Health at Every Size:
The Surprising Truth About Your Weight

Based on solid scientific research, Bacon provides us with new concepts that will forever change the way we think about hunger, nourishment and weight regulation.
Judith Matz, LCSW Psychotherapist and Author

Any person contemplating going on a diet to lose weight should read this book first. Every health professional who counsels people about weight control should absolutely read this book, read it again, and make sure their clients read it.”

Glenn Gaesser, PhD Physiologist and Author

Health at Every Size will change your life!

Doris Smeltzer, MA Author and Eating Disorders Specialist

Health At Every Size is a must-read for for both the chronic and the occasional dieter, as well as for health care professionals who readily give advice about weight loss, but know little about the actual impact of dieting on metabolism, weight, and health. Bacon challenges the false promises of the weight-loss industry and translates the science underlying the health-at-every-size movement into practical, easily-digestible truths. From the politics of fat and food, to the facts about the human body’s instinctive response to starvation, this timely resource helps readers understand how to heal their relationship to food and to their bodies, and to commit to good health instead of wasting time and energy dieting.

Margo Maine, PhD FAED, psychologist, coauthor of several books, includingThe Body Myth: Adult Women and the Pressure to Be Perfect and Body Wars: Making Peace with Women’s Bodies

Dr. Linda Bacon has done what very few other ‘diet book’ authors have ever done: she has conducted legitimate academic research to show what happens in the real world with real people who try the Health at Every Size approach. And what happens should give us all hope.In the midst of all the hype, the fads, the panic, and the confusion, there emerges a quiet and simple way to make peace with one’s body, improve health, and get on with life. It works, it lasts, and it is a way to put all the craziness to rest. Thank you, Dr. Bacon!

Deb Burgard, PhD Psychologist and co-author of Great Shape: The First Fitness Guide for Large Women, founder of the

There are thousands of self-help books directed at plus-sized people, who make up two-thirds of humanity. Nearly every one of these books promises to trim away your body fat, and as a result improve your health and life satisfaction. Every one of these books is a sham. Health at Every Size differs from all the rest because it offers a new road to travel, one that will lead you to better health and a better life. This revolutionary book is based on a solid foundation of biomedical research. The book is true to the real science, not the press releases from diet promoters that pass for health news today. Readers will achieve a new understanding of how their bodies really work and how to work with your body and not against it to achieve better balance in life.

Paul Ernsberger, PhD Researcher/Professor, Case Western Reserve School of Medicine

Linda Bacon deftly exposes the $50 billion lie of the diet industry. In plain language, she describes the indisputable science behind why millions of Americans’ failed attempts to lose weight is hardly the result of personal failing, and how if we’d just get out of the way, our bodies already know how to be healthy. Indeed, the nation’s collective obsession with the alleged “obesity epidemic” (another myth Bacon convincingly debunks) is only distracting us from facing the true menace, an industrialized food system driven solely by profit motive. Anyone who has suffered through endless weight loss programs should read this book and follow Bacon’s simple, commonsense guide to better health, improved self-esteem, and the enjoyment of real food as a source of nourishment.

Michele Simon, JD, MPH Public health attorney, author, Appetite for Profit: How the Food Industry Undermines Our Health and How to Fight Back

Linda Bacon’s book is a major contribution to the health-at-every-size movement. Any person contemplating going on a diet to lose weight should read this book first. Every health professional who counsels people about weight control should absolutely read this book, read it again, and make sure their clients read it. It’s a dogma-busting book, based on solid science, that provides a sensible alternative to mainstream fairy tales of easily attainable weight loss for all, and offers reassurance to all those who have struggled with their weight that the road to a fitter and healthier body is wide enough for everyone.

Glenn Gaesser, PhD Author: Big Fat Lies: The Truth About Your Weight and Your Health, Researcher/Professor, Arizona State University

Dr. Linda Bacon’s Health at Every Size makes laudable strides towards a long overdue revolution of the diet industry and the war we have waged against our bodies. She eloquently details the science of nourishing oneself and maintaining a healthy body amidst a culture fraught with political and economically driven agendas. With scientific reasoning accessible to a popular audience and abundant data to support her arguments, this book is a must read not only for people struggling with their weight, but also for those in the healthcare profession who treat people struggling with their weight. This book is a sobering reality check of the unforeseen consequences of America’s obsession with weight, and more importantly, Health at Every Size provides a tenable solution.

