What is Health Equity?
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) provides the following definition: “Health equity means that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible." To achieve health equity, healthcare providers must take steps to remove obstacles to health.
One of the biggest obstacles is the sense of powerlessness clients feel when learning about health, diet, and how to manage a chronic condition like diabetes, or hypertension.
Why does weight-neutral care matter when helping people prevent or manage diabetes? Because as healthcare providers, we can play a role in reducing the effects of fatphobia by not contributing to it ourselves, but also by providing evidence-based care that’s focused on changing behaviors, not losing weight (weight isn’t a behavior). That’s important because fatphobia contributes to health inequity and weight stigma, which has been shown to have negative effects on physical and mental health as well as contributing to the avoidance of preventive healthcare.
The weight-neutral diabetes care, #WNDC approach directly addressing this by providing healthcare professionals a path to learn how to provide non-judgmental counseling. This is done by engaging in specific training which uses trauma-informed care, motivational interviewing, and mindful eating to work with clients.