International Size Acceptance Group Redefines Health At Every Size (HAES) Principles

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The Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH) – an international professional organization dedicated to promoting the Health At Every Size® (HAES®) approach – is updating its Health At Every Size Principles. A leading voice in the HAES community, ASDAH is expanding its stated focus to include social justice and access concerns, while preserving the established core values of size acceptance, diversity, and health care treatment and policies that are free from weight-based assumptions and weight discrimination.

The Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH) announces the release of its updated Health at Every Size® (HAES®) Principles, now available at The HAES Principles inspire the work of ASDAH members and supporters of the HAES approach across the world, and have always emphasized focusing on what facilitates health and well-being rather than weight or size. This first major revision in the 10-year history of ASDAH – an international professional organization dedicated to promoting the Health At Every Size approach – expands this emphasis to reflect the complexity of the challenges facing modern health systems, including lack of access, health inequities, and social justice concerns.

These revisions to ASDAH’s original HAES principles come as ASDAH finishes celebrating its tenth year of promoting education, research, and the provision of services which enhance health and well-being, and which are free from weight-based assumptions and weight discrimination. ASDAH President Fall Ferguson, JD, MA, states, "This update to our founding principles is the result of feedback from our members and the greater community, as well as an increased recognition of the complex social, cultural, and political context of health and healthcare worldwide.”

The Health At Every Size approach grew out of discussions in the 1980s and 1990s among healthcare workers, consumers, and activists who rejected the use of weight, size, or BMI (body mass index) as proxies for health and criticized the myth that weight is a choice. The HAES model has always affirmed ideas such as size acceptance and the value of health practices pursued for well-being rather than weight loss. ASDAH’s revised HAES Principles more clearly acknowledge social justice and access concerns, while remaining true to the underlying lived wisdom of the HAES approach as it has been practiced for many years.

This revision brings more breadth, depth, and inclusiveness than any previous formulation of the Health At Every Size approach. “Social justice concepts are necessary for genuine reform of our broken health systems,” Ferguson commented. “There is a growing consensus that it’s not just our individual behaviors that affect health. ASDAH began to realize that our silence regarding the impact of sociocultural factors could be interpreted as contributing to health inequities.”

The updated HAES Principles support:

         • Weight Inclusivity
         • Health Enhancement
         • Respectful Care
         • Eating for Well-Being
         • Life-Enhancing Movement

The principles reject moral judgments about health and any assertion that pursuing health is an obligation or the objective of living. ASDAH affirms that no two people are alike, and that health status should never be used to judge, oppress, or determine the value of an individual.

“Another key change in our revised HAES Principles was the reframing of weight neutrality as weight inclusivity,” Ferguson noted. “Neutrality can be harmful when it has the effect of ignoring or excluding the very people that a policy is intended to serve. Inclusivity means everyone has a seat at the table.”

ASDAH looks forward to feedback from its members, the broader HAES community, and the public about its updated HAES Principles.

About ASDAH: 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® (HAES®) Principles. HAES advocates work to promote size acceptance, end weight discrimination, and lessen the cultural obsession with weight loss and thinness. Learn more about ASDAH and the HAES approach on the organization’s website at

For more information, please contact:
Jessica Wilson, Media Relations
Tel: 1-877-576-1102

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