Curriculum Revision Project
The Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH) co-created a short (3 module, approximately 3 hours in length) curriculum that was available free to the public and higher education professors to use in their classrooms. Our co-creators were the National Association for the Advancement of Fat Acceptance (NAAFA) and the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB). ASDAH hosted that curriculum until March 2022 when it was determined that the content was no longer reflective of our current values and the included research on weight and health was no longer current.
At that time, we launched our project to revise our organizational structure (from a 501c6 to a 501c3) and to revise our organizational purpose, vision, values, and the Health at Every Size® Principles which will serve as the foundation for the Health at Every Size® Curriculum.
2023 Curriculum Revision Project Summary
As the Health at Every Size® Principles Revision project approaches its end, we are now launching a project to create a new Health at Every Size® Curriculum. The first phase of this multi-year project is to create two courses. The first will be a similar offering to what we hosted before – a course freely available to the public that introduces Health at Every Size® Principles and Framework of Care.
The second course will be a much deeper dive into the concepts, frameworks, and research that underlies the Health at Every Size® Framework of Care and begins to put the framework of care into action. This course will be primarily geared toward healthcare professionals, however it will also be accessible to fat folks looking to learn more and self-advocate in their own care.
- Remove barriers to learning about Health at Every Size® through accessible and supportive learning experiences.
- Fill the gap in healthcare education on weight bias and safe and effective care for fat people.
- Create a supportive community united on foundational values
- Increase the number of care providers offering inclusive, safe, welcoming, and evidence-based care for people of all sizes and especially those most impacted by medical fatphobia.
- Challenge and support care providers in confronting and transforming the weight bias in healthcare systems and within themselves.
- Create common understanding of the foundational aspects of Health at Every Size® and set the precedent in quality care for fat people.
- Fat, Black, queer, disabled liberation
- Healing, care, love, & compassion
- Accountability & transparency
- Removing barriers & increasing access
- Harm reduction
- Body sovereignty and autonomy
- Health abolition
- Curiosity & honoring nuance
- Honoring lived experience
- Challenging “expertise” that is in a model of care that causes harm
- Engaging in principled struggle
- Indispensability (countering disposability)
- Transformation & growth
- Relationships & connection
Angel Austin (she/her) is the new Advocacy and Community Leader at ASDAH. She advocates for the most marginalized fat people, (especially Black) superfats and infinifats.
What perspective do you bring to the curriculum project & what are you most looking forward to? I am Black, infinifat, and disabled and am able to speak to both the issues and desires of a large group of the people who are the most oppressed, the most marginalized, and most affected by the violence and harm associated with weight stigma and fatphobia experienced at the hands of health professionals.
I’m looking forward to being able to see this curriculum add actual benefit and safety to fat people’s lives in a tangible way. I actually want to hear about health professionals who embrace and implement what they learn to not only help better serve fat patients (especially those who are infinifat), but actually change or even save their lives.
What’s bringing you joy lately? Being submerged in fat liberation work is giving me complete joy. Though it’s stretching me and it’s difficult, exhausting work, it’s galvanizing my purpose. It’s all I want to do.
I’m Deb Burgard, PhD, FAED, (she/her) a psychologist, fat activist, and longtime ASDAH member. I am white, small fat, disabled queer living on unceded Miwok Ohlone territory (also known as San Jose, CA) with Marybeth, my retired partner of 35 years, and I make my living working remotely as a therapist, primarily with people who have been harmed by the oppressive body norms and structures of white supremacy.
What perspective do you bring to the curriculum project & what are you most looking forward to? I was one of the founders of what became known as HAES, and also its subsequent history and revisions during ASDAH’s own evolution. I came to that work starting in the 1980s with many hats – dance teacher, fat activist, eating disorder psychologist, health care worker – after an intense experience of second wave (mostly white) feminism in college. After decades of working with people who are trying to heal and connect and build better structures for humans, I feel very hopeful and very sober at this extraordinary time, and I hope to support our next generation of leaders in realizing a much deeper, richer vision of what this model of care can become when we center the needs of the most impacted.
