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.