Five Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH) Members Selected to Represent Health at Every Size(SM) at Worldwide Summit

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ASDAH Members Deb Lemire, Deb Burgard, Bill Fabrey, Doris Smeltzer and Joslyn Smith invited to participate in the Endangered Species: Preserving the Female Body Summit in New York City this March.

Members of the Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH) will be well represented at the Endangered Species: Preserving the Female Body Summit to be held in New York City on March 18-19, 2011. The international summit was created by The Women’s Therapy Centre Institute to challenge the toxic culture that teaches women and girls to hate their bodies.

ASDAH President Deb Lemire is one of three selected from the international participants in the BIG IDEAS, LOVED BODIES contest. This competition asked participants to submit their concept for “one bold action that could make the world truly value the diversity of women and girls' bodies.” Lemire’s concept, which promotes body size diversity training for medical students, was selected as one of the top three entries, and Deb will present the concept at the summit in New York. Lemire also serves as executive director for Queen Bee Productions--which produces theatre that works to change how society views women and how women view themselves.

“My concept is to give doctors early training in Health at Every Size(SM) or HAES(SM) approach to health,” said Lemire. “Given that over half of female patients report experiencing weight stigma from a doctor, and many therefore avoid follow up and preventative care, it is imperative we implement HAES(SM) as an essential part of basic wellness. This concept is central to our work at the Association for Size Diversity and Health and is central to helping women nurture and respect their own bodies.”

ASDAH Vice-President Joslyn Smith was also selected to participate in the conference. Her submission to the BIG IDEAS, LOVED BODIES contest helped inspire the Women’s Therapy Centre Institute to create a special project, in conjunction with the summit, based on the feminist imagination. Smith has been invited to work with online community pioneer Hana Kamm to create a short video based on her and nine others BIG IDEAS, LOVED BODIES submissions.

Outside of the conference, Ms. Joslyn Smith has played a key role in bringing a HAES(SM) perspective to discussions with federal policy makers related to obesity policies and initiatives. Through her advocacy efforts, Smith is committed to promoting the message of HAES(SM) in the prevention of eating disorders. Joslyn serves as a member of the National Eating Disorders Association’s Diversity Task Force, the Board of Directors of the Andrea’s Voice Foundation and the Professional Advisory Committee for A Chance To Heal. “I’m honored that they selected my idea as visionary,” said Smith. “I’m excited to have an opportunity to share my thoughts on promoting body diversity by helping girls and women reconnect with and reclaim their bodies.”

ASDAH public policy committee member Deb Burgard has been selected to moderate one of the three dynamic panels for the summit. In “Real Talk on Medicalization and Globalization,” Dr. Burgard and the esteemed panel presenters will help illuminate the ways in which the more widely understood “body image issue” is deeply connected to how our bodies are controlled across the globe—in medical, economic, and militaristic contexts. Deb Burgard, Ph.D. is a psychologist specializing in eating disorders, sexuality and relationships. Burgard is one of the founders of the HAES(SM) approach and creator of

Finally, Bill Fabrey, ASDAH membership chair and a director for the Council on Size and Weight Discrimination and Doris Smeltzer ASDAH member and President of Andrea’s Voice Foundation have been invited to participate in the Summit’s Think Tank to brainstorm how this historic event can mobilize its collective effort to change the toxic culture.

Further information on the Summit can be found at

The Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH) is an international professional organization started in 2003. It is an all-volunteer not-for-profit organization, whose diverse membership is committed to the Health At Every Size(SM) Principles.

The HAES(SM) movement is a continuously evolving alternative to the weight-centered approach to treating clients and patients of all sizes. It is also a movement working to promote size acceptance, end weight discrimination, and lessen the cultural obsession with weight loss and thinness. You can learn more about ASDAH and HAES(SM) on the organization’s website at


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