Janell Mensinger, PhD Director, Office of Research, The Reading Hospital and Medical Center

At a time when there is tremendous medical and media pressure to be extremely thin, Linda Bacon’s new book, Health at Every Size, comes as a breath of fresh air. She insists that, for people of all sizes the focus needs to be on health, not weight. It needs to be on acceptance and self-respect, not trying to change their bodies to fit “society’s hurtful standards.”

The section on “Respect yourself, body and soul” is especially valuable for women caught up in appearance issues. Rather than dieting and waiting to be thin, a clear set-up for failure, Dr. Bacon encourages women to let go of magical thinking and start living life fully now, in their present bodies.

Trying to achieve respect and happiness through weight loss “provides a hollow and tenuous victory, not the core satisfaction that you are really seeking,” she says. “Cultivate a value system that puts appearance in its place and honors bodies for more than their packaging.”

She assures readers that feeling good about themselves is motivating for making healthy changes, unlike punishing or shaming themselves. “When you feel better about yourself, you make better choices.

Frances M. Berg, MS Nutritionist and professor, author of several books including Women Afraid to Eat: Breaking Free in Today’s Weight-Obsessed World and Underage and Overweight: America’s Child Obesity Crisis-What Every Family Needs to Know, publisher of the Healthy Weight Network

Free at last! Here’s liberation from the tyranny of useless weight-loss regimens and the feelings of failure they provoke. Linda Bacon offers a welcome, practical alternative to obsessing about your weight and shape: eating and exercising according to your body’s built-in wisdom. She shows you how to enjoy sound health and unstoppable self-esteem whatever size your body may be. If you’re ready to escape from self-loathing and discover the pleasures of self-affirmation, toss out those diet books and dump the bathroom scale. Treat yourself to this sane and friendly guide, scientifically proven to help you make peace with your body, improve your health, and nourish all of who you are.

Lisa Sarasohn Bodywork and yoga therapist, author of The Woman’s Belly Book: Finding Your True Center for More Energy, Confidence, and Pleasure

Health At Every Size is essential reading for anyone who believes that health or happiness depends on weight. The truth will not only surprise you, but set you free.

Peggy Elam, PhD Psychologist, publisher, Pearlsong Press

A compassionate yet critical look at how the converging forces of science, economics and culture drive the weight loss industry and ultimately undermine the very goal an individual seeks—physical and emotional health. Written by a scientist who has been in the trenches as a dieter struggling through the weight loss gauntlet. Here’s a solution to help you off the dieting treadmill with your sanity intact.

Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD Nutrition therapist, author of several books, including Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works and Stealth Health: How to Sneak Nutrition Painlessly into Your Diet
Dr. Bacon has amazing evidence and shares it with you: Feeding yourself well and trusting your body works better—lots better—than starving yourself and trying to force your weight down. If you are caught in a struggle with your weight, this book shows you the way out.
Ellyn Satter, MS, RD, LCSW, BCD Therapist, author of several books, including Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family: Orchestrating and Enjoying the Family Meal and Your Child’s Weight: Helping Without Harming
Read this book and it will stop you in your tracks towards weight loss with health as your new goal. Make peace with your body and move on with the rest of your life.
Linda Omichinski, RD Founder, HUGS International, author of several books including You Count, Calories Don’t and Staying Off the Diet Rollercoaster
Linda Bacon’s groundbreaking experiment proved what many of us had discovered in our own lives and work:that learning to honor our bodies and their messages is better for our health than any diet, pill, or operation.Bacon reveals the financial interests fueling body hatred and poor nutrition. She offers many suggestions, facts, and even documents to help people befriend and enjoy their bodies, while also benefiting the health of the earth.Her keen intelligence, strong curiosity, and the powerful, healing commitment of someone who’s been there and now helps others, provide a wealth of information and support for readers of any size.
Barbara Altman Bruno, PhD (psychology), ACSW Author, Worth Your Weight: What You Can Do About a Weight Problem
If you have ever been on a diet, you have successfully and thoroughly tested the many, endlessly appearing, weight loss programs. They have failed us. We did what they said. Each and every program fail almost every one of us; they were not capable of delivering on their promise. Dr. Linda Bacon delivers!With solid, clearly explained research, she tells us what works, over a lifetime, is reasonable, and doable. Health at Every Size is a MUST READ for each and every person who has ever wanted a different body!
Bonnie Bernell, EdD Psychologist, author of Bountiful Women: Large Women’s Secrets for Living the Life They Desire
Dr. Bacon’s approach to the complex and often self-contradictory questions of body habitus vis-à-vis diet is well thought out, well explained and offers a revolutionary approach. Her bottom line is that we must not be intimidated by the cultural mores and by those who would take advantage of us for monetary gain and, instead, should focus on the positives of the hands we are dealt, i.e. our bodies, and concentrate on maximizing our individual health, both physical and psychological. Her book is informative, instructive and motivational.I believe it is unique. I can think of many instances in my 35 years of practicing orthopedic surgery where this book, the messages of which to some extent I did offer my patients on my own, would have been a wonderful adjunct in the often long and difficult road to joint replacement surgery.
David Heller, MD Orthopedic surgeon
Health at Every Size will change your life! Linda Bacon has painstakingly explained, in understandable language, data from hundreds of sources to help us at long last end the war we’ve waged against our bodies.Her wise guidance goes beyond enlightening us–it provides a recipe for transforming our lives, our comfort in our own skin, and our health irrelevant of weight. Every person beyond childhood needs a copy of this book!
Doris Smeltzer, MA Psychotherapist, author Andrea’s Voice: Silenced by Bulimia and the Gurze Book’s “Advice for Parents” Blog
Health at Every Size is eye-opening. I was not aware of much of the research indicating that body fat is not the death sentence many of us in the health professions are led to believe. Anyone who wants to lose weight needs to read this book. I will be urging many of my friends and colleagues to do so.
Jack Norris, RD Director, Vegan Outreach
Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth about Your Weight is a fascinating insight into the complex issues of health and weight. In this book, Linda Bacon has managed to investigate the biological, sociological, cultural, economic and political aspects of this issue, yet somehow managed to keep it highly readable and interesting. Health at Every Size dismantles some of the biggest myths about weight and health, and provides a positive pathway forward for anyone that wants to maximize their health and well being.
Lily O’Hara, PhD, MPH Assistant Professor, Emirates College for Advanced Education
A great manifesto of health, based on a deeply humanistic worldview.
Christian Bachmann Author and webmaster, Med Journal Watch

