Health-Centered Weight Control Method Shows Promise

New Study Published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association Shows “Health-At-Every-Size” Approach Is Effective

St. Louis, MO, 4 November 2009 – Most weight-control strategies emphasize energy-restricted diets and increased physical activity – and most are not effective over the long term. In a study of a “weight-acceptance” intervention, published in the November 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, researchers found that there could be long-term beneficial effects on certain eating behaviors using a weight- acceptance intervention approach.

In a shift from the traditional “weight-centered” approach to a more “health-centered” approach, a new weight paradigm called “Health-At-Every-Size” (HAES) argues that health is related to behaviors independently of body weight status. HAES approaches do not focus on weight loss and instead focus on a healthy lifestyle with an emphasis on size acceptance and non-dieting.

In a study conducted by researchers from Laval University, Quebec ,144 pre-menopausal, overweight/obese women (48 in the HAES group, 48 in a Social Support (SS) group and 48 in the control group) participated in a randomized controlled trial. Measurements of eating behaviors, appetite sensations, physical activities, metabolic and anthropometric profiles were made at the beginning of the study, at the end of the intervention period, and at 6 months and 1 year post-intervention.

It was found that food intake in response to feelings and perceptions of hunger were significantly lower at 1-y follow-up in both the HAES and SS groups when compared to the control group. In addition, situational susceptibility to disinhibition (overconsumption of food in response to a variety of stimuli associated with a loss of control on food intake) was significantly lower at 1-y follow-up in the HAES group than in the control group.

Writing in the article, Simone Lemieux, RD PhD, Professor, Institute of Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods, Laval University, states, “Overall, these results suggest that, when compared to a control group, a HAES approach could have beneficial effects on eating behaviors related to disinhibition and hunger, these behavioral changes being related to a better body weight maintenance. However, the present study did not show distinctive effects of the HAES approach in comparison to a SS intervention”

The article is “’Health-At-Every-Size’ and Eating Behaviors: One-Year Follow-Up Results of a Size Acceptance Intervention” by Véronique Provencher, RD PhD, Catherine Bégin, PhD, Angelo Tremblay, PhD, Lyne Mongeau, RD PhD, Louise Corneau, RD MSc, Sylvie Dodin, MD MSc, Sonia Boivin, PhD, and Simone Lemieux, RD PhD. It appears in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Volume 109 Issue 11 (November 2009), published by Elsevier.

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Notes to Editors: 
Full text of the article featured above is available upon request. Contact Lynelle Korte at +1 314 447 9227 to obtain copies. Journalists wishing to interview the lead author may contact Simone Lemieux, RD, PhD, at +1 418 656 2131 ext.: 3637 or

The official journal of the American Dietetic Association the Journal of the American Dietetic Association is the premier source for the practice and science of food, nutrition and dietetics. The monthly, peer-reviewed journal presents original articles prepared by scholars and practitioners and is the most widely read professional publication in the field. The journal focuses on advancing professional knowledge across the range of research and practice issues such as: nutritional science, medical nutrition therapy, public health nutrition, food science and biotechnology, foodservice systems, leadership and management and dietetics education.

The American Dietetic Association is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. ADA is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy.

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Media Contact:
Lynelle Korte
+1 314 447 9227