers.”

“I almost couldn’t believe it,” Kayla told Mamamia, “Looking back, I wish I had snapped something back to her, but I honestly was too stunned to speak. I think I muttered something like, ‘Er what?’ but she kept

It turns out sugar doesn’t make kids ‘hyper’ - but this does

It’s a familiar story. We’ve all heard tales from parents about how hyperactive their kids get after stuffing themselves silly with birthday cake.

Perhaps you’ve heeded warnings from well-meaning grandparents, friends, or strangers to keep your kids away from the sweet stuff lest they bounce off the walls at bedtime.

And the whole thing feels, well, true, right? I mean, have you ever been to a children’s birthday party? They’re not for the faint-hearted – it’s a beautiful kind of chaos, but af

Should grandparents be paid for childcare or should Nanna do it for nada?

The best part of being a grandparent is getting to hand them back, right? Well, it doesn’t always work that way. Picture it: you’ve finally managed to retire, you’re settling into a new pace of life and the next few decades are shining ahead of you, gloriously golden. Then your kids start in with the babies. It’s no secret that the bulk of unpaid care work still falls disproportionately on women. You’re thrilled, obviously, practically giddy anticipating all the joy en route for your family. But

We know comparison is the thief of joy, but how do we stop?

So, your best friend just landed her dream job, your sister recently popped out her third, perfect baby, and your colleagues appear to be the very definition of ‘thriving’ at work. You’re thrilled, right? You’re utterly beside yourself with adulation and pure and blessed contentment for their good fortune.

Sorry, I forgot we’re not living in a monastery.

There’s a reason why Shannon Knowles’ What About Me? was such a hit back in 2004. And it’s not such an easy thing to talk about, but that’s p

My toddler is constantly misgendered. It may be the best thing for him

It’s curious how confidently strangers use “she” or “her” when referring to my son. They clock his wild curls, growing unopposed for a good two years, and they’re immediately certain – long hair must mean girl.

My son is two. He has naturally taken to ball sports, outside play and, oddly, garbage bins – all traditionally masculine pursuits. (Well, maybe not the bins.) I dress him in clothes bought mainly from the boys section and, beyond his curly mane, nothing about him discernibly signifies “

Getting over Covid or the flu? Here’s how to ease back into exercise

We all know rest is the best medicine when we’re smacked with a bug as mighty as influenza or Covid-19.

But what if you’re a month into taking it easy, and though you’re still not quite right, the thought of spending one more afternoon on the couch flicking through Netflix has you climbing out of both your skin and your well-worn Oodie?

Movement can be an important component of a healthy recovery from sickness, and with the right approach, you could be back to your regular routine sooner than

Does your phone use border on 'digital self-harm'?

Last month, two of my close friends holidayed with their families in a tropical island paradise.

We could have been right there with them, sipping margaritas and listening to the soothing strum of a ukelele, but we couldn't get our all ducks in a row to make it work. Instead, I waved them goodbye and felt genuinely thrilled about their upcoming adventure.

But by the second day of zipping up my puffer in this icy Melbourne winter, I opened Instagram, heart in my shoes at the sight of them all t

Can we please find a vaccine for the mullet pandemic

We’ve copped a lot of crap post-pandemic. From rising interest rates and rents, a cost-of-living crisis, mass burnout and the promise of other crises to come. But we don’t seem to be talking about the most troubling thing to come out of our brush with total annihilation – the resurgence, and subsequent “mainstreamificaiton” of the mangey mullet. Like most societal collapses, it happened gradually. I spotted one of those juicy neck warmers out at a restaurant after the first round of COVID lockdo

Please stop trying to heal my chronic illness with unsolicited advice

The other morning, at my favourite cafe, a Reiki healer quietly slid her card across the table.

"Excuse the interruption, but I can't help but feel I'm in the right place at the right time," she told me. I had been quietly sobbing (at least I thought it was quiet) in a hushed conversation with my mum about some shattering blood results.

The stranger thought she was offering me the missing link to healing. And, I suspect, she thought she'd make a buck or two in the process.

This is not an isol

From menstrual leave to 'pet illness leave': Businesses are adopting new leave benefits and we have questions.

“Fertility leave is one I feel really positive about,” Hardie says. “We’re 81 per cent women in our business and there are always a lot of staff who are having babies and trying to get pregnant. I think that IVF is something people tend to keep pretty private, but it has a lot of repercussions for emotional and physical wellbeing.”

