Health at Every Size

Health at Every Size Special Interest Group

The Health at Every Size (HAES) SIG represents the members of the Academy for Eating Disorders who have a particular interest in addressing eating and weight problems across the weight spectrum, with an emphasis on quality of life, pleasurable physical activity, eating attuned to hunger and satiety cues, satisfying interpersonal relationships, and skills to cope with discrimination. The HAES model replaces traditional weight-focused interventions with a focus on the day-to-day decisions that lead to an experience of self-care, and on an acceptance of the body weight resulting from engaging in sustainable practices.

Tenets of the Health at Every Size SIG include:

  • Health enhancement—attention to emotional, physical and spiritual well-being without focus on weight loss or achieving a specific “ideal weight”
  • Size and self-acceptance—respect and appreciation for the wonderful diversity of body shapes and sizes (including one's own!), rather than the pursuit of an idealized weight or shape
  • The pleasure of eating well—eating based on internal cues of hunger, satiety, and appetite, rather than on external food plans or diets
  • The joy of movement—encouraging all physical activities for the associated pleasure and health benefits, rather than following a specific routine of regimented exercise for the primary purpose of weight loss
  • An end to weight bias—recognition that body shape, size and/or weight are not evidence of any particular way of eating, level of physical activity, personality, psychological issue or moral character; confirmation that there is beauty and worth in EVERYbody

SIG History

Ellen Shuman led the first AED HAES SIG meeting at the 2003 Conference in Denver on May 30, 2003. At the meeting in Denver, participants agreed that the HAES SIG's purposes are to:

  • Create a network of professionals interested in HAES
  • Share resources and current developments in the field
  • Promote research on non-weight loss focused treatments as alternatives to traditional interventions
  • Educate the public and other clinicians about HAES interventions
  • Collaborate with other SIGs and the broader organization of AED for the purposes of eating disorder prevention in the form of activism, position papers, and workshops at the annual conference

Additional Meetings

We have met at each ICED since 2003 and have also held SIG meetings via teleconference. At each meeting we have discussed how to support members' work in more traditional settings and make positive change.

Presentations at ICED

We have done a panel presentation with the Prevention SIG, presented our own panel presentations, and continue to contribute information about empirical support for HAES approaches, practical clinical issues, and public health approaches.


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