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Body Respect: What Conventional Health Books Get Wrong, Leave Out, and Just Plain Fail to Understand about Weight

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  837 ratings  ·  92 reviews
Mainstream health science has let you down.

Weight loss is not the key to health, diet and exercise are not effective weight-loss strategies and fatness is not a death sentence.

You’ve heard it before: there’s a global health crisis, and, unless we make some changes, we’re in trouble. That much is true—but the epidemic is NOT obesity. The real crisis lies in the toxic stigma
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Paperback, 232 pages
Published September 2nd 2014 by BenBella Books
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Linda M It's a self-help book teaching you the principles of intuitive eating and the health at every size movement.

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Average rating 4.24  · 
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 ·  837 ratings  ·  92 reviews


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Start your review of Body Respect: What Conventional Health Books Get Wrong, Leave Out, and Just Plain Fail to Understand about Weight
Crystal Starr Light
Bullet Review:

Reasons Why I Cannot Read Past 13% of This Book:

Evidence 1: "'Experts' warn us that our fat is contagious, spreading from person to person in an epidemic on the same scale as terrorism, and that it will reduce life expectancies and even further global warming."

Is Obesity Contagious?

Source 1

Source 2

Source 3

Source 4

Is Obesity an Epidemic?

Source 1

Source 2

Source 3

Source 4

Are Obesity and Global Warming Linked?

Source 1

Source 2

Source 3

Evidence 2: "So before we continue with the science, w
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Jules
Sep 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food-nutrition
I read the book Body Respect and found myself highlighting every other page. I enjoyed it so much that I’m buying myself a copy to keep on my nightstand. I should buy several copies for work, home, traveling, and meeting new people so that I can place them in my environment strategically, like emergency exits and fire extinguishers.



HAES does not claim that everyone is at a healthy weight. What it does do is ask for respect and help people shift their focus away from changing their size to enhan
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Jenn
Sep 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book, like Linda Bacon's phenomenal book Health At Every Size, explains why dieting (as in, attempts at weight loss) is pointless. Sustained weight loss just doesn't happen for most people, authors Linda Bacon and Lucy Aphramor argue. We did not evolve to lose weight and keep it off. Sure, a few people can do it. But most of us (*raises hand*) can't. Not won't. Can't.

The solution to your "weight problem," these ladies argue, is: Stop trying to lose weight. Whatever your weight is, practicin
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Laura
Jan 19, 2015 rated it liked it
I would give this book 5 stars for the basic premise that dieting doesn't work and people should work on accepting their body and trying to be as healthy as possible in that body. Linda Bacon's previous book Health at Every Size is ground-breaking. The book itself is good but not great due to the unevenness of the chapters. I suspect it is because there are two authors. At times, I had trouble with the strident tone regarding social injustice. While my sympathies lean this way, I wasn't sure it ...more
Mandy
Mar 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
I felt validated by this book, and mislead by it. Some of the advice or theories, that people treat their bodies better if they like them, and worse if they hate them, are so obviously sound and sensible, it is eye opening. Others, such as that overweight people don't eat more than non-overweight people are less convincing - it is not what people say when they have lost weight. Also the evidence given for that was a study so unscientific and affected by, what is it called, the observer paradox? ...more
Eve
Oct 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Lots of good advice here. Sometimes reading these types of books, I get cranky because I think they're going to tell me to stop reading or watching TV while I'm eating, and unless I'm with other people I hate just sitting there and eating. But it didn't so I was happy with that.

