Getting Over the Obesity Paradigm: Health Solutions that Don’t Backfire — ASN Events

Getting Over the Obesity Paradigm: Health Solutions that Don’t Backfire (#108)

Linda Bacon 1
  1. City College of San Francisco, El Cerrito, CA, United States

Alarm about obesity clouds questions posed in research, interpretation of data, and judgment about best practice. This coupled with the influence of corporate, diet and pharmaceutical interests can deafen us to powerful contrary data that show that obesity has been exaggerated as a health concern and that the pursuit of weight loss is largely ineffective and damaging. Our misinformed obesity focus has yielded a populace preoccupied with weight and hurt by stigmatization. It may be that much of the health risk associated with weight is iatrogenic, caused by faulty assumptions of well-intended obesity “experts” rather than adiposity itself. This seminar explores the clash of perceptions and reality, challenges common assumptions about weight, and introduces a growing trans-disciplinary movement, called Health at Every Size (HAES), which argues for an end to the “war on obesity” and a shift in focus to weight-neutral outcomes. Randomized controlled clinical trials indicate that HAES is associated with statistically and clinically relevant improvements in physiological measures, health behaviors, and psychosocial outcomes, and that HAES achieves these health outcomes more successfully than weight loss treatment and without the contraindications associated with a weight focus.  Dr. Bacon presents a clearly articulated, evidence based argument for shifting the paradigm in our approach to weight, health and overall well-being.


  1. Bacon, L., & Aphramor, L. Weight Science: Evaluating the Evidence for a Paradigm Shift, Nutrition Journal, 2011, 10(9). (