Update June 2020: In reviewing our past work, we now understand that the name of this project, formerly named Nutrition Education, Weight-management, Disability Obesity Options, & Resources (NEW DOOR), is harmful to disabled and fat people. Fat oppression and fat phobia are inherently tied to the idea that large bodies are undesirable and unhealthy, and should be changed to avoid health and social consequences. We believe in the social model of disability (that disabled people run into economic and social problems because of inaccessibility and ableism, not because their bodies are wrong and in need of fixing), and to not apply this ethos to body size is unjust. Although many of us have been taught that body size causes or intensifies disabilities, further research has shown us that this is a correlation versus causation fallacy. Furthermore, negative beliefs about fat bodies, including the use of BMI as a measure of health, and health as a measure of character, stem from racism and othering of Black people, using white nondisabled bodies as a norm that contributes to the oppressive narrative of all other bodies as deviant and sub-human.
We apologize for our role in promoting this harmful ideology, and have retroactively renamed the project “Nutrition Education, Weight Myths, Disability Opportunities, Options and Resources.” We have reviewed and made updates to this content to focus instead on nutrition and physical activity barriers, options, and resources for people with disabilities of all sizes. If you find something in this content that you would like us to reconsider, we invite you to please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will gladly review and substitute it as needed.
For more information on fat oppression, we recommend the following resources from our colleagues:
Guidance for medical care providers, shifting responsibility for better care and engagement in healthcare away from the disabled person:
Nutrition Education, Weight Myths, Disability Opportunities, Options and Resources (NEW DOOR) is a large, collaborative project on fitness and nutrition that explores barriers to healthy lifestyles for people with disabilities. It aims to provide accessible, disability-friendly exercise, nutrition, and peer-support activities, information, and resources.
- It is a community-based program that educates, engages, and inspires people with disabilities and families to learn about and integrate nutrition and physical fitness activities into their daily lives.
- It is also a peer-led program where people with disabilities are leaders, participants, and advocates, not patients or service recipients. We train the Disability Peer Fitness Leaders and create peer support teams in pairs, small groups, and larger groups. Participants engage in weekly or biweekly exercise and nutrition awareness activities and also form a support network, meeting a minimum of once or twice a month for fun educational and recreational events.
- Thus far, NEW DOOR has inspired the creation of WID’s annual fitness fair and the creation of Disability FEAST, among other projects.
Watch this 4-minute video, which offers information by athletes and experts about disability and physical movement. It shows scenes from WID’s fitness fair, as well as interviews with three adult disabled athletes and advocates, a sports medicine physician, and a parent of disabled child who is active in sports.
Inspired to get up and move yet? Explore the NEW DOOR resources below:
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