The LA Times ran a couple articles on Health At Every Size this weekend.
One bit that from the second article gave me a smile:
“You can’t know just based on a person’s size whether that person has good or poor health habits,” says Linda Bacon, a professor of nutrition at City College of San Francisco and author of “Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight” (Ben- Bella 2008). “Some people are heavy and unhealthy, and some are heavy and health- y.”
So instead, folks behind the Health at Every Size program, which Bacon and many others are researching and promoting, advocate intuitive eating — that is, teaching people to tune in to their hunger signals.
By doing so, they say, people are more likely to eat when they’re hungry, not because it’s lunch time, and to stop when they’re satisfied not stuffed. These advocates also encourage people of every size to embrace physical activities that feel good and that they enjoy. “The advice applies whether you’re 100 pounds or 500 pounds,” Bacon says.
Now, not everyone wants to do these things. Not everyone has the money/time/ability to do these things. But it’s nice to see the LA Times print that it’s not about the weight. They’re not only acknowledging that HAES exists, but that HAES isn’t just for the people who “aren’t really fat”.
This is also something I love from the FAQ at Shapely Prose:
Q. OK, I’m mostly with you. It’s not nice to hate fat people, BMI is flawed, it’s possible to be fat and healthy — but come on, isn’t there a limit? I mean, when it comes to really fat people, isn’t it our duty to remind them of the health risks and encourage them to lose weight?
Because, you know what? Being really fat doesn’t make diets any more effective in the long-term.
I know people want to believe otherwise. Yes, it might just may be possible that if you became fatter due to a life change that made you really sedentary, starting to exercise might cause lasting weight loss. Returning to a normal routine after recovering from breaking a leg, for example, might result in a return to your pre-broken-leg size. But then again, it might not.
I also thought it nice that the LA Times article followed the obligatory health professional quote asserting that “It’s dangerous to go down the path that it’s OK to be obese” — because of course the only reason anyone’s obese is because they are so ignorant they think it’s OK to be obese — with a quote from the same health professional that
Weight-loss interventions are so ineffective […] I agree that if you’re obese and doing what you can to reduce or manage other risk factors, that’s an important goal.
It’s like the writer actually asked the health professional whether she could recommend a weight loss method that, you know, works or something. And she couldn’t. Because there isn’t one.