Of course for me I've been involved with fat acceptance for a long time, so some of it was familiar, but it's still good to be reminded, and I could definitely be doing better with my Health at Every Size practice. Every
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Abby Aldrich
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Health at Every Size as social justice. So good. Just read chapter 1, "Facts and Fiction about Fatness." Actually, you could just read the section within chapter 1 called "Myth #1: Fatness Leads to Decreased Longevity" to see how even the CDC cannot separate facts from weight bias. It's pretty outrageous fear-mongering.
Kate
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Can’t recommend this book enough. Turns everything we think we know about health/weight on its head. Fascinating and really important read. Plus, the theme of self-compassion was woven nicely through the book. More thought provoking and encouraging than any wellness book I’ve read in years.
Gayle Noble
Some people seem to fundamentally misunderstand what HAES is, I see this on social media all the time. It is about self-care, about moving away from negative self-criticism and unhelpful judgmental thoughts which fill eating and exercise behaviours with feelings of obligation and guilt, and about realising that everyone is worthy of respect and being treated as a human being - not just those who attain the socially accepted standards. It is not about "glorifying obesity" or whatever rubbish some ...more
Max
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
really good place to start with HAES. All providers should read something similar, have at least a basic understanding of the ideas, and be prepared to accept it as a part of some of their patients’ worldviews that they’re responsible for trying to find treatment options in harmony with, whether or not the provider herself buys in
Dania
May 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: body-image
Very accessible read on the Health at Every Size Movement. I enjoyed it. The biggest difference from the Health at Every Size Book by Linda Bacon is a more politicized nature, and a discussion of social determinants regarding health. There was certainly a lot of overlap but I didn't mind.
Erin
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good follow up to HAES with updated research. Some of the suggestions fell a bit flat (park farther away to get more steps in, etc) but overall a good basic resource for HAES and initiative eating.
Stacy
Sep 25, 2019 rated it liked it
I have mixed feelings about this book, which I picked up on the recommendation of someone in my community. I was hoping to find more information about intuitive eating, but this book seems to be more of an all-encompassing overview of a previous book written by one of the authors, Health At Every Size.

Let's get this straight: I do agree with the body positivity aspects of this book. I hate diet culture, and I hate what it's done to people I know. I am so tired of fixating on how many calories t
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Ashley
Jun 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
So that was pretty good. A little more self help-y than I was expecting even with all that the title might imply.

Drs. Bacon and Aphramor are interested in making sure that we all are aware of the actual science around health as it relates to weight. Not the ridiculous idea that you can tell someone's health by their weight, but the truth: that health is complex and certainly can't be reduced to the number on the scale. Plenty of very thin people are extremely unhealthy, but most of society doesn
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Lenny Husen
Sep 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
OK, I really thought this book was worth reading, and I am going to buy several more copies of it to put in the Christmas baskets. I have met the authors, and they are fabulous women, very passionate, bright, and amazing. I admire them greatly.

This is the book for those that want to know or understand why weight loss is NOT the goal, doesn't lead to better health for many or most that attempt it, why restrictive eating is unhealthy and why intuitive or mindful eating is what every human who is l
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Sarah
Jul 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
The science behind why diets don’t work and why weight is not an indication of whether someone is “healthy”. Excellent info for anyone, but particularly helpful to anyone who has dieted more than once in an attempt to lose weight. It’s time to get a new perspective on our relationships with food and let biology work the way it’s meant to.
Theenemytoad
Jan 30, 2018 rated it liked it
This quick and easy read challenges conventional approaches to body size and its relationship to health. It touches on a broad range of topics including size discrimination, socioeconomic status, stress, and our relationships with food and exercise. I read this book as part of my attempt to un-brainwash myself and I think it could be helpful for others with the same goal. Our current culture leads us to believe that carbs and fat are evil, and that we are not worthy of respect if we fail to achi ...more
GONZA
Jun 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
I loved this book, finally someone who explains the discrimination towards obese people and how crazy is that and how ignorance plays a big role in it and it is one of the major causes.

Ho adorato questo libro, finalmente qualcuno che spiega come nei confronti dell'obesitá ci siano delle discriminazioni pazzesche e come l'ignoranza a riguardno ne sia una delle cause maggiori.

THANKS TO NETGALLEY AND BENBELLA BOOKS FOR THE PREVIEW!
Rachel
"Remember, weight is not a measure of someone's worth."

