Health At Every Size® or HAES® is an exciting, new conversation about sustainable, holistic health that is sometimes referred to as “the new peace movement”. This movement promotes the simple truth that all bodies are good bodies. HAES shifts the focus away from dieting for weight control, which is often motivated by self-loathing and body hatred in the name of health, toward quality of life and self care practices that support your body’s natural wisdom and vitality. Honoring your body, and being able to understand your body’s needs, leads to meaningful changes in health behaviors.
HAES recognizes that “health” is more than just the absence of disease, and that health exists on a continuum that varies throughout our life span. Health, in this model, is from a holistic perspective (physical, psychological, relational, spiritual). This approach dissuades the use judgment of others regarding their health status, acknowledging that shame and oppression can have significant impact on one’s health & wellness.
The Health At Every Size® Principles are:
- Weight Inclusivity: Accept and respect the inherent diversity of body shapes and sizes and reject the idealizing or pathologizing of specific weights.
- Health Enhancement: Support health policies that improve and equalize access to information and services, and personal practices that improve human well-being, including attention to individual physical, economic, social, spiritual, emotional, and other needs.
- Respectful Care: Acknowledge our biases, and work to end weight discrimination, weight stigma, and weight bias. Provide information and services from an understanding that socio-economic status, race, gender, sexual orientation, age, and other identities impact weight stigma, and support environments that address these inequities.
- Eating for Well-being: Promote flexible, individualized eating based on hunger, satiety, nutritional needs, and pleasure, rather than any externally regulated eating plan focused on weight control.
Life-Enhancing Movement: Support physical activities that allow people of all sizes, abilities, and interests to engage in enjoyable movement, to the degree that they choose.
Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH)
Karin Kratina, MA, RD, LD, and Ellen Shuman,
From original Tenets published in Moving Away From Diets (1996)
Still not sure about HAES®? Here are a few links for further exploration:
- Weight Science: Evaluating the Evidence for a Paradigm Shift
- Myths about HAES
- The Weight-Inclusive vs. Weight-Normative Approach to Health
- The Association for Size Diversity and Health
We offer training for health care providers in Health at Every Size® through our Be Nourished Training Institute. Please click here for more information.