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

Body Respect lives up to its title – it offers deep respect for those of us who are tired of the same old messages about weight and body fat that fail to honor the fullness of our humanity. It’s time for a new approach to weight. Linda Bacon and Lucy Aphramor have given us just that.
Marc David, M.A. Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, and Author of Nourishing Wisdom and The Slow Down Diet

Body Respect is transformative for the individual reader, as well as a wakeup call for the
real public health crisis America faces: illness and suffering brought on by chronic stress
associated with poverty, social inequality, oppression, and stigma.

Katja Rowell, M.D. Author of Love Me, Feed Me and childhood feeding specialist,

It is profoundly important to address the shortcomings in health discourse, particularly when misinformation is harming the population. Body Respect is a ground-breaking, dogma-busting book that will change how you think about health forever.

Christopher Kennedy Lawford New York Times bestselling author and former UN Goodwill Ambassador for Drug Treatment and Care

Linda and Lucy have written the rare self-help book that places the personal decisions about how to care for ourselves in the larger context of the world’s unequal opportunities, judgment, and bias. Acknowledging these injustices and honoring our diverse experiences in our diverse bodies, we each still face the question of what we will do today to be good to ourselves. Body Respect gives us a way to think about our decisions, especially the challenge of valuing ourselves in an indifferent or hostile world and the concrete steps to feeling better in our bodies right now.

Deb Burgard, PhD Psychologist, eating disorders specialist, and HAES pioneer

In a world where positive, uplifting and scientifically grounded messages about weight are sorely lacking—Linda Bacon and Lucy Aphramor have given us a bright light of hope. Body Respect is a must-read book for anyone interested in the complex and timely topic of weight. The authors provide information about food, science, psychology and more that cuts right to the core of why we’re so confused around body fat. This breakthrough book is written with both compassion for the human heart and a sharp eye for what the research is really saying. It’s practical, information rich, easy-to-read, and yet profound in its outlook. Body Respect lives up to its title – it offers deep respect for those of us who are tired of the same old messages about weight and body fat that fail to honor the fullness of our humanity. It’s time for a new approach to weight. Linda Bacon and Lucy Aphramor have given us just that. Bravo.

Marc David, M.A. Founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, and Author of Nourishing Wisdom and The Slow Down Diet

Body Respect brilliantly explains why guiding ourselves and others towards better health rather than towards weight loss, is not only a more effective and compassionate approach to struggles with eating and weight – but one that is solidly rooted in fact and science. This book is a “must read” for those who struggle and who suffer from our culture’s pervasively negative attitude towards fat … and for those who want to help them.

Anita Johnston, Ph.D. Author of Eating in the Light of the Moon

With Body Respect Linda Bacon and Lucy Aphramor build on their impressive contributions to Health At Every Size. Whether you’re a seasoned activist or new to the scene, this book will prove an invaluable addition to the literature debunking fatphobic health discourse. Body Respect is an essential tool for those seeking well-being without stigma.

Charlotte Cooper, PhD Psychotherapist

These intrepid authors outline the most significant indicators of health and issue a clarion call to re-assert our attention to aspects of people’s health we can influence apart from body weight. For those who dare to pick up this book and engage with the evidence that is so clearly presented, the power to transform an entire body paradigm is in your hands.

Jacqui Gingras, PhD, RD Co-founder of Critical Dietetics

This is an important book that should be mandatory reading for every health professional. It provides a compelling argument that issues of body weight, in the name of health, should be reframed to a focus on healthy behaviors, not a number on a scale. The authors do an excellent job of laying out the flaws in the obesity research, including the ‘obesity paradox’. They blow the whistle on the insanity of dieting, which not only is ineffective, it’s one of the quickest ways to assure long-term weight gain, while assaulting the mind and body of the individual.

Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD Co-author of Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works
Weight is a poor proxy for health, and in their extraordinary and thorough book, Bacon and Aphramor bring just the right amounts of science, wisdom and compassion to map a more peaceful, sustainable and equitable road to health. This book will help to alleviate the shame and blame experienced by people who worry about their body size and should be read by every student and professional in the many health-related fields of practice.
Judith Matz, LCSW Psychotherapist and co-author of The Diet Survivors Handbook and Beyond a Shadow of a Diet
Linda Bacon and Lucy Aphramor have made another important contribution to helping individuals, healthcare professionals and policymakers move away from the damaging and fruitless focus on body size that characterizes so much of today’s health advice. The title says it all. If you want to support optimal well-being, the place to start is with body respect, understanding and appreciating the body for the marvelous creation that it is, and then focusing on the true factors that impact health for everyone, regardless of size.
Marsha Hudnall, MS, RD, CD Program director and Owner, Green Mountain at Fox Run
Body Respect is the most holistic look at weight and weight loss I have ever read. The authors review nutrition science, physiology, social and psychological factors. They conclude that the dangers of weight are overstated, and that intentional weight loss is nearly always a bad idea. They make a strong case for each person respecting and making peace with their own body, rather than trying to fit into social norms that have little to do with health. They urge a Health at Every Size approach, focusing on health and quality of life instead of on weight. After reading Body Respect, I am convinced this is the best approach for most people.
David Spero, RN Author of Art of Getting Well and Diabetes: Sugar-coated Crisis
This book is the prescription needed for our fat-shaming society. Bodies are not the problem – making people feel ashamed of their bodies IS the problem. Thank you, Linda and Lucy, for this critically important book.
Connie Sobczak Co-founder of The Body Positive and author of Embody: Learning to Celebrate Your Unique Body (and quiet that critical voice!)
In their new book, Body Respect, Drs. Bacon and Aphramor present an eye-opening exposé on all that is wrong with our current understanding of and approaches to issues of weight and health on both sides of the “big pond.” As they so eloquently detail, our prejudices towards larger individuals have created cultures in which scientists routinely publish literature that does not support their conclusions, health professionals recommend interventions that do not result in long term weight loss or health improvement and for many people lead to increased weight and poorer health, and people who do not meet the ever-diminishing standards of body shape and size are routinely pictured as lazy, gluttonous and not interested in their own health. The solution they propose – Body Respect – honoring body diversity, self-acceptance and self-love accompanied by paying attention to lovingly feeding and moving our bodies is the antidote for our culture’s obsession with weight and all of the attendant negative health and social justice consequences. No health or helping professional should finish their degree program without having read this book and anyone who is struggling with our culture’s insanity around these issues will likely improve their health just by reading it! Bravo!!
Jon Robison, PhD, MS Professor at Michigan State University
Anyone interested in health, weight, and wellness will find something of value in Lucy Aphramor and Linda Bacon’s new book: Body Respect. Whether you are already a proponent of the Health at Every Size approach, on the fence, or convinced it lacks merit, you are doing yourself a disservice not to read this book from cover to cover and add it to your library. The authors manage to combine their separate voices into one as they deliver the latest, most up-to-ate research on the efficacy of HAES, the importance of a weight neutral approach to wellness, and why we need to give up desperate fad diets in the attempt to change our natural body type. Bacon and Aphramor resist the temptation of weighing their points of view down in too much rhetoric or ‘preachy’ diatribes and opt to share their research and insights in a casual conversational style.
Deah Schwartz, PhD Clinician, author, and educator specializing in eating disorders and body image
Everybody needs to read this book. In equal parts shocking, comforting and inspiring, it is essential reading and a ray of hope in a world of body shaming. This is the tool to build the foundations of a health service based in compassion, respect and better care for both practitioners and their patients.
Amy Godfrey Performance artist , The Biscuit Chronicles
A compassionate and critical take on improving health while embracing the complexity of all bodies and considering the health impact of living within a stratified society. Body Respect combines a much-needed society-level approach to health with practical steps individuals can take. If we truly want to address the ‘obesity epidemic,’ Respect is the way to do it.
Michelle Allison Blogger, The Fat Nutritionist
Linda Bacon and Lucy Aphramor once again poke huge holes in the conventional “wisdom” around weight, food, and disease. This book is a must-read for health practitioners, chronic dieters, and anyone who wants the real deal on weight and health.
Golda Poretsky, HHC Founder of Body Love Wellness and author of Stop Dieting Now: 25 Reasons To Stop, 25 Ways To Heal
Building on the wonderful book Health at Every Size, Body Respect is a vital read for anyone looking for honesty, understanding and the truth. Linda and Lucy have shared with us not only why it is so important to do our best to move our focus away from our current culture’s narrow definition of weight and health. Importantly and additionally, they have given us the information and support to show us how we can move towards the freedom of wellbeing, compassion, and respect. Congratulations on your great resource.
Rick Kausman, M.D. Author of If Not Dieting, Then What?
This book is a triumph of compassion over judgment, skepticism over confirmation bias, and evidence over “everybody knows.” While it will surely appeal to anyone who is interested in looking past the headlines and into the real science of weight and health, this book should be required reading for everyone.
Ragen Chastain
Body Respect empowers us to respect our own body’s wisdom and needs, educating us about the real science and actual truth about the connections between weight and health. But more importantly, Body Respect challenges the belief that individual attempts to diet and lose weight will improve public health, explaining how the structured inequality of our economic and social system is the real culprit. Once we acknowledge the central causal role of the cumulative stress of chronic poverty , oppression, discrimination, and weight stigma in weight-associated-diseases, we will be on the road to a health care system that can systematically deliver both health and care to everyone, regardless of their weight, size or socio-economic status—and not a moment too soon.