Hardie admits that she was initially daunted by how much extra leave the company could be paying. But she doesn’t think it is a hard thing for business leaders to of

I scoffed at everyone’s emotional support water bottle, until I got one

In case you’ve been living under a yoga mat these past few years, hydration is back in vogue, only this time it’s super-sized.

If you cast your eyes around at cafe tables, your colleague’s desk or the perimeter of your boutique gym class, you might have noticed a growing trend. In fact, it’s impossible to miss those colourful insulated vessels because they’re bloody huge and, for the past two years, the “emotional support” water bottles had me rolling my eyes so far back into my head I saw star

'My life-sustaining medication is out, everywhere. This is what it’s like.'

I reached the counter of my twelfth pharmacy, heart pounding, eyes brimming with tears, and choked out, “I called earlier about the hydrocortisone”.

“The woman on the phone said you had three bottles of the 20mg,” I said.

She scanned the shelves quizzically. “Nope, we have one left that’s about to expire but that’s all.”

This was it. Breaking point. My tears shook themselves loose and flooded her counter.

I have Addison’s Disease, an autoimmune disease that affects my adrenals, rendering the

There’s only one reason we should be talking about Jelena Dokic right now

Jelena Dokic is doing a world-class job of calling out fatphobic slurs. And what a waste of her precious time it is. Sure, we’ve come a long way in the fight for body diversity in media, but if you think we’re living in a body-positive, post-fatphobic world, I would invite you to draw your attention to any woman in media or entertainment living in a plus-sized body. Returning serve: Jelena Dokic is at the very top of her game as a tennis commentator. Dokic does a fantastic job of anything she at

Please don't ask me when I’m having my second child.

"What a gorgeous little boy! Must be time to go again soon?"

I paused, briefly processing the intimacy of such a question coming from someone I’d spoken with for just three short minutes. I’d chatted with the check-out clerk casually in between unpacking groceries onto the belt, and then replacing the ones my toddler had thrown back into the trolly. So far, we’d covered our shared despondence over the end of summer, our appreciation of the upcoming winter fashion, and how long she had left on h

The pandemic took away my hope. How do I get it back?

“My girlfriends have all quit.” Angela’s voice on the phone breaks as she speaks of the toll the pandemic has taken on her and her nursing colleagues. “I’m the last one standing.”

At 58, with more than 40 years’ experience as an emergency department nurse under her scrubs, she’s worked in nearly every state and seen more than most do in a lifetime. But even with an arguably unmatched baseline level of resilience, the pandemic took a heavy toll on her sense of hope. “We did it tough and it has b

'For years, I subscribed to 'hustle culture'. It landed me in hospital.'

From my vantage point on my far-too-comfy couch, as I make my way through the day’s to-do list (carefully curated to allow ample room for cup-a-soup breaks, accidental naps and social media k-holes), it occurs to me that I may have finally liberated myself from the clutches of hustle culture.

I’ve resigned. I’m opting out. I’m D.O.N.E – and I’m not the only one.

While the pandemic brought us an onslaught of personal and societal miseries, for many of us, it also elicited a much-needed shift in

Creating an inclusive workplace for people with chronic health conditions

This blog is part of our Expert Commentary series, bringing you insights into some of the unspoken challenges people face in the workplace, from experts with lived experience. The series explores a range of topics and perspectives to highlight the ways inclusive and compassionate leadership practices can benefit everyone.

“She was so dedicated to getting us over the finish line.”

We all sat, captivated, as the director spoke between hurried mouthfuls during our overdue lunch break.

Stop telling fat people their bodies are costing our healthcare system

Allow me to be clear: A person’s health status, or the status we assign their health due to their appearance, is not information that is owed to anyone, aside from perhaps a trusted medical professional. I choose to share my health status publicly because I’m able to do so without the fear of being accused of “bringing this on myself”. I never have to worry about someone telling me “it’s your unhealthy choices that led to these health problems”. But those living in fat bodies with a clean bill o

'I never looked sick.' In 2023, eating disorders don't look how you think.

Content warning: This story includes descriptions of disordered eating that may be distressing to some readers.

Close your eyes for a moment and picture someone suffering, in the grips of an eating disorder.

Imagine them struggling to eat a full meal, being tormented by obsessive thoughts surrounding weight and calories, and pushing their fragile body past its limits.

Now take a second to reflect on the image that popped into your head during that description.

It’s likely that the image you
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About Me

Hannah Vanderheide is a freelance journalist, actor, and voice artist with a beautiful baby boy. She's also a chronic illness advocate, eating disorder survivor, and wellness industry sceptic who loves to write about the sensible side of health.