Wellness Beyond Whiteness: Q+A Toral Shah

Written by kiran



What are the essentials steps that the wellness industry needs to make to become the industry of equity?

Firstly we need to accept that there are lots and lots of reports and stats that show that Black, Asian ethnic minorities are suffering with health and wellness as we’re much more likely to have health issues, more likely to die and so really we need to take this into two angles – one is social-economic, and that is about the government making changes, local councils and organisations breaking down institutional racism.

Certainly, from the health and wellness industry it needs to be more inclusive and not just skinny white women. We can only be the change if we can see the change. We have to have role models of different types of people, different colours of people, different sizes.

Because health is not aesthetics. Health is about having a sustainable physical, mental, social wellbeing.

Is the Nutrition industry suffering from white supremacy?

Certainly. All the nutritionists who are really promoted are all white, and of certain body size and type.

Nutrition affects us all because we all EAT. A lot of people of Black, Asian minorities who have problems with nutrition, could benefit from having a lot more interest taken with the nutrition. What the problem is at the moment is that NHS and health charity organisations base all diets on English, caucasian people diets which is not right. This is where I’m doing a lot of work and talking to local councils, organisations and charities to have all the nutrition advice given inclusive and pertaining to the minorities as it’s very different for Black people, for Asian people, South Asian people so as it is for East Asian people.

So we need to be a bit more personalised.

What are the top three resources, organisations, books, podcasts, movies you can recommend to check out to become more aware and educated on the issue of wellness white supremacy?

Balck Lives Matter

Nova Reid Anti-Racism course

Runnymede Trust – Ethnicity, Race and Inequality in the UK


Superior – Angela Saini

So You Want To Talk About Race – Ijeoma Oluo

White Fragility – Robin DiAngelo

Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race – Reni Eddo Lodge

Me And White Supremacy – Layla F Saad

Between The World And Me – Ta-Nehisi Coates

How To Be An Antiracist – Dr Ibram X. Kendi

Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Europe – Akala


Follow Toral on Instagram, Facebook and check out her website for more information about her work.

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