Margo Maine, PhD, FAED, CEDS Founding member of National Eating Disorders Association and Academy for Eating Disorders and author of Treatment of Eating Disorders: Bridging the Research – Practice Gap
The Health at Every Size movement is so important to me personally and professionally, that I couldn’t help but be deeply inspired by Linda and Lucy’s work, yet again. This book advocates for both the individual and cultural change necessary to experience real freedom. It is backed by science, and is relatable, sprinkled with humor, and full of ways to implement changes in your life based on your own body wisdom. It is life-changing.
Carmen Cool, MA, LPC Psychotherapist and President, Association for Size Diversity & Health
Body Respect challenges health care providers to transform the way they address issues of body size and weight with patients. Bacon and Aphramor argue that traditional approaches emphasizing weight loss often undermine patient health outcomes. They provide guidelines for shifting the emphasis from weight to wellness, and a new standard for supporting patients in the self-management of chronic health conditions.
Tim Berthold, M.A. Professor, Health Education Department, City College of San Francisco, and editor of Foundations for Community Health Workers
An intersectional approach to health — recognizing the devastating impact of stigma and oppressions — is the only way out of our unwinnable and unnecessary war on weight. It’s also the way for health professionals to genuinely claim the title of caregiver. Without Body Respect, efforts toward health will be counterproductive. This book rights a longstanding wrong.
Marilyn Wann Author of Fat!So?: Because You Don't Have to Apologize for Your Size
Linda and Lucy are gifted thought leaders in a new peace movement called Health at Every Size®. This amazing book offers a refreshing perspective on weight in a society that likes to think about bodies as machines that can be tightly controlled if we just tried hard enough. If you are tired of the roller coaster ride of traditional weight management ideology, this book is for you. It is all about trying different, not harder!
Dana Sturtevant, MS, RD Dietitian and co-founder of Be Nourished
Congratulations to Lucy and Linda for collaborating on their clear and compassionate book : Body Respect! They did an outstanding job presenting complex yet intertwined concepts such as social inequities, structural inequality and Health At Every Size. Along the way the reader is introduced to the importance of integrative listening, the need to acknowledge the personal and professional journeys required for a new model of health , and why it is imperative we address the ‘proverbial elephant’ in the room regarding myths and bias on weight and health.
Lisa Tealer National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA) board member and director of programs
Body Respect sets the record straight: A weight-focused approach to health is harmful, not helpful. Mindful eating and respect for ourselves and others is a sustainable approach that we can thrive with!
Michelle May, M.D. Author several books including Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat and founder of Am I Hungry?
Body Respect is a valuable resource for anyone who wants to live healthfully and happily in their body—and the medical practitioners who serve with them. Beyond the diet mentality and the media depiction of what a ‘good’ body looks like, Body Respect bravely asks readers to tune into their body’s wisdom and expert knowing to guide them. This book contains all of the building blocks necessary to build a positive relationship with the skin that you’re in.
Mara Glatzel, MSW Life coach for Mindful Eating Programs and Training
Body Respect should be the go-to resource for all health and wellness experts to finally clear up concerns about weight and health, and to learn strategies for motivating change in their clients. An eye-opening, inspiring book.
Rebecca Scritchfield, MA, RDN, ACSM, HFS Dietitian and Author of Body Kindness
Linda and Lucy have done a superb job of sifting through complex research on weight science, body politics, exercise science, sociology, and eating psychology to create a comprehensive and actionable manual for living in bodies we are in.
Hilary Kinavey, MS, LPC Co-founder of Be Nourished
Linda Bacon and Lucy Aphramor are filling a long-existing gap in the health book market with this smart and accessible text. It’s a relief to read about the intersections of health and social justice – and an excellent place to start taking care of yourself as an individual rather than a statistic.
Marianne Kirby Founder and blogger of “The Rotund” and co-author of Lessons from the Fatosphere
Body Respect is a truly eye-opening book that challenged my views on health, dieting, and nutrition in the most positive way. I now feel liberated and capable to celebrate my body and make better choices to ensure happiness and great health for the rest of my life.
Nicole Best Student
Body Respect teaches exactly what grown-ups need for their own sanity and well-being, as well as what is essential to help the next generation avoid the harm of weight-focused approaches to acceptability and health. How can kids learn to care for instead of compare their bodies if the adults in their lives are not modeling this? This book should be required reading for everyone.
Kathy Kater, LICSW Eating disorder treatment and prevention specialist and author of Healthy Bodies: Teaching Kids What They Need to Know
Traverses the personal—with compassion at its core, and the socio-political, which asks us to consider how through structural inequality we are suffering not from an ‘Obesity Epidemic’, but an epidemic of Oppression Syndrome. A great guide to all who know the distress & damage caused by weight-stigma & diet-failure; there’s another way.
Louisa Harvey Body Image Activist
This book is a wake-up call. It’s time to recognize that the stigma associated with certain bodies is a disease that harms people and robs them of their health and happiness. Linda and Lucy are here to cure us of this ailment, and they have science on their side.
Lexi Giblin, PhD, CEDS Executive Director, Co-Founder, Opal: Food+Body Wisdom

Drs. Bacon and Aphramor have created a smart, engaging and compassionate guide that exposes why the ‘eat less, exercise more’ weight loss mantra fails so miserably, and how to achieve true health and wellness. From the frustrated dieter to the nurse, doctor and public health official, Body Respect is transformative for the individual reader, as well as a wakeup call for the real public health crisis America faces: illness and suffering brought on by chronic stress associated with poverty, social inequality, oppression, and stigma.

Katja Rowell, M.D. Author of Love Me, Feed Me and childhood feeding specialist,