Dietary approaches to weight-loss, Health At Every Size® and beyond: rethinking the war on obesity

Andrea Bombak, Lee F. Monaghan, Emma Rich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
86 Downloads (Pure)


Despite considerable contestation, ‘excess’ weight/fatness is commonly framed as fatal and in need of behavioural interventions. This article reviews literature which places a question mark over or challenges dietary approaches to weight-loss before critically discussing an alternative weight-inclusive intervention, Health At Every Size®, which is filtering into mainstream discourse while also becoming increasingly fractious. After discussing principles, tensions, resonance and controversies, we reflect on the politics of health and the need to reject the all-too-common definition of weight/fatness as a proxy for individuals’ unhealthy lifestyles and personal irresponsibility. In conclusion, we tease out some of the implications of our discussion for social theorizing of health and efforts to rethink the war on obesity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-108
Number of pages20
JournalSocial Theory and Health
Issue number1
Early online date19 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019


  • Critique
  • Dieting
  • Fatness
  • Health At Every Size
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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