Incorporating the “Health at Every Size” Attitude

“The Health at Every Size (HAES) approach to eating and weight issues differs from a conventional treatment model in its emphasis on self-acceptance and healthy day-to-day behaviours, whether weight changes or not. Letting go of the goal of weight loss has made HAES controversial in a society where the pursuit of thinness in individuals with eating disorders, and find it hypocritical to prescribe for heavier people what we diagnose as eating disorder behaviour in thin ones.”

-Deb Burgard, Ph.D

Health at Every Size

The Attitude of ‘HAES’

  1. “Enhancing Health – Attending to emotional, physical and spiritual well being, without focusing on weight loss or achieving a specific “ideal weight”.
  2. Size and self-acceptance – Respecting and appreciating the wonderful diversity of body shapes, sizes and features (including one’s own!), rather than pursuing an idealized weight, shape or physical feature.
  3.  The pleasure of eating well – Eating based on internal cues of hunger, satiety, and appetite, individual nutritional needs and enjoyment, rather than on external food plans or diets.
  4. The Joy of Movement – Encouraging all physical activities for the associated pleasure and health benefits, rather than following a specific routine of regimented exercise for the primary purpose of weight-loss or managment.
  5. An End to Weight Bias – Recognizing that body shape, size and/or weight are not evidence of any particular way of eating, level of physical activity, personality, psychological issue or moral character; confirmation that there is beauty and worth in EVERY body.” – Ellen Shuman and Karin Kratina

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