Association for Size Diversity and Health

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HAES® Webinars  How Healthism Overshadows Healing: Ethical consideration in treatment planning

How Healthism Overshadows Healing: Ethical consideration in treatment planning


Dana Sturtevant, MS, RD, LD
Hilary Kinavey, MS, LPC


The impact of dieting culture, weight bias, and body shame is often under-acknowledged and/or overlooked when helping professionals focus primarily on improving lifestyle behaviors. Healthism, or the preoccupation with personal health as a primary achievement of well-being (Crawford, 1980), emphasizes personal responsibility while ignoring important social determinants of health. In a world steeped in dieting culture and healthism, it can be assumed that many patients have already been trying to change their eating habits (maybe for years), and their inability to sustain such changes has resulted in feelings of shame and self-doubt. These experiences interfere with one’s ability to embody personal agency and speak up about how unsustainable some of the provider recommendations may be. In this talk, Dana and Hilary will explore behavior change theory, eating competence, and body shame as variables in treatment planning. Leave with tools for assessing a person’s relationship with food and body to create a more robust picture for effective interventions that emphasize healing over health.


Participants attending this webinar will be able to:
•    Define healthism and describe the difference between promoting health verses healing.
•    Describe the often hidden role dieting culture and body shame plays in our client interactions.
•    Identify the ethical dilemmas that can arise when offering behavioral prescriptions.
•    Utilize tools and strategies to assess the patient’s readiness for behavior change prescriptions.

Download the PowerPoint Slideshow here.



In 2006, Hilary Kinavey, MS, LPC and Dana Sturtevant, MS, RD co-founded Be Nourished, a revolutionary business helping people heal body dissatisfaction and reclaim body trust. Hilary is a licensed professional counselor, a Certified Daring Way™ facilitator, and a transformational workshop leader. Dana is a registered dietitian, Motivational Interviewing trainer, and Kripalu Yoga teacher. After many year of deep listening, learning, and working at Be Nourished, Hilary and Dana co-created Body Trust® Wellness, a curriculum to encourage people to move towards a compassionate model of radical self-care to heal body shame and patterns of chronic dieting and disordered eating. From 2007-2012, Hilary and Dana were adjunct instructors for the Eating Disorder Certificate Program at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Hilary and Dana are popular speakers on topics such as Health at Every Size®, intuitive eating, and body respect in health care communities, and regular contributors to the Huffington Post. For more information, visit

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