ASDAH Announces New Information on Health At Every Size® Approach to Diabetes During American Diabetes Month

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ASDAH releases article describing the often-misunderstood relationship between weight-loss surgery and diabetes as well as a series of Health At Every Size® tips for people living with diabetes.

In recognition of American Diabetes Month (November), the Association for Size Diversity and Health has posted several new tools which connect the Health At Every Size® approach to wellness and diabetes. These tools include a new blog post by nurse and Certified Diabetes Educator Laurie Klipfel entitled, “Does Bariatric Surgery ‘Cure’ Diabetes?” and a new document by ASDAH Vice President and certified fitness instructor Jeanette DePatie entitled, “Five Health At Every Size® Tips for People with Diabetes.” Both documents explain how a behavior-centered approach to wellness can effectively improve health outcomes without undue emphasis on weight loss. Both documents may be accessed from the ASDAH blog at:

Laurie Klipfel has over 20 years’ experience as a Certified Diabetes Educator and over 10 years’ experience as a nurse practitioner specializing in metabolic syndrome (diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and hyperlipidemia). She has been a member of the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) for 20 years and is past president of the St. Louis Chapter of AADE. In her blog article, Laurie speaks in great detail about the common misconception that weight-loss surgery “cures” diabetes. Describing diabetes as an imbalance of insulin supply and demand, she explains that weight- loss surgery may (at least temporarily) decrease the amount of calories consumed and thus decrease the demand for insulin in the body. However, she points out that it is the change in behavior (reduced or better balanced calorie consumption), and not the change in weight, that created the health benefit. She notes that people with diabetes do not see a change in health benefits when weight loss is achieved without behavior change (as it does in liposuction, for example). And conversely, a reduction in calorie consumption or a better balanced diet will have a positive effect on health outcomes, even if a person with diabetes has lost little or no weight.

Jeanette DePatie, author of The Fat Chick Works Out!, has over 10 years’ experience as a certified fitness instructor who specializes in helping beginning exercisers find their way to fun and feasible fitness. Over her years of teaching, she has seen the positive effects of exercise on people with diabetes. “I have had several students with diabetes in my classes,” said DePatie. “Many of these students have been able to cease insulin injections or reduce or eliminate diabetes medications simply by adding two or three hours of moderate exercise per week—even if they have lost little or no weight. That’s what inspired me to write my book and to create these Health At Every Size Tips for people with diabetes.”

The Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH) has created these tools promoting a Health At Every Size (HAESSM) approach to diabetes for a number of reasons. One primary reason is to clarify that the Health At Every Size approach does not only apply to people already in perfect health. “Many people define health as merely the absence of disease, but at ASDAH we see health as multidimensional and personal,” says ASDAH president Deb Lemire. “That means you can treat disease without initiating a panic over weight or body size. It means bringing a behavior-centered approach to wellness in whatever your current circumstances. It means approaching wellness from a place of cooperating with your body instead of seeing it as an enemy.” The understanding that one need not be “in perfect health” in order to apply the HAES principles will be an important focus for ASDAH moving forward. Thus ASDAH has committed to creating a series of tools to help those with an illness understand how to implement the HAES principles. “It can be especially difficult to remain calm and follow the HAES model when you are ill. But we want the world to understand that the Health At Every Size approach is for everybody,” said Lemire.

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

The HAES movement is a continuously evolving alternative to the weight-centered approach to treating people of all sizes. It aims to promote size acceptance, end weight discrimination, and lessen the cultural obsession with weight loss and thinness. You can learn more about ASDAH and the HAES SM principles at or by subscribing to ASDAH’s blog at


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