Sandra Aamodt Ph.D.

Level 2: Why Diets Don’t Work: How the Brain Fights Against Lasting Weight Loss

Sandra Aamodt


As concern about body size continues to be a primary focus among those interested in health, it is essential that healthcare professionals understand the role of the brain in weight regulation. The high long-term failure rate of dieting is driven largely by physiological and psychological changes that work to return an individual’s weight to its defended range or set point after substantial weight loss. Equally important is to recognize weight stigma, which is a driving factor for eating and weight struggles in many people. Finally, the link between obesity and poor health is much weaker than commonly believed. An alternative approach, Health at Every Size, is weight neutral and designed to promote both physical and mental health. This presentation will equip healthcare professionals with knowledge and tools to help their clients move beyond the thin ideal to make lifestyle choices that truly support their health and well-being.

Why I Value Weight-Neutral Care

Speaker Bio

Sandra Aamodt, Ph.D., is the author of Why Diets Make Us Fat: The Unintended Consequences of Our Obsession with Weight Loss (2016). She also coauthored two popular neuroscience books with Sam Wang. Welcome to Your Brain (2008) was named Young Adult Science Book of the Year by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has been translated into twenty languages. Welcome to Your Child’s Brain (2011) was published in twelve languages. She received her undergraduate degree in biophysics from Johns Hopkins University and her doctorate in neuroscience from the University of Rochester. After four years of research at Yale University, she joined Nature Neuroscience, a leading scientific journal in the field of brain research, at its founding in 1998 and was editor in chief from 2003-2008. She lives in Northern California.