A new movement is afoot – that may end our obsession with dieting and being thin. It’s called Healthy At Every Size.
The premise is that healthy behaviors can improve your life, even if you don’t lose a ton of weight. People who practice “Healthy At Every Size,” or HAES, give up diets and instead focus on "intuitive eating," which means paying attention to what you crave and how the foods you eat make you feel. They also learn to distinguish between emotional hunger and real physical hunger. As far as exercise, they figure out what they LIKE doing, and then do it as often as possible.
The new non-diet movement is red hot. There are even “Healthy At Every Size” resorts cropping up everywhere. Supporters point out that most dieters gain back the weight they lose within a year. But HAES followers stick with their new lifestyle for at least 2 years – and see a modest improvement in cholesterol and blood pressure – and are less depressed than traditional dieters.
But if you don’t lose weight – can you still really be healthy at any size? Doctors say there’s not enough research on HAES – but the fact remains that being overweight is a health risk in itself.
The more you weigh, the greater your risk for developing all kinds of serious diseases from diabetes to cancer.
But if you want to find out more about this movement, check out the book “Healthy At Every Size” by nutrition professor Linda Bacon – or go to HAESCommunity.org.