What’s bringing you joy lately? I recently figured out a low-covid-risk way to reconnect with Making Waves, the fat swim that was started in the early 1980s by fat activists and has survived ever since. It is a bit of a drive so I can’t go every time, but a few weeks ago I brought myself and my mask and my music and dj’d a dance party in the water with a whole new generation of people. And these amazing people in their twenties kept asking me, “How did you hear about the swim?” and my heart just about burst because I thought, “you mean in 1983?” and I could see how magical fat joy is, how we keep reinventing healing spaces where we can play and be ourselves and fall in love.
Susanne Johnson MSN, CRNP, FNP-BC is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner who has been working in comprehensive primary care in community health settings for the last decade. She is committed to bringing awareness of the harms of weight-biased health care to the attention of other health professionals. Susanne’s approach to primary care is harm-reduction focused and seeks to promote access to affirming care for individuals regardless of gender, sexual orientation, body size, or health status.
What perspective do you bring to the curriculum project & what are you most looking forward to? I am most looking forward to creating new and robust education for healthcare professionals that will provide a strong framework for how professionals can incorporate Health at Every Size principles into their care of individuals.
What’s bringing you joy lately? The budding Magnolia trees in my neighborhood and the arrival of Finches at my bird feeder have been bringing me joy in these early spring days.
Cory Lira (she/they) is a Portland, Oregon-based fat queer femme indigenous Xicana disabled activist, community organizer, writer, and educator. In addition to her professional work in education and organizational consulting, she focuses her community organizing and political work on prison industrial complex abolition, fat liberation, and disability justice. She organizes with Critical Resistance Portland and the former Care Not Cops PDX campaign and is also one of the founders of QUEER CRAFT, a yearly queer arts & crafts community event.
What perspective do you bring to the curriculum project & what are you most looking forward to?
What perspective do you bring to the curriculum project & what are you most looking forward to? My perspective is rooted in my experience as a fat queer disabled femme of color. And I’ve been involved with disability justice & fat justice activism and prison industrial complex abolitionist community organizing for quite some time. I’ve spent many years in this work providing learning opportunities on topics and issues related to fat justice, disability justice, abolition, and transformative justice from an anti-disposability and collective liberation framework. And with that, I’ve done quite a bit of instructional design, popular education, curriculum building, and instruction & assessment. So being asked to support this curriculum project has felt like an exciting intersection of topics and skills that feel deeply personal to me while also drawing on skills I love to use. As someone who has been aware of ASDAH for some time but has not been actively involved until now, it’s been exciting to get more involved and be part of a new chapter in ASDAH’s education work. The curriculum advisory project team feels like a powerful convergence of experience, knowledge, and insight and I’m looking forward to seeing what we come up with!
What’s bringing you joy lately?I’ve been having a lot of fun learning how to use my new pasta-extruding machine and making fresh pasta for me and my partner. Any time I have free time to start a cooking project is a joyful moment for me. I’m also an avid gardener so spring is a joyful time and I just started back up with vermicomposting (composting with worms) as part of a longer-term project to convert the backyard into a more robust garden.
Dr. Andrea Westby (pronouns she/they) is a family physician and medical educator in Minneapolis, MN who is committed to health justice and equity, community health and wellness, promoting belonging in healthcare. They have a specific passion for trauma-informed and trauma-responsive healthcare, size- and weight-inclusive care, obstetrics and parent-, child-, and family-health, racial equity and reproductive justice.
What perspective do you bring to the curriculum project & what are you most looking forward to? I bring perspective to the project as a full spectrum community doc/family physician and as a medical educator with a trauma-informed liberatory approach. I am most looking forward to helping design a curriculum that helps clinicians provide high quality evidence-based care to all individuals (but especially those at the highest ends of the weight spectrum and with other marginalized identities) and to clear up some of the myths and misinformation about HAES.
What’s bringing you joy lately? Right now the most joy is coming from our almost 4 month Olde English Bulldogge puppy Tobias and how much our 12yo French bulldog Maeby loves him. It was unexpected and so joyful.