Eating Disorders Corner
“Food is not the enemy. Self-hate is.” — TheLoveYourselfChallenge
This corner is devoted to addressing eating disorders, disordered eating, and body image. I have specialized in treating people with all of the above since 1999. It is a large part of my work and my heart. This corner is for those of us on the journey of disconnecting our worth from our size or what we eat.
Definition/Explanation of the Day:
Health At Every Size ® (HAES®)
Terms like “overweight” and “obese” are outdated. They’re based on the outdated and harmful weight-centered approach to treating patients. According to this approach, health can be assessed by assessing weight. This is why we get weighed at the doctor’s office. According to this approach, there is a weight, or a range of weights, at which you are deemed “healthy.” If you are above this range, your weight is automatically considered a health problem. Weight, not health, becomes the focus. (If you believe BMI to be a reasonable assessment of health, please read this.)
The weight-centered approach is not actually accurate, and it has created and perpetuated weight stigma and fatphobia. People in bigger bodies are judged and treated negatively – by family, friends, random strangers, and their doctors – based on their weight alone. Turns out, you can be healthy and fat. Just as you can be unhealthy and thin. Someone’s weight tells you nothing conclusive about their health, or anything else about them. Period.
Health At Every Size ® (HAES®) offers an alternative, updated approach based on health, not weight. A HAES-informed professional recognizes that weight is not a problem and is not relevant to health. They understand weight stigma and do not recommend weight loss. They recommend healthy behaviors for patients in all body sizes, and they advocate body respect. HAES is strongly oriented toward social justice and focuses on policy change as well as individual patients.
There are 5 HAES principles: Weight Inclusivity, Health Enhancement, Respectful Care, Eating for Well-being, and Life Enhancing Movement. The focus is always on health and respect.
To Learn More about Health At Every Size …
Website: Get more information about HAES and the 5 principles.
Books: Health At Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight (2010), Lindo Bacon, PhD and Body Respect: What Conventional Health Books Get Wrong, Leave Out, and Just Plain Fail to Understand about Weight (2014), Lindo Bacon, PhD & Lucy Aprhamor, PhD, RD
Podcasts: Try this episode of RD Real Talk – Registered Dietitians Keeping It Real for an explanation of HAES by Dr. Jennifer Guadiani.
For podcasts by HAES specialists, try Food Psych, with Christy Harrison, MPH, RD, CDN and Don’t Salt My Game, with Laura Thomas, PHD.