A general assumption is that discrimination is wrong. Humans, from early on, are taught that “we’re special, unique, and one-of-a-kind.” In today’s society we spend a lot of time scrutinizing diets, appearance, and keeping up with the Joneses. Obesity comes off as a shaming condition and that person is to be perceived to be a failure. We have long work days and little time off to take care of ourselves and our media pushes thinness as desirable. Our environment contributes to obesity. As practitioners and experts, we need to take a greater approach to remove our own bias and truly treat.
The Association for Size Diversity and Health has a program called The Health At Every Size Approach.
Their principles are:
- Weight Inclusivity: Accept and respect the inherent diversity of body shapes and sizes and reject the idealizing or pathologizing of specific weights.
- Health Enhancement: Support health policies that improve and equalize access to information and services, and personal practices that improve human well-being, including attention to individual physical, economic, social, spiritual, emotional, and other needs.
- Respectful Care: Acknowledge our biases, and work to end weight discrimination, weight stigma, and weight bias. Provide information and services from an understanding that socio-economic status, race, gender, sexual orientation, age, and other identities impact weight stigma, and support environments that address these inequities.
- Eating for Well-being: Promote flexible, individualized eating based on hunger, satiety, nutritional needs, and pleasure, rather than any externally regulated eating plan focused on weight control.
- Life-Enhancing Movement: Support physical activities that allow people of all sizes, abilities, and interests to engage in enjoyable movement, to the degree that they choose.
The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance is a hot topic organization. NAAFA works to eliminate discrimination based on body size and provide support through education, advocacy, and support. As a nutrition blog, our goal is to promote health and wellness, regardless of a client’s size or shape. By moving from acceptance, we can help those move into healthier changes to be proud of.