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Being a weight-inclusive practitioner?
Weight-inclusive health promotion practitioners acknowledge that health is multidimensional and not solely under our control.
Our goal is to promote wellbeing by emphasizing the adoption of health-supportive behaviors while also advocating for health-supporting environments such as increased access to resources and quality care.
Rather than simply (and inaccurately) telling people diet, exercise, and weight (alone) determines health, weight-inclusive practitioners work to dismantle weight-based oppressive practices. They also advocate for structural changes that can significantly impact people’s health and well-being (e.g., affordable and respectful health care, access to clean water, and nutritious food).
Weight stigma harms health?
Internalized weight stigma can increase stress response, resulting in increased cortisol levels, leading to inflammation.
When we make assumptions about weight and health, we view those with smaller/thinner bodies as “healthy” and those with larger bodies as “unhealthy.” These types of beliefs are incorrect and can harm the delivery of health-related services.
The truth is that it’s not possible to know anything about a person’s health, well-being, or relationship with food or movement based on their weight or appearance.
Sadly, individuals with larger bodies who are constantly told to lose weight often avoid medical care and fitness facilities because these are venues in which there face the highest levels of shame and discrimination.