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Introducing a Health At Every Size Curriculum

health-at-every-size-curriculumWhile I may not agree with everything propagated by the “size acceptance” camp, there are certainly a number of good and solid arguments that the Health at Every Size (HAES) movement has going for it. (Click here for a previous post on the science behind HAES.)

Definitely enough for me to think it worthwhile pointing my readers to a bunch of new resources and teaching curriculum on HAES, available to anyone who wants to include HAES information
in their teaching activities.

For those, who have never heard about Health at Every Size, some of this material will certainly serve as a quick introduction.

Click here to visit the HAES curriculum.

Edmonton, AB

Hat tip to Annick for pointing me to these resources


  1. I’m glad that this is being offered. My beef with it is the “Intuitive Eating.” I wish they would adopt Ellyn Satter’s “Competent Eating” model instead. I’m going to paste part of the HAES curriculum instructions for “Intuitive Eating” below. I’m hard pressed to see the difference between that mindset and any other obsessive, unhealthy mindset toward food:

    ” Respecting and honoring our hunger cues involves eating regularly throughout the day just when we start to feel hungry, but before we become starving.
    Respecting and honoring our fullness cues involves checking in with our fullness and satisfaction during meals and finding a comfortable stopping place.”

    While they caution that these are not “rules,” the fact is that paying attention to hunger and satiety cues throughout the day and throughout a meal is as mind-consuming as (or moreso than) calorie counting. Eating to cues can be every bit as life disrupting as insisting on a diet that eliminates major food groups.

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    • I agree DebraSy, and af course the underlying asumption here is that the “cues” are acually correct, which may not at all be the case. A most obvious example would be someone on medications (say for diabetes or depression) where hunger and satiety cues are likely to be highly unreliable (in terms of what the body actually needs). I would also not trust “cues” in someone who is sleep-deprived (aren’t we all?) or in a stressful relationship or workplace. The “cues” after all are biochemical signals in our hunger and appetite centres and we know of countless factors (not to mention genetics) that can influence these – so simply being more aware and responding to these “cues” by no means guarantees an appropriate response or more success in managing your health or weight. In fact, I do not even see a theoretical basis for why one would assume this to be case. This is not to dismiss the importance of “mindfullness” – I just recognise that our minds can play tricks that may not always lead us in the right direction.

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  2. Dr. Sharma, I wonder if you’ve read anything by Ellyn Satter (an RD/LCSW)? Her “Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family” and “Your Child’s Weight: Helping without Hurting” have been critical in my thinking about how we handle food in our house. They haven’t made me slim, and haven’t kept my son from becoming heavy (he’s 9), but our mealtimes are pleasant, we all enjoy a variety of foods, and nobody sneaks food or is shamed about their bodies.

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  3. Ellyn Satter’s eating competence model is broader than Intuitive Eating, but I think includes both IE and mindful eating concepts. I follow the EC model which includes following my cues of hunger and fullness (IE), although not perfectly (but who is?), and don’t feel these behaviours take too much time. I think in the IE CD, Tribole and Resch even warn about what DebraSY is describing “obsessive IE mindset”. For physical and mental health, it is important to ensure that one way of behaving (ie IE or X) doesn’t take over your life or interfere with other aspects of health management. It’s important to consider more than just your cues (ie consider other factors that affect your health like sleep, mood, medications, etc. and how these affect your eating/lifestyle choices).

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