Weight inclusive care gives clients the tools to focus on behaviors within their control rather than on weight related goals that may or may not be achievable. Many people desire to be treated under a weight inclusive care lens, but don’t know to look for it. To explain weight inclusive care and why it’s important, let’s first understand what weight inclusive care is not.
Most people are familiar with the weight normative model of care. In many ways, the weight normative model is the opposite of weight inclusive care and tends to promote weight stigma and leave clients without the tools they need to manage their condition. Under the weight normative model of care, weight reduction is viewed as the main intervention and determinant of health.
Let’s say a patient is diagnosed with diabetes. The weight normative model would focus on weight loss as a primary intervention. Most people are used to this and don’t question the approach; however, what happens when a thin person is diagnosed with diabetes? Would they be instructed to lose weight? Probably not. Don’t you think that a larger person diagnosed with a medical condition should get the same treatment as a smaller person diagnosed with the same condition? I sure do!
Weight inclusive care focuses on behavior-based interventions rather than weight. Under the weight inclusive model, a person diagnosed with a medical condition would be educated on the specific nutrition needs and lifestyle changes for that specific medical condition regardless of their body size. Weight is not a behavior and is determined by a complex set of factors, some of which are out of our control.
Medical research studies comparing the weight inclusive approach to the weight normative approach show significantly improved health outcomes in groups receiving weight inclusive care compared to weight normative care. You deserve to receive the best care possible, which is why I use a weight inclusive approach with every client.