Sonoma County Health At Every Size«

Healthy is a Lifestyle, Not a Body Size!

         Weight concerns plus medically-promoted dieting are causing the rise in                     weights and disordered eating in recent decades.  Instead of dieting and                     weight loss goals, Health At Every Size encourages healthy living and size                 acceptance, because lifestyle is a greater predictor of health than body size.                                                  


You Are Accepted Here for Your Size. 

  • Please feel free to ...
    • browse this site - enjoy!
    • learn about the science leading to the Health At Every Size approach to health via the "Library of HAES Links"
    • share your experiences and thoughts on weight stigma and HAES on the Forum
    • show support for Health At Every Size (HAES®) by registering as a site member (it's free)
    • show local health providers your support for the HAES Principles by endorsing them on the Forum
    • affiliate your HAES-supportive organization with this site: post your link on the Forum
    • offer financial or technical support for this site


    Purposes of this Site:

    1. To provide a "Library of Links about HAES" for Sonoma County health professionals and the public.

    2. To increase knowledge, understanding, and support for HAES among health providers, educators, policy makers, and the public.

    3. To build an informed, supportive community for health professionals to be able to prescribe HAES instead of weight loss.

    4. To provide client handouts about HAES for health professionals (more on the way.)

    5. To increase understanding of how weight criticism plus traditional "eat less" medical advice more often cause long-term weight gain than loss, and is considered by eating disorder professionals to be disordered eating. HAES has been called the "peace movement" to the "war on obesity." (Links page.)

    6. To begin building a Sonoma County HAES educational and support organization of healthcare providers, allied health, eating disorder professionals, and HAES advocates, including a speakers' series, and size-accepting fitness activities.

    7. To provide a regional model for a HAES site and organization for HAES advocates.

    * Health At Every Size is a registered trademark of the Association for Size Diversity and Health and used with permission.


    Key Public Health Recommendations For People of All Sizes (1)

    From exercise physiology researcher Glenn A. Gaesser, PhD., Healthy Lifestyles Research Center, Arizona State University:

    "If we can accept the fact that fit and healthy bodies can come in all shapes and sizes, the public health message becomes quite simple: be more physically active and adopt a healthier diet."

    1. (Gradually started), "An average of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity - the equivalent of brisk walking - most days of the week (4-5 days/week) is a good start, and is sufficient to produce significant health benefits." (2)

    2. Substantial health improvements can also be achieved with rather modest changes in diet by focusing on increasing consumption of fruits, vegetables, and fiber-rich foods.(3-5)

    "A 'health at every size' paradigm not only allows for a more compassionate view of body weight, but has significantly positive effects on public health. Millions of overweight women and men, perpetually at war with their bodies, need to be reassured that the road to good health is accessible to all."


    (1)  Gaesser, GA. (2003) Is it necessary to be thin to be healthy? Harvard Health Policy Review. Vol. 4, No. 2, Fall, 2003.

    (2)  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (1996) Physical Activity and Health: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

    (3)  Michels, KB, Wolk A. (2002) A prospective study of variety of healthy foods and mortality in women. Int. J Epidemiol 31: 847-854.

    (4)  Funt, TT, Willett WC, Stampfer MJ, Manson JE, Hu FB. (2001) Dietary patterns and the risk of coronary heart disease in women. Arch Int Med 161: 1857-1862.

    (5)  van Dam RM, Rimm EB, Willett WC, Stampfer MJ, Hu FB. (2002) Dietary patterns and risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus in U.S. men. Ann Int Med 136: 201-209.


     * Please first get medical approval before starting any fitness program. 

    For safety for long-sedentary people, it may be advisable to start gradually, such as walking slowly in good athletic shoes (or swim or dance, etc.) 5 minutes most days of the week, adding another 5 minutes daily each month.

    Always listen to one's body and seek prompt medical advice for signs of discomfort or injury.

    Consider varying the types of gentle, safe activities, for interest and enjoyment.