Purpose: To report the outcomes of a Health at Every Size (HAES) intervention in a real-world setting.
Design: Quasi-experimental design evaluating eating behaviors and psychological factors.
Setting: The HAES intervention is offered in Health and Social Services Centers in Québec (Canada).
Participants: For this study, 216 women (body mass index [BMI]: 35.76 [6.80] kg/m2) who participated to the HAES intervention were compared to 110 women (BMI: 34.56 [7.30] kg/m2) from a comparison group.
Intervention: The HAES intervention is composed of 14 weekly meetings provided by health professionals. It focuses on healthy lifestyle, self-acceptance, and intuitive eating.
Measures: Eating behaviors (ie, flexible restraint, rigid restraint, disinhibition, susceptibility to hunger, intuitive eating, and obsessive-compulsive eating) and psychological correlates (ie, body esteem, self-esteem, and depression) were assessed using validated questionnaires at baseline, postintervention, and 1-year follow-up.
Analysis: Group, time, and interaction effects analyzed with mixed models.
Results: Significant group by time interactions were found for flexible restraint ( P = .0400), disinhibition ( P < .0001), susceptibility to hunger ( P < .0001), intuitive eating ( P < .0001), obsessive-compulsive eating ( P < .0001), body-esteem ( P < .0001), depression ( P = .0057), and self-esteem ( P < .0001), where women in the HAES group showed greater improvements than women in the comparison group at short and/or long term.
Conclusion: The evaluation of this HAES intervention in a real-life context showed its effectiveness in improving eating-, weight-, and psychological-related variables among women struggling with weight and body image.
Keywords: body esteem; cognitive restraint; eating behavior; health at every size; intuitive eating; self-esteem.