#33: What is Health At Every Size®?

with Amee Severson, RDN, CD

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In this episode we discuss…

  • Amee’s work as an dietitian and activist promoting eating disorder recovery and eating disorder prevention

  • Amee and Dr. Linda Bacon’s recent article on the Scientific American blog, “Fat is Not the Problem—Fat Stigma Is

  • Linda Bacon’s work and how she and Amee met

  • the normative weight-focused paradigm for understanding health

  • the challenges of calling out beliefs so deeply ingrained in the medical community

  • why people use quotes when discussing the “war on obesity” or other terms that medicalize body size

  • the history of how “obesity” became a medical diagnosis in 2013

  • the origins of BMI (body mass index) as a measurement, and why it’s ineffective at capturing health

  • overnight changes in the BMI threshold for “normal weight” versus “overweight”

  • bias in research on weight loss

  • the research showing the vast majority of people who lose weight regain it, or more, within five years

  • why correlation doesn’t equal causation when it comes to the prevalence of certain medical conditions in people with higher weights

  • the health consequences of both weight stigma and yo-yo dieting

  • Kurbo, the consequences of starting children on a cycle of dieting, and the guilt and shame that comes with weight regain

  • the overlap between intuitive eating and Health at Every Size®

  • research on the principles of HAES® put into practice

  • how following intuitive eating and HAES® principles can lead to health improvements whether you experience weight loss, stay the same weight, or gain weight

  • separating health from a single number

  • amee’s answer to the million dollar question

This week, non-diet dietitian and activist Amee Severson joins us to discuss what parents should know about the research behind the Health At Every Size® paradigm. We’re digging into why diets don’t work, the origins of BMI as a measurement, the health consequences of “fat” vs. fat stigma, and why health can’t be measured by weight or body size.

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Amee Severson is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist in Bellingham WA whose work focuses on body positivity, fat acceptance, and intuitive eating through a social justice lens. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Food and Nutrition from Montana State University and is completing her Master’s in Professional Practice with Iowa State University, is a dietitian registered in the State of Washington, and is currently working toward becoming a Body Trust Provider and Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor.

Connect with Amee on her website, Twitter, and Instagram.

Resources mentioned:

Jordan Best