We are bombarded about how awful the obesity epidemic is, how much obesity leads to poor health, and how much obesity increases medical care costs. There is enormous bias and discrimination related to obesity, and those who are obese are often considered to lack willpower. After all, the story goes, if they really wanted to do so, they could lose weight. Our strategies for dealing with it are not working and may be counterproductive. Dr. Bacon identifies a much better approach to addressing weight. Her recommendations are sound and should be widely adopted. Let us get off the soap box of ranting about how bad obesity is, and turn our attention to healthful habits.

Steven Blair, MD Professor, University of South Carolina

You weren’t born with a user’s manual for living happily and in good health. What do you eat? What exercise do you do? How do you think and feel about your body? I’m tempted to say that this book writes the chapters on these crucial questions for the user’s manual. What you hold here is even better—a description and proof of how you (and your body) are already the best possible how-to guide available. Linda Bacon’s Health at Every Sizeis a humane and necessary resource for every body.

Marilyn Wann Activist, author of Fat!So?: Because You Don’t Have to Apologize for Your Size

A more sensible approach to thinking about body weight regulation than the current mainstream view and a welcome change from the diet-of-the-month roller coaster. Perfect for repeat dieters looking for a new path and those interested in taking the first step toward size acceptance.

Sondra Solovay, JD Author of Tipping the Scales of Justice: Fighting Weight-Based Discrimination, director, Fat Legal Advocacy, Rights and Education Project

In Health at Every Size, The Surprising Truth about Your Weight, Linda Bacon offers a fascinating exploration of the science behind weight gain and loss, or more to the point, why we have such a hard time losing weight and keeping it off. The coup de grace, though, is her presentation of an approach to giving up the weight struggle and getting on with your life in a healthy, happy way. If you want to end weight worries, buy this book.

Marsha Hudnall, MS, RD, CD Program director, Green Mountain at Fox Run

Dr. Bacon eloquently provides readers with a clear understanding of the science regarding the body’s physiological response to restrictive dieting and excellent tools for building a new relationship with one’s self in respect to food, body image, physical activity, and attitude.

Marci Getz, MPH Health educator

Every person considering a diet should first read Dr. Bacon’s book Health at Every Size. Dr. Bacon does an excellent job of explaining the science behind the failure of dieting to successfully maintain weight loss. She offers an alternative health model that takes the emphasis off of weight, and results in people enjoying food and physical activity and making peace with their bodies. Well done, Dr. Bacon!

Connie Sobczak Director, The Body Positive, and Author of Embody: Learning to Love Your Unique Body (and quiet that critical voice!)

Now, I finally have a concise clear source for my clients who are casualties of the “war on obesity”. In Health at Every Size, Linda Bacon introduces the concept of self-care and body appreciation for every body of every size! This is a profoundly new way to make peace with our bodies and with food. This is the end to the battle of the bulge.

