The Research Post
I often refer people to the resource and research list of the HAES Health Sheets, which is a project I co-created with Dr. Louise Metz and Tiana Dodson. In addition to the list, the sheets are diagnosis-specific, weight-neutral practice guides for practitioners, patients, and advocates. I recently got a request from a reader to create a post here with the research list that they could send people to, so here it is. This will be a living page that I update as new resources come out. If there are studies you feel are missing, please don’t hesitate to let me know! It’s divided into two sections, support for weight-neutral care and issues with weight loss/dieting as a healthcare intervention.
Content note: Many of these studies are written from a weight-centric paradigm, using terms that pathologize body size, and advocate for the eradication of fat people.
Support for Weight-Neutral Care
Evaluating the Evidence for a Paradigm Shift
Lindo Bacon, Lucy Aphramor
This paper evaluates the evidence and rationale that justifies shifting the health care paradigm from a conventional weight focus to a weight-neutral focus.
Size acceptance and intuitive eating improve health for ob*se* female chronic dieters
Lindo Bacon, Judith S Stern, Marta D Van Loan, Nancy L Keim
HAES approach resulted in improved health risk indicators
Relationship Between Low Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Mortality in Normal-Weight, Overweight, and Obese Men
Ming Wei, MD, MPH; James B. Kampert, PhD; Carolyn E. Barlow, MS; et al
Relative risk of all-cause mortality was similarly mitigated by fitness, regardless of BMI
Healthy Lifestyle Habits and Mortality in Overweight and Obese Individuals
Eric M. Matheson, Dana E. King and Charles J. Everett
Healthy Habits were associated with a similarly significant decrease in mortality regardless of BMI
Stigma in Practice: Barriers to Health for Fat Women
Jennifer A. Lee, Cat J. Pausé
An exploration of barriers to healthcare for fat people, including structural and institutional policies, attitudes, and practices.
Recognizing the Fundamental Right to be Fat: A Weight-Inclusive Approach to Size Acceptance and Healing From Sizeism
Rachel M. Calogera, Tracy L. Tylka, Janell L. Mensinger, Angela Meadows, Sigrun Daníelsdóttir
An exploration of issues with the Weight Normative Approach, the benefits of a Weight Inclusive Approach, and strategies for therapists to align their practice with a Weight Inclusive Approach
What’s wrong with the ‘war on ob*sity?’ A narrative review of the weight-centered health paradigm and development of the 3C Framework to build critical competency for a paradigm shift.
Lily O’Hara and Jane Taylor
Critique of the weight-centered health paradigm and review of the literature around the ineffectiveness and harms of the weight-centered approach.
The weight-inclusive versus weight-normative approach to health: evaluating the evidence for prioritizing well-being over weight loss
Tracy L Tylka, Rachel A Annunziato, Deb Burgard, Sigrún Daníelsdóttir, Ellen Shuman, Chad Davis, Rachel Calogero
Review of the data on weight and health, including ineffectiveness and harms of dieting, health effects of weight stigma, and data behind a weight-inclusive approach.
Obesity treatment: Weight loss versus increasing fitness and physical activity for reducing health risks
Gaesser and Angadi
Makes the case for weight-neutral care over intentional weight loss
The body politic: the relationship between stigma and obesity-associated disease
Examines the relationship between weight stigma and health issues, and finds that weight stigma may drive health issues that are typically blamed on body size.
I Think Therefore I Am: Perceived Ideal Weight as a Determinant of Health
Found that the difference between actual and desired body weight was a stronger predictor of physical and mental health than body mass index (BMI)
Issues with Weight-Loss/Dieting as a Healthcare Intervention
Validity of claims made in weight management research: a narrative review of dietetic articles
The best available evidence demonstrates that conventional weight management has a high long-term failure rate. The ethical implications of continued reliance on an energy deficit approach to weight management are under-explored.
How effective are traditional dietary and exercise interventions for weight loss?
The data that exists suggest almost complete weight regain after 3-5 years
Medicare’s search for effective obesity treatments: diets are not the answer
Traci Mann, Janet Tomiyama
Almost all dieters regain all the weight, many regain more
Long‐term Effects of Dieting: Is Weight Loss Related to Health?
Traci Mann, Janet Tomiyama
Dieting was not shown to be correlated with improved health outcomes.
Probability of an Ob*se Person Attaining Normal Body Weight: Cohort Study Using Electronic Health Records
A. Fildes et. al
The annual probability of achieving normal body weight was 1 in 210 for men and 1 in 124 for women with simple ob*sity. The probability declined with increasing BMI category
Did you find this post helpful? You can subscribe for free to get future posts delivered direct to your inbox, or choose a paid subscription to support the newsletter and get special benefits! Click the Subscribe button for details:
For a full bank of research, check out https://haeshealthsheets.com/resources/
*Note on language: I use “fat” as a neutral descriptor as used by the fat activist community, I use “ob*se” and “overw*ight” to acknowledge that these are terms that were created to medicalize and pathologize fat bodies, with roots in racism and specifically anti-Blackness. Please read Sabrina Strings: Fearing the Black Body – the Racial Origins of Fat Phobia and Da’Shaun Harrisons Belly of the Beast: The Politics of Anti-Fatness as Anti-Blackness for more on this.