What is the Health At Every Size (HAES) Model?
• Weight inclusivity: Accepting and respecting the diversity of body shapes and reject the idealizing or pathologizing of specific weight.
• Respectful care: Recognizing that health and well-being are multi-dimensional and that they include physical, social, spiritual, occupational, emotional, and intellectual aspects. Once these biases are acknowledge, we can work to end weight discrimiation and stigma.
• Health enhancement: Promoting all aspects of health and well-being for people of all sizes. Including but not limited to: supporting health policies that improve access to information and services.
• Life-enhancing movement: Promoting individually appropriate, enjoyable, life-enhancing physical activity, rather than exercise that is focused on a goal of weight loss.
• Eating for Well-Being: Promoting eating in a manner which balances individual nutritional needs, hunger, appetite, and pleasure.
Benefits of Weight Neutrality / HAES
- Avoids risks associated with attempted weight loss: There is no existing intervention to permanently and safely change weight
- If we are suggesting weight loss as the primary intervention, we are supporting weight cycling, which demonstrates poorer outcomes
- Reduces Eating Disorders: Disordered eating is connected to an “ideal goal weight”
- Encourages movement for the sake of movement: individuals do not ‘give up’ on exercise if they are not reaching “ideal goal weight”
- Shifts focus: Public health interventions are needed to address social injustices and oppressions related to race, class, gender, sexual orientation, etc. instead of a focus on individual choices and pathology
– Ashley Saltsman, MSW Student
- Main et al., (2010), Chapter 2: What’s Weight Got to Do with It?
- ASDAH, Health at Every Size (HAES) Principles, www.sizediversityandhealth.org