Kelly Bliss, MEd, ACE Psychotherapist, author, Don’t Weight, Eat Healthy Get Moving NOW and Kelly Bliss’ Yellow Pages!

One would think that with as much emphasis in advertising and public health policy on weight loss that a great deal of research has been done as to the benefits of dieting for weight loss. One would think that logically, but one would be wrong. While statistical correlations between weight and health are constantly being calculated, the truth is very little direct study has been done regarding dieting, weight loss and health. Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth about Your Weight is based upon groundbreaking research by Linda Bacon, Ph.D., which set out to see if going on a diet really makes one healthier. What Bacon’s research discovered is what every fat person who has spent years conducting their own personal experiments already knew: Diets Don’t Work. This book should revolutionize America’s obsession with weight!

Pattie Thomas, PhD Co-author, Taking Up Space: How Eating Well and Exercising Regularly Changed My Life

This book will revolutionize the way people think about what it means to be at a “healthy weight.” Linda Bacon is at the forefront of an exciting new field of research that is debunking many of the myths about weight and health: myths that combine to make Americans less healthy, less happy, and often heavier than they would otherwise be. As Dr. Bacon illustrates, the key to a happy, healthy weight is to recognize that one person’s own “ideal” weight is quite independent of ­ and often radically different than ­ that of other people. This simple but powerful idea is crucial to understanding what it means to achieve health at every size.

Paul Campos, JD Professor of law, University of Colorado, author of The Obesity Myth: Why America’s Obsession with Weight is Hazardous to Your Health

In our body-obsessed culture, Health at Every Size is a breath of fresh air. Linda Bacon reminds us of a core truth: our bodies will naturally gravitate toward health if we could only hear what they’re saying above the cacophony of media and advertising.

Anna Lappé Author, Hope’s Edge: The Next Diet for a Small Planet and Grub: Ideas for an Organic Kitchen

Health At Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight is the book we’ve all been waiting for. Dr. Linda Bacon has translated complicated information about the physiology of weight, food, dieting and eating into manageable, understandable language. She intersperses her own life experiences into the text, making her book highly personal and readable. The interactive checklists will help individuals put the Health At Every Size concepts into practice immediately. I plan to recommend this book to all my clients and colleagues.

Ellyn Herb, PhD CEDS Psychologist and certified eating disorders specialist

For years, Linda Bacon has been the voice of reason to professionals working with clients who have eating, exercise and body image problems. We now have a great way to offer that same assistance to our clients. Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight will definitely be on the “Top 10 Recommended” list I give to clients.

Laura McKibbin, MSW, LISW Clinical social worker

Packed full of surprising but convincing information about nutrition, food politics, and fat politics, Health at Every Size is an eye-opener. Linda Bacon cuts right through the lies, half-truths, biased reports and questionable science about eating and exercise, and teaches us how to treat our bodies with genuine care and respect.

Kate Harding Author, Lessons from the Fat-o-sphere: Quit Dieting and Declare a Truce with Your Body, and Co-Creator, Shapely Prose Blog

When we go on a diet, we are not just hoping to change our bodies. We are actually hoping to change our lives. We are tired of feeling drained, powerless and unhappy with ourselves. We hope that a slimmer body will give us a different kind of life. The problem is that, despite all the hype, we have yet to discover a safe and effective way to permanently lose weight. Almost every diet fails in the long run, so investing our health and self-esteem in weight loss is a lot like investing our savings in lottery tickets. Most likely we will end up with nothing. Continuing with this analogy, however, Dr. Bacon’s approach would be like a sensible savings plan. It teaches us to invest our health in solid, low risk health practices that are sure to improve our self-esteem and well-being no matter what happens with our weight. It is time to stop waiting to be thin to start living. Dr. Bacon explains how anyone can have a healthy and happy life in the body they are in – right now.

Sigrun Danielsdottir Licensed Psychologist

Linda is better than chocolate!

HAES research study participants inscribed on a garden mosaic gifted to Linda at program end
I want to tell you how transformative your book has been for me. With every page I read I felt more and more vindicated about my view on our relationship with obesity and fat related issues. Thank you for the hours and hours of work and research you have done and continue to do.
Wendy Hiller

“Outstanding! Dr. Bacon offers a compelling and comprehensive understanding of why we are the weight we are and how to maximize our physical and emotional well-being. Based on solid scientific research, Bacon provides us with new concepts that will forever change the way we think about hunger, nourishment and weight regulation.”

Judith Matz, LCSW Psychotherapist and Author