Another HAES Quote

This quote on Health At Every Size is from Michelle, aka The Fat Nutritionist.  Links within the quote were added by me.

[D]ieting purports to make all people lose weight, permanently. Because 80-95% of the people who engage in it do not lose weight permanently, dieting fails as an intervention. It fails to achieve its stated directive, and it also doesn’t seem to help people permanently pick up healthier eating/moving behaviours.

Whereas HAES does not purport to do *anything* to a person’s weight. It purports to encourage healthier eating and moving. And while only a few people might lose weight, just like in dieting, HAES succeeds as an intervention — because the goal was to engage in healthier behaviours, not to lose weight, in the first place. Evidence has shown (in Linda Bacon’s study) that HAES does actually succeed in getting people to adopt healthier eating and moving behaviours that stick around for the long-term.

I realize that this is not always an either-or.  But for many fat people, it’s assumed that either you are actively trying to lose weight through eating “better” or eating less or exercising more … and the weight not coming off, or not staying off, is then a reason to quit the healthy behaviors.

Thanks Frances at Corpulent for linking to Michelle’s post on Health At Every Size.

4 thoughts on “Another HAES Quote

  1. I love this quote and the Fat Nutritionist.

    Interestingly, I have noticed in comments outside of the fatosphere that while people are “reading” Linda Bacon and Health at Every Size, they are arguing that the research on obesity cited in much of the HAES scholarship is about people under 40.

    Thus, when fat folks get to that magical age of 40 or above all of those obesity induced maladies will of course begin. Hmmm. I saw this line of thinking cited frequently in the comments to a recent article on BMI on Jezebel.

    So I guess after 40 we are supposed to return to the old argument that blames everything on fat excluding issues of exercise, genetics, class, etc. Oy vey.

  2. Fat Hijabi,

    As a fat woman with cerebral palsy & arthritis who is & always has been active all my life & who is doing overall about as well as most thin women my age & certainly as well as most thin disabled women my age, I call bullshit. I have also had a lot of fat female relatives who lived well into their 80’s & 90’s who lived pretty normal lives not noticeably ‘crippled’ by their fat. I currently have two very fat brothers in their 70’s who are doing pretty well as well & I will be 61 next Monday. I would also like to point out that most extensive studies, & many repeated studies, indicate that being fat actually becomes more protective to health as we age & also that dieting/weight loss increases mortality risks as we age.

  3. I threw out my scale a while back when I realized it wasn’t measuring anything that mattered. It couldn’t tell that my yoga practice was getting deeper and that I could finally do wheel pose. It wasn’t measure the height of the mountains I was climbing or the number of miles I was riding on my bike. It was just annoying me because it wasn’t changing despite the fact that I was sweating my butt off every single week.

    Now I can keep doing the things I love without worrying about whether they are “working.” They are working – I’m getting faster, more flexible, less stiff and sore after 8 hours of hiking – I just don’t have to go buy new pants because of it.

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