Health Desk, Delhi Magazine: HAES (Health At Every Size) is a peaceful movement that aims to show that health is closely related to social, economic, and environmental factors and, therefore, requires a social and political response. It moves away from the idea that we can all be “healthy” only if we belong to a physical pattern.
Health At Every Size (HAES)
It claims health in all bodies and all sizes, since health is something integral, and weight says nothing about it. Historically, thinness has been the standard bearer of health, without knowing what that thinness hid and, of course, leaving out and accusing all bodies that do not meet these canons of illness or bad habits .
Just by seeing a larger body we assume that it does not have good eating habits , that it does not play sports, that it is sedentary and that it has analytical values that scare fear. Yes? And where does such a statement come from? How do we know all that just by looking at a body? We don’t really know, but by putting weight at the center of the health paradigm, anything that strays from that ideal weight range is sick or neglected. How many thin people are seen in clinics and hospitals with quite improvable analytics? Well, the same as people with larger bodies: there are those with perfect analytics and with regular analytics.
As I say, it is not the heritage of thinness to have perfect cholesterol. In fact, patients suffering from restrictive anorexia have an exaggerated lipid profile, and have a very limited intake of fat, but their cholesterol and triglycerides are through the roof, since their own body generates them to favor their survival. I am sure that, if we did a blind analytical test, the analysis of a person going through anorexia would be attributed to a person of large body size.
Furthermore, health seems to be the last privilege to acquire. The term “healthism” has been coined to describe the belief or moral value that health has become, and the achievement of it. Almost that the main objective of life is to achieve health and enjoy it, and to achieve it, willpower is put at the center, and we lose personal contexts. Not all of us have the same economic or social resources, we do not have the same access to healthy food, so a status is created: I am healthy and you are not. Now health gives prestige.
I am sure that, if we did a blind analytical test, the analysis of a person going through anorexia would be attributed to a person of large body size
HAES seeks that health be accessible to all and that the same resources are provided for all, or at least that they are taken into account and a clean slate is not made from privilege.
What does HAES movement claim?
The first thing, that health is not something unique in thin or normative bodies. Health is possible in all sizes , no weight ensures being healthy, nor, on the contrary, being sick.
It does not romanticize obesity, nor does it defend it: it only shows diversity. Make other types of bodies visible without labeling them. It is important to feel represented and have references. Few women feel represented in the hyper-thin models of the 90s and, for this reason, and among other reasons, we have grown in body dissatisfaction. If only this type of body is made visible, it is assumed that we are not well and that ours must be modified to be as close to the canon as possible.
You may think that now it is excessive, that it seems that there are only large and very large bodies. Well, look back and ask yourself if it was normal that there were only such extremely thin bodies. Now there is everything, but the new ones catch our attention. It is important to know that, The WHO no longer considers obesity as a disease, but as a risk factor . The same thing happened with homosexuality, it is no longer a disease. Science advances!
Promotes that a pesocentric medicine is not made, that is, that before a large body the first diagnosis is not weight loss. In this way it seems that every ailment suffered by a fat person is self-inflicted. The same is necessary from nutrition, we cannot prescribe weight loss, or weight loss guidelines, or divert attention from the consultation on weight (which is something that we cannot voluntarily control, you cannot weigh certain kilos for no reason). We must focus on what can be changed and sustained in the long term, such as eating habits, physical activity, improving sleep quality, focusing on improving the patient’s quality of life and taking out of the consultation the scale. If the patient loses some weight it will be as a consequence of the previous changes, but it will never be the objective of the consultation.