HAES: Health at Any Size

HAES: Health at Any Size

You may have heard of the size acceptance movement HAES or Health At Any Size. HAES promotes fat-acceptance and criticises the shame and blame anti-obesity campaigns of many world governments.

Weight-stigmatizing campaigns clearly are not working. Making people feel bad about themselves compounds rather than changes problematic behaviours and foster fat-prejudice, which has become as common as gender and race prejudice.

You may be thinking “I have a band or sleeve now so Fat is not my issue anymore” but empathy for your still-fat friends and family is worthwhile, as a reformed smoker can be a pain to smokers! Delving into a new way to look at obesity will also help quiet that gnawing background fear of “What if I regain the weight?”

HAES bottom line:

  • Learn to like & accept yourself now not just when and if you lose weight.
  • If you can’t lose weight accept it and get on with your life
  • Make any attempt at weight loss one where you motivate yourself through health and pleasure rather than perfectionism and dieting.

I will post more links over time as we are interested in weight stigma and especially weight self-stigma at COC. What I like about this article is that it is not accusational. Several of the articles I have read from fat-acceptance movements are openly hostile and resentful towards obesity researchers and governments. Shifting blame and shame is not an effective part of the solution to fat-prejudice. Appealing to hearts and minds with the simple logic of equity is harder to resist.