This study looked at two approaches to health. The weight normative approach focuses on weight and weight loss when defining health and well being whereas the weight inclusive approach emphasizes health and well being as multi-faceted. The results favor the weight inclusive approach over stigmatizing weight and focusing of weight loss for multiple reasons.
Data reveal that the weight-normative approach is not effective for most people because of high rates of weight regain and cycling from weight loss interventions, which are linked to adverse health and well-being. Its predominant focus on weight may also foster stigma in health care and society, and data show that weight stigma is also linked to adverse health and well-being. In contrast, data support a weight-inclusive approach, which is included in models such as Health at Every Size for improving physical (e.g., blood pressure), behavioral (e.g., binge eating), and psychological (e.g., depression) indices, as well as acceptability of public health messages.
While not easy reading, it’s worth wading through this study in order to better understand why a weight inclusive approach is good practice in the face of all the contrary messages we receive daily from our pervasive diet culture.