Archive for the 'HAES' Category

Weight Watchers cops a serve for their ‘Plate of our Nation’ campaign

Kasey Edwards takes Weight Watchers to task in the normally fat-phobic SMH:

[…I]f WeightWatchers has just cottoned on to researching ”real solutions” for people to lose weight, then what has it been doing with its customers for the past 50 years?

Oh yes, that’s right, running a highly successful business – one that profits from repeat business.

This is a company that, by its own admission, trades in failure.


But the Plate of Our Nation campaign is not focused on health. It’s focused on WeightWatchers core business – the promise of weight loss. And as any health professional should know, weight loss and health are not necessarily the same thing.


Lydia Jade Turner, the managing director and psychotherapist at BodyMatters Australasia, condemns WeightWatchers for its fat shaming imagery and messages.

”WeightWatchers is morphing itself to appear as a benevolent public health institution when in fact it is grooming customers for profit,” Turner says. ”The Plate of Our Nation website provides many healthy tips – essentially piggy-backing off already existing public health campaigns – but the problem lies in the ultimate promise of weight loss.”

Turner says ”WeightWatchers has no research to show that it is any more effective than any other diet on the market over the long term”. This makes WeightWatchers’ new aim ”to reverse this country’s obesity epidemic” at best naive and at worst highly cynical.

Words of Wisdom

Jane Fonda's mug shot from 1970, where she is holding up her fist.Perfection is the curse of patriarchy. It makes us hate ourselves. And you can’t be embodied if you hate your body. So one of the things we have to do is help our girls to get angry. Angry. Not at their own bodies, but at the paradigm that does this to us, to all of us.
– Jane Fonda, 2004

Via Larry Buttrose

Another 5am post: Why I don’t like the term HAES anymore

Just posted a lengthy response to a post on HAES at Inner Thoughts, Inner Soul, but I thought I’d post a slightly edited version of it here, too. (Why the hell not?)

Rather than following a strict Health At Every Size philosophy, I now practise just listening to my body (or you could simply call it self-care or being kind to myself) which is what I believe was the core of the original HAES/intuitive eating concept.

In recent months, I have seen:

a) people in the medical community who supposedly support HAES assert what amounts to a moral obligation for fat people to practice HAES, and

b) people whose underlying medication conditions don’t allow them to be in perfect health, feel excluded or judged by the moral imperative they believe is inherant in the term Health at Every Size.

I’m sure neither of these things were the intention of the people who coined HAES, but somehow it has been co-opted or twisted into an alternative diet philosophy with side-serve of puritan morality.

There is no moral imperative for health, nor is there a moral imperative to eat a certain way or exercise at a certain level.

I am a firm believer that one’s body knows what works best for it, regardless of your base level of health. There is nothing you ‘should’ be doing, only what you could be doing if it fits with what your body and soul needs.

So, I listen to my body about what and when I eat, and how and when I exercise. And I also to factor in my emotional and mental well-being into those decisions.

The goal then becomes not perfect health (or perfect compliance, because some days your body and soul WILL tell you to lie on the couch and eat chocolates), but living in the here and now in the healthiest body FOR YOU, which means the best health you can have with your underlying conditions.

I hope this helps.

Revisiting: Dieting and Fat Acceptance

Once again, it seems the discussion on the Fatosphere has reached the part of the cycle where it is questioned why, exactly, is the Fatosphere a ‘No Diet Talk’ space. Isn’t that, like, discrimination or something? Can’t we be Fat Accepting and talk about dieting?

In my opinion, no we can’t. I’ve written about this at length before and recommend that you check it out if only to decide whether you agree or disagree. Discuss away…

“If only Mrs Brown knew more about food…”

On the flip side of the vintage coin, ‘Cruel Kindness’ from 1967 features a sneering, classist doctor telling working class people that they are ignorant about food and if they just follow doctor’s orders and cease ‘over feeding’, their children will magically no longer be fat.

Oh, and it’s all the mother’s fault.




December 2019
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