#OACchat – Speaking up and Speaking out Against Weight Bias

On Monday, October 30th in conjunction with National Obesity Care Week’s Weight Bias Day, the OAC was proud to host its first-ever Tweet Chat about recognizing, addressing and eliminating weight bias in our society.

The Tweet Chat was appropriately titled: Changing the Way We Care about Obesity – it Starts with Tackling Weight Bias. The goal of the conversation was to raise awareness about weight bias, its dangerous impacts and what can be done about bias to improve the lives of people who struggle with obesity or weight management.

Individuals ranging from patients, healthcare providers and people who care about obesity in some way, shape or form joined the conversation in full force! People from the OAC community were bold enough, honest enough and brave enough to share their personal experiences, stories and thoughts about such a sensitive topic that most of us tend to shy away from.

Here are a few key takeaways from the Tweet Chat:

  1. Weight bias is persistent in our society, taking place amongst ourselves, health practices, families, friendships, in the workplace, in the media and in society in general.
  2. Weight bias DOES NOT motivate people to seek better health. Instead, it produces negative consequences such as:
    • Fear of seeking help from a health professional
    • Depression, guilt and shame
    • Reinforcement of unhealthy behaviors
    • Silenced voices, stories and experiences
    • And more

3. Weight bias is not easy to confront, but educating others about bias and obesity is critical to generating a greater understanding of this complex disease.
4. Many changes need to be made on an institutional level to defeat weight bias and support people who have experienced it. Those changes include:

    • People-first language and imagery
    • Comprehensive obesity education
    • Counseling covered by insurance
    • Empathy, compassion and understanding
    • Story sharing

The OAC was honored to have hosted its inaugural Tweet Chat on a topic that is so pervasive and important to the subject of obesity. By elevating our voices and the weight bias conversation, we can truly make a difference in the way we understand, care for and treat this chronic disease.

To view the full Storify recap from the OAC’s Weight Bias Tweet Chat, please CLICK HERE.

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