Health at Every Size?
Separating Fact From Fiction
It’s become popular amongst the body positivity movement to promote the idea of “Healthy at every size.”
Is there any truth to this statement?
First, we’ll examine the underlying principles of the HAES movement.
Weight inclusivity: accept/respect diversity of body shapes and reject idealizing or pathologizing of specific weights
Health Enhancement: support health policies to improve/equalize access to information to improve human well-being (physical, emotional, social, economic, spiritual)
Respectful Care: acknowledge biases, work to end weight discrimination, stigma, bias. Inform people that socioeconomic status, race, gender, sexual orientation, age, etc impact weight stigma
Eating for Well-being: promote flexible, individualized eating based on hunger, satiety, nutritional needs, pleasure, rather than weight control
Life-enhancing movement: support physical activities allowing people of all sizes to engage in enjoyable movement to the degree they choose
There’re two problems. First, the average person doesn’t dig deep enough to learn to understand these principles. They read that they can be healthy at whatever weight they currently are and their cognitive dissonance does the rest. Why dig deeper and do more work when you’re already healthy?