Pages Menu
Categories Menu

The Pledge

You can help make the culture of health and fitness work for everyone.

Are you a Health and Fitness Professional? Do you work with clients to improve health? Are you a health educator? Anyone can sign the pledge , but we’re especially looking for people who in any way influence how people think about health and fitness. We’d love for you join our movement. By pledging to adhere to the six principles described below, you can be a part of the change.

The New Body Ethic Pledge:

We believe that…

1. Movement is a Human Right All people deserve the opportunity to live healthy, happy lives. This means that everyone should have the ability to achieve basic understanding of how best to take care of their bodies, and what behaviors and environmental factors affect health and wellness outcomes. 

2. Appearance isn’t everything We reject the idea that how a person looks is associated with that person’s value as a human being, nor is it an accurate measure of  a person’s health. We strive to focus on measurable health and wellness outcomes, and dismiss the body ideal that has been put forth by our culture. This ideal is largely unattainable, and its pursuit is detrimental to long-term adoption of healthy habits.

3. Health is more than an individual choice We acknowledge that environmental factors (the built environment, the food environment, socio-economic status, cultural norms, etc.) play at least as important a role in health outcomes as individual choices about dietary intake and physical activity.

4. Health is not a product We acknowledge that there is not one cure-all, there is no single “trick,” product, or technique for developing healthy habits or enjoying optimal health and wellness outcomes. The pursuit of health and wellness is a lifelong, complex process, that takes many forms. 

5. Evidence matters  While there are different approaches to health and wellness, we strive to adhere to current scientific consensus, but also acknowledge that science is a continually evolving exploration into the nature of things. We are willing to accept emerging ideas about health as they are scientifically tested and verified, but we reject hype, dogma, and unsubstantiated claims about health and wellness.

6. Clients come first We put the well-being of our clients above all else. We commit to providing honest, realistic, useful information and services that will help people adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles. We strive to be compassionate and understanding of the many and varied barriers that people face. In addition to being a resource for all people to help encourage healthy behaviors, we also hope to be a force for changing our culture and our environment to be more supportive of health, rather than hurting it.  

Sign The Pledge!

Email patrick (at) newbodyethic (dot) org for a poster-sized file of the pledge to display in your office, gym, or fitness studio.


 United Nations Fact Sheet on Health as a Right

Brownell, K. D., Kersh, R., Ludwig, D. S., Post, R. C., Puhl, R. M., Schwartz, M. B., & Willett, W. C. (2010). Personal Responsibility And Obesity: A Constructive Approach To A Controversial IssueHealth Affairs29(3), 379–387.

Donnelly, J. E., Blair, S. N., Jakicic, J. M., Manore, M. M., Rankin, J. W., & Smith, B. K. (2009). American College of Sports Medicine Position Stand. Appropriate physical activity intervention strategies for weight loss and prevention of weight regain for adults. Medicine and science in sports and exercise41(2), 459–471.

Garber, C. E., Blissmer, B., Deschenes, M. R., Franklin, B. A., Lamonte, M. J., Lee, I.-M., … Swain, D. P. (2011). American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Quantity and quality of exercise for developing and maintaining cardiorespiratory, musculoskeletal, and neuromotor fitness in apparently healthy adults: guidance for prescribing exercise. Medicine and science in sports and exercise43(7), 1334–1359.

Huberty, J. L., Ransdell, L. B., Sidman, C., Flohr, J. A., Shultz, B., Grosshans, O., & Durrant, L. (2008). Explaining long-term exercise adherence in women who complete a structured exercise programResearch quarterly for exercise and sport79(3), 374–384.

Information, N. C. for B., Pike, U. S. N. L. of M. 8600 R., MD, B., & Usa, 20894. (2005). Systematic review: an evaluation of major commercial weight loss programs in the United States. PubMed Health.

Swinburn, B. A., Sacks, G., Hall, K. D., McPherson, K., Finegood, D. T., Moodie, M. L., & Gortmaker, S. L. (2011). The global obesity pandemic: shaped by global drivers and local environmentsThe Lancet378(9793), 804–814.

Vartanian, L. R., & Shaprow, J. G. (2008). Effects of Weight Stigma on Exercise Motivation and Behavior A Preliminary Investigation among College-aged FemalesJournal of Health Psychology13(1), 131–138.

White, J. L., Randsdell, L. B., Vener, J., & Flohr, J. A. (2005). Factors related to physical activity adherence in women: review and suggestions for future research. Women & health41(4), 123–148.