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Am J Public Health. 2015 May;105(5):e38-42. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2015.302552. Epub 2015 Mar 19.

The Health at Every Size paradigm and obesity: missing empirical evidence may help push the reframing obesity debate forward.

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Tarra L. Penney and Sara F.‚ÄČL. Kirk are with Applied Research Collaborations for Health, School of Health and Human Performance, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.


A Health at Every Size (HAES) approach has been proposed to address weight bias and stigma in individuals living with obesity, and more recently articulated as a promising public health approach beyond the prevailing focus on weight status as a health outcome. The purpose of this article is to examine our understanding of HAES within the context of public health approaches to obesity, and to present strengths and limitations of the available evidence. Advancing our understanding of HAES from a public health perspective requires us to move beyond an ideological debate and give greater attention to the need for empirical studies across a range of populations. Only then can the value of HAES, as a weight-neutral, public health approach for the prevention of obesity and other chronic diseases, be fully understood.

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