When discussing health, you’ll notice a trend between two approaches – weight normative and weight inclusive.
The weight-normative approach includes the many principles and practices that emphasize achieving a “normal” weight when defining health and well-being. This approach rests on the assumption that weight and disease are related in a linear fashion, with disease and weight increasing in tandem. Under the weight-normative approach, personal responsibility to make “healthy lifestyle choices” and maintain “healthy weights” are emphasized. The approach prioritizes weight as a main determinant of health and as such, weight management (calories in/calories out) as a central component of health improvement and health care recommendations.
Instead of imagining that well-being is only possible at a specific weight, a weight-inclusive approach includes research-informed practices that enhance people’s health regardless of where they fall on the weight spectrum. Under this paradigm, weight is not a focal point of treatment or intervention. Instead the weight-inclusive approach focuses on health behaviors that can be made more accessible to all people. These are behaviors such as exercising for pleasure, eating when hungry and stopping when full.
So is one better than the other? We’ll look at three questions to figure that out:
February 23-28 is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. This week, there are plenty of events and conversations going on around campus, organized by groups like Campus Recreation, Embody Carolina, Carolina Dining Services, and Campus Health Services, as well as Interactive Theater Carolina and Student Wellness.
These events intend to illuminate the prevalence and severity of eating disorders and improve our understanding of their triggers and the ways we can help, while also increasing access to resources, promoting body love, and creating a more supportive environment for those struggling with an eating disorder.
All week, several campus partners and groups will be pit-sitting from 10am-2pm. Each day focuses on a different theme — Monday is “Pledge in the Pit,” Tuesday is “Busting the Gender Myth,” Thursday is “Forget the F-Word,” and Friday is “Photo Campaign.”
Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, Interactive Theater Carolina’s “What Are You Looking At?” program is back by popular demand! This interactive performance is focused around conversations about body image and the media. More information here!
Tuesday, February 24, Student Wellness will host a media literacy workshop focused around body image. Join us in a discussion around the media we consume and how it affects our attitudes about body image, race, and gender and learn how to critically analyze the media in your life!