Health at Every Size Austin, TX
Intentional weight loss, focus on weight loss as success
Focus on external cues for hunger and fullness
Physical activity based on external factors
The Health at Every Size approach is one that engages in a compassionate way with clients regardless of their body weight or shape and without encouraging intentional weight loss. This is a holistic approach that recognizes the multifaceted nature of health, therefore it includes:
Enhancing health without intentional weight loss
Eating based on internal hunger and fullness cues
Using self-care strategies to cope with stressors
Engaging in movement that is enjoyable/sustainable
A common concern about HAES is If people don’t lose weight they are putting themselves at greater risk of disease. However, this idea is usually rooted in BMI categories and is flawed.
BMI is a poor indicator of health, and the studies that often get cited for BMI categories being correlated to disease risk are not well controlled for dieting behavior, socioeconomic status, food access, movement and a wide variety of other things that influence health.
It’s also important to note that correlation does not mean there is a causal relationship between two things. BMI was created by a statistician who was interested in population level trends, not a health professional, and the bodies used to create and understand these trends were white, male bodies.
So, not surprisingly, it's an even worse predictor for women and people who aren't white. Check out the article The Bizarre and Racist History of BMI for greater details.
When you dig deeper into morbidity and mortality related to BMI, people with BMIs in the "underweight" and "normal" category have shorter lives than those with BMI >25.
When people’s bloodwork is used to determine how much people are at risk for chronic disease there are people who are in the "overweight" and "ob*se" category have great bloodwork and similarly those in the "normal" category have bloodwork that would put them at greater risk for chronic diseases.
Not only is this concern not supported by research, but it also furthers stigma that people in larger bodies already face. Weight stigma is considered to be the most significant factor in health issues among those in large bodies.
Health at Every Size
Removes intentional weight loss as an indicator of health or success
Eating for pleasure and nourishment
Internal cues for hunger and fullness
Sustainable, enjoyable physical activity if desired