Online Program

How is the health at every size paradigm being practiced?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 9:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.

Sonya Satinsky, PhD, MPH, Department of Health, Sport, and Exercise Sciences, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
The Health at Every SizeĀ® (HAES) model, which shifts focus from weight loss as a health outcome to improvement of nutrition and physical activity regardless of weight change, is rapidly gaining popularity as a social justice movement and professional paradigm. In order to explore how health professionals are operationalizing HAES principles in their work, a sample of HAES-aligned practitioners (n = 76) completed an online survey of demographics, adherence to HAES principles, and examples of their use in practice. Most respondents were White and female (96.1%, n = 73 for both measures). Mental health providers comprised 30.5% (n = 23) of the sample, and dietitians or nutritionists were 19.7% (n = 15). Other occupations included college professors and health promotion specialists. The most frequent recipients of participants' work were adults (n = 22, 28.9%), women (n = 17, 22.4%), and the general public (n = 17, 22.4%). Participants provided 541 examples of employment of HAES principles. Most frequent examples were: re-framing physical activity as fun and enjoyable rather than a means of weight loss (14.9%, n = 81); promoting holistic views of health independent of weight status (12.2%, n = 66); advocacy for HAESĀ® principles within the profession through teaching and public speaking (9.8%, n = 53); vocally challenging weight stigma and bias (4.6%, n = 25). HAES is an evidence-based paradigm already in use by practitioners in multiple disciplines. Results of this study can help better systematize HAES professional education and provide support to practitioners in its use.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe the strategies practitioners are using to promote Health at Every Size principles Identify further sites and opportunities for professional and research training around Health at Every Size principles

Keyword(s): Obesity, Health Education Strategies

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I study the Health at Every Size paradigm and its practice; I am the Principle Investigator of this study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.