“Health At Every Size (HAES) is a weight-neutral approach to health. HAES practitioners advocate that a focus on healthy behaviours, rather than a focus on reducing body size, is the most useful way to support people of all sizes to take care of their health.” – HAES.
I am a weight-neutral practitioner who provides weight-neutral care as an Accredited Practising Dietitian.
Intuitive Eating (IE) and the Non-Diet Approach (NDA) is Health At Every Size aligned. So, if someone prescribes either of these frameworks (IE or NDA) for the purpose of losing weight, run away, FAST – it’s unethical.
There are HAES/weight-neutral practitioners (incl. Accredited Practising Dietitians, General Practitioners, Psychotherapists, Counsellors, Clinical Psychologists, Exercise Physiologists, Occupational Therapists, Nurses and Personal Trainers) practicing all over the world. A list of professionals who offer exclusively weight-neutral care is listed at www.HAESAustralia.com.au
Weight stigma is everywhere you turn and it’s harmful. Research tells us that the places in which you are most at risk of experiencing weight stigma is within the family, and within the care of physicians. That means that when you go home, or when you go to receive HEALTHCARE help, you’re at most risk of experiencing weight stigma. We also know that this is largely UN-HELPFUL, despite, often (and sometimes, not) well-meaning.
HAES Practitioners provide a safe space for you to explore and implement positive behaviours into your life without weight as the primary focus. Not only has this resulted in positive outcomes both psychologically and physiologically, but it makes sense considering we have not one single study that points toward that intentional weight loss endeavours (i.e. when weight loss itself is the sole focus) is successful long-term (2-5 years post). And "weight loss efforts almost always lead to #weightcycling, which is a health risk in and of itself - regardless of BMI, we just don't have any safe or permanent way to shrink people's bodies" - Christy Harrison
How can you help? Reflect on ways in which weight stigma/bias has presented itself in your own life and mind, with no judgement (we all swim in the same pool of diet culture, after all). Even those of us who have done the work, have to keep working constantly to stay afloat.
My favourite video from the Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH) "Poodle Science" is in the link that follows, have a watch to learn more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H89QQfXtc-k
The Intuitive Dietitian xx