It is almost impossible to facilitate food skills and nutrition education workshops without participants or facilitators bringing up relationships between food and weight, or food and body size. So, how can we ensure that we have these conversations in an anti-oppressive manner?
This article lists different approaches and resources to help inform the way that we talk about food, weight, and body size.
Did we forget important resources on the subject matter? Please let us know!
Located in Winnipeg, the WHC is a great source of information when it comes to weight neutrality and intuitive eating. Their website is filled with free workshops and useful resources.
The framing for a HAES approach comes out of discussions among healthcare workers, consumers, and activists who reject both the use of weight, size, or BMI as proxies for health, and the myth that weight is a choice. The HAES principles are weight inclusivity, health enhancement, respectful care, eating for well-being, and life-enhancing movement.
Visit the Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH) website for more tools, resources and free webinars about HAES.
Fat Liberation and Fat Acceptance Movements
As identified by Food Action Hub user Jill Beauchamp back when we first published this article, HAES is criticized by several other anti-oppression movements. HAES may be a departure from the diet culture and anti-obesity mentality that continues to live on in our health care system, but it is still associated with harmful ideas and biases:
HAES is largely rejected by Fat liberation movements for its lack of accessibility and ableism. HAES attaches morality to “health and wellness” when food and exercise are not determinants of a person’s value. If harm reduction and anti-oppression are not centered, we cannot move forward in the SEPERATE conversations about physical wellbeing, and about anti-fat discrimination.
We really appreciated the comment, which added a very important perspective to our learning journey. Jill generously recommend a few resources:
Your Fat Friend discussing Healthism and Body Neutrality
Gillian Brown’s piece about Fat Acceptance
We would also like to recommend Dismantling Fat Shaming and Weight Stigma, which is a powerful conversation hosted by our friends at FoodShare.
Association for Size Diversity and Health. (2018). Retrieved on July 6, 2021 from https://www.sizediversityandhealth.org/content.asp?id=152
Women’s Health Clinic. (2020). Retrieved on July 6, 2021 from https://womenshealthclinic.org/
The Original Intuitive Eating Pros. 10 Principles of Intuitive Eating. (2019). Retrieved July 6 2021 from https://www.intuitiveeating.org/10-principles-of-intuitive-eating/
Association for Size Diversity and Health. The Health at Every Size Approach. (2020). Retrieved on July 6 2021 from https://www.sizediversityandhealth.org/health-at-every-size-haes-approach/
Self. Your Fat Friend. We Have to Stop Thinking of Being ‘Healthy’ as Being Morally Better. (2020). Retrieved on July 6 2021 from https://www.self.com/story/healthism
Self. Your Fat Friend. Having a Better Body Image Won’t End Body-Based Oppression. (2020). Retrieved on July 6 2021 from https://www.self.com/story/body-neutrality
The Body is not an apology. Gillian Brown. Breaking Out of The “Acceptable”: I Don’t Have to Explain Away My Fatness. (2018). Retrieved on July 6 2021 from https://thebodyisnotanapology.com/magazine/its-okay-to-be-fat-no-matter-how-fat-you-are/
FoodShare. Dismantling Fat Shaming and Weight Stigma. (2020). Retrieved on July 6 2021 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hq0n3tYKs7g
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