Health at Every Size® principles help us advance social justice, create an inclusive and respectful community, and support people of all sizes in finding compassionate ways to take care of themselves.
HAES includes the following basic components:
- Celebrates body diversity;
- Honors differences in size, age, race, ethnicity, gender, dis/ability, sexual orientation, religion, class, and other human attributes.
- Challenges scientific and cultural assumptions;
- Values body knowledge and lived experiences.
- Finding the joy in moving one’s body and being physically active;
- Eating in a flexible and attuned manner that values pleasure and honors internal cues of hunger, satiety, and appetite, while respecting the social conditions that frame eating options.
Let’s face facts.
We’ve lost the war on obesity. Fighting fat hasn’t made the fat go away. And being thinner, even if we knew how to successfully accomplish it, will not necessarily make us healthier or happier. The war on obesity has taken its toll.
Extensive “collateral damage” has resulted: Food and body preoccupation, self-hatred, eating disorders, discrimination,
poor health, etc. Few of us are at peace with our bodies, whether because we’re fat or because we fear becoming fat.
Health at Every Size is the new peace movement. It helps us recognize that health outcomes are primarily driven by social, economic, and environmental factors, requiring a social and political response. It also supports people of all sizes in adopting healthy behaviors. It is an inclusive movement, recognizing that our social characteristics, such as our size, race, national origin, sexuality, gender, disability status, and other attributes, are assets, and acknowledges and challenges the structural and systemic forces that impinge on living well.
*An edited excerpt from Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight by Linda Bacon, PhD.
To Show Your Commitment To HAES
Society changes when enough people decide that something is seriously wrong and recognize that there is a viable alternative for change. As word spreads, this will show others our strength in numbers. We’ll hasten institutional change by demonstrating that there is a large audience for HAES-affirming practices.