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J Nutr Educ Behav. 2005 Nov-Dec;37 Suppl 2:S89-94.

The weight-loss-at-any-cost environment: how to thrive with a health-centered focus.

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Department of Exercise Science, The George Washington University, Washington, DC 20052, USA.


Although scientists are supposed to be objective and unbiased, and science itself is held as the epitome of objectivity, scientists often force data to fit their preexisting paradigm or deny the existence of data that fall outside their paradigm. The Health At Every Size (HAES) paradigm lies outside the traditional obesity treatment paradigm. However, there are ample data to support the notion that people can be healthy at every size and that weight loss is not necessary for improved health. This article explains how each of us who remains surrounded by the weight-loss-at-any-cost environment can implement HAES practices into our work without additional investment of resources. Techniques are discussed as to how we can incorporate measures other than weight and size into our treatment outcomes, how we can be open-minded to research and clinical practices that are outside our preconceived notions of how things should be, how we can rid ourselves of the assumption that everyone responds to treatment in the same manner, how we can explore clients' feelings to discover the root of their behaviors, and how we can go beyond teaching clients how to behave and teach them how to change behavior.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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