Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) Unveils “Bias Busters” to Combat Weight Bias and Stigma

For Immediate Release
October 20, 2011

For More Information:
James Zervios
Director of Communications
(800) 717-3117
jzervios@obesityaction.org

Tampa, Fla. – The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) has unveiled a new initiative to combat weight bias and stigma, titled “Bias Busters.” “Weight bias and discrimination create significant obstacles for individuals affected by obesity. From weight bias in healthcare settings to pop culture, these individuals are often targets of unfair, disrespectful treatment because of their weight. No other disease is the focus of discrimination as well as jokes, ridicule or humor,” said Joe Nadglowski, OAC President and CEO.

The goal of “Bias Busters” is to engage the public in the conversation of weight bias and stigma, and raise awareness of the prevalence of the issue in today’s society. “Bias Busters” will highlight examples of weight bias that emerge in the news and media, and provide individuals with an opportunity to respond and let their voices be heard. “Bias Busters” also provides information about the nature and extent of weight bias and invites the public to share their own examples of bias with the OAC through biasbusters@obesityaction.org.

“We recognized a need to increase awareness of the pervasive weight bias and stigma in today’s society. ‘Bias Busters’ gives individuals the opportunity to learn about, and speak out against, examples of weight stigma, and provides a new opportunity for the OAC to raise broader public awareness of weight bias and its harmful consequences,” said Rebecca Puhl, PhD, OAC Board Member and Chairman of the OAC Weight Bias Committee.

Each month the OAC will alert its members to issues of weight bias and stigma in a special section of the OAC’s members only e-newsletter, “OAC Members Make a Difference.” Although OAC members are the first to be alerted to these important issues, “Bias Busters” alerts will also be available on the OAC Web site for public view. “With the help of our more than 33,000 members and the public, we are confident that we will raise awareness of weight bias and eliminate its existence,” said Nadglowski.

Obesity affects more than 93 million Americans nationwide. In addition to the debilitating effects of obesity, individuals affected must also face weight bias and stigma. Bias and stigma exist in social settings, school, healthcare, pop culture and much more. Weight bias is especially prevalent in children affected by obesity, which can lead to bullying and stigmatization. Since the OAC’s inception, advocacy efforts have been focused on combating weight bias and stigma and have seen many great successes due to the overwhelming support and involvement of its members. Individual membership is $20 a year and the OAC encourages all individuals concerned with weight bias and stigma to join and receive automatic “Bias Busters” alerts.

To join the OAC and become a “Bias Buster,” please visit www.obesityaction.org or contact the OAC National Office at (800) 717-3117 or info@obesityaction.org.

About the OAC
The OAC is a National nonprofit charity dedicated to helping individuals affected by obesity. The OAC was formed to bring together individuals struggling with weight issues and provide educational resources and advocacy tools.



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