ASDAH is the Association for Size Diversity and Health. The voting members are healthcare professionals (doctors, nurses, therapists, dietitians, nutritionists, researchers, academicians – a very wide spectrum of healthcare professionals) who support the Health at Every SizeÒ (HAES™) approach and research.
ASDAH is the group that is on the front lines helping to fight all the junk science regarding fat and health. The HAES approach is that health is not the number on your scale or yourBMI. Health is something that all people, thin, fat and in between, can work towards without changing their weight.
I had thought that ASDAH was for healthcare professionals and science researcher “brainiacs”. And while I knew I benefited from the work ASDAH does, I thought I would not be able to relate to or understand what they would be discussing. I am not a healthcare professional or in academia.
Well, I went to my first ASDAH conference this past weekend and I loved it. I had to ask some questions, because like any area of work, there are certain terms that have specific meaning within that area of expertise.
I can’t speak to what ASDAH has done at its past conferences, but at this one, on the first day various professionals made presentations regarding their work and/or research. Lots of good science debunking of junk science; and lots of good talk by the people who are literally putting their careers on the line trying to change the healthcare paradigm of a world that ignores the science and keeps claiming fat equals unhealthy and thin equals healthy.
I learned about the battles a HAES practitioner has to fight. I got some suggestions on dealing with health practitioners who just want to talk about weight. And probably most interesting (for me) I got to hear some of the reasons why it is so hard for some healthcare professionals to let go of the “old way”. I came away with pages and pages of notes on information I want to follow-up on, blog ideas, things to think about and maybe apply to my own life.
We did not stay for all of the second day of the conference. We heard the committee reports, financial reports, and specific requests for members to participate in the various committees. I found ASDAH to be totally open and candid with its members about the organization, where it is, what it is doing, and where it hopes to go. When we left, the group was preparing to do break into groups to brainstorm. I probably would have had a lot of fun doing that – but I had a bad headache (didn’t sleep well at the hotel) and just really wanted to get home to my own bed (and cats).
I urge you to go to the ASDAH website and check them out.