I absolutely love this book. I originally started reading this alongside one of my clients as we work through some body image related content. It has given me a new perspective on the way I view weight in our society. Not only is this extremely helpful for my work with clients, but also for myself, personally, in helping change the way I relate to food and my self-esteem. I highly recommend.
Max
Dec 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
There is some great information in this, but overall this book felt like it was trying to be too many things to too many people - both healthcare practitioners and the lay public. I think that writing for just one audience may have made this a more accessible book.

However, I would still recommend Bacon's work with Health at Every Size to those interested in this topic.
Lotta
Aug 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, haes
What I especially liked about this book is how the authors show how there are so many more aspects of health than individual behaviours; structural influences such as class, race, working and living conditions, stress play a great part and aren't always something we can change. They advocate for self kindness and respect, which can hardly be anything but good.
Kaity Molé
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The HAES mindset to wellness and bodies COMPLETELY CHANGED MY LIFE. Our relationship with food and our bodies is so broken. This should be required reading for every health care worker and every person. The role of poverty, stress, allostatic load and oppression in chronic disease is largely ignored by conventional medicine, Linda blows that out of the water.
Kaye
Mar 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: read_in_2016, health
Basically, this was a condensed version of Health at Every Size, which was a seminal work in terms of research and bucking the diet industry. This work is more concise, and contains updated research.
Caitlin Padanyi
Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Such a wonderful look at health as a whole and not just weight. Filled with helpful studies and insight. I borrowed this one from the library but may actually buy it so I can reread whenever I want.
M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews
"So before we continue with the science, we want to appeal to you on the basis of emotion."

SCIENCE DOES NOT GIVE A FUCK ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS.

"diet and exercise are not effective weight-loss strategies"

Jesus Christ, are these authors fucking serious??? But then this is Linda Bacon we're talking about - a person who is NOT a medical doctor, and is in no way associated with medicine. Her first book,
Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight asserts that obesity has nothing to do w
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Gretchen
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
Some books make me angry. Others exasperate me. Occasionally I'll be so frustrated I'll throw one across the room. But this one managed something new: I got halfway through, and felt betrayed.

I read and enjoyed Linda Bacon's previous book, Health at Every Size (HAES), and was looking forward to hearing what she had to say about how the science surrounding weight intersected with questions of personal/political experience. And indeed, the chapters she wrote are excellent - and the only thing that
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Alyse
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was ok
I think I am in the minority here when I say that I did not find anything earth shattering here. I am not new the HAES idea or philosophy, but I am a person in a "smaller body" -for now- and felt that this book was aimed at fat people. Unfortunately, it actually did a lot to drive home my (eating disordered) beliefs (too bad most of them are more than that - they are facts!) about thinness, "thin privilege," people in smaller bodies being treated differently, more respected, professionally/socia ...more
Julie
May 02, 2019 rated it liked it
This does a good job of mentioning often-forgotten causes of poor health such as stress from various sources, but it often misinterprets the science and can send people down an even more harmful path than the one they're already on. The authors recommend intuitive eating, which does NOT work with a typical diet of processed foods and artificial sweeteners or added sugar. Big Food spends millions of dollars to ensure that we keep eating long past the point of sustaining ourselves.
A whole food (a
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La Crosse Public Library
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Body Respect is a book that turns conventions of dieting and weight upside down. First, it takes several common conceptions about weight, diet, and health, and shows that they are not based on rigorous scientific research. The book aims to reclaim the word fat, not as an insult but as a descriptor of a healthy body shape, like slim or thin.

Ultimately, the book deconstructs the idea that our lifestyle choices are what decides our weight, and our fatness. The book deconstructs the research on what
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Alex Laycock
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
full of insight and revelation,including the science that will back up this thinking that debunks conventional diet industry hysteria.THIS BOOK WILL FREE YOU,it advocates our body's unique set point and why it fights as hard as it can to keep at this for ultimate health hence whey it shuts down on some functions and lowers the metabolic rate with starvation, your body works best without this modern hysteria with restriction, toss the BMI formula out of the window,when your body is robbed of its ...more
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