Weight Bias and Stigma
Individuals affected by obesity are often victims of negative stigma. Obesity stigma is a major issue and is the last socially acceptable form of discrimination in our society.
If you have been a victim of obesity stigma, you are not alone. As a Coalition, the OAC strives to reduce the negative stigma and weight bias associated with the disease of obesity that those affected face on a daily basis. We encourage you to get involved, get educated and do something to make a difference in reducing weight bias and stigma.
OAC Weight Bias Resources
When it comes to weight bias and stigma, every voice counts. There are a variety of ways you can get involved in the OAC’s efforts to combat weight bias and stigma:
Weight Bias Education
In an effort to educate the general public on weight bias and stigma, the OAC created a brochure, titled Understanding Obesity Stigma. This brochure provides an in-depth look at weight bias on many different fronts, such as healthcare, school, employment and much more. To view this brochure, click here. Additionally, the OAC also offers many articles on weight bias discussing a variety of topics, such as cyber-bullying, weight discrimination and more. To read these articles and more, click here.
OAC Image Gallery
The OAC’s Image Gallery was created with one simple goal in mind: providing you with a set of images free of bias or stigma. Individuals with obesity are often portrayed in a negative light, with photos focused on uncontrolled eating, headless men and women, shots zoomed in on body parts and other common practices perpetuating bias and stigma around this disease. With this photo gallery, the OAC aims to provide better imagery showing individuals in a variety of settings and activities. We encourage you to use these images as a bias-free alternative and help change the ways we see individuals affected by this disease. To view the gallery, click here.
The OAC created “Bias Busters” to tackle weight bias issues head-on. From Facebook’s obesity-hate pages to pop culture’s use of fat suits, “Bias Busters” promises to address the latest weight bias issues. To learn more about the “Bias Busters,” click here.
People-First Language for Obesity
The OAC has identified many areas where weight bias penetrates today’s society, such as media, entertainment, healthcare, employment, education and more. However, one of the most prevalent areas that the OAC is now tackling to eradicate weight bias and stigma is obesity-focused language. People-First language is not something new; however, it is new to the obesity community. For years, other chronic disease, such as those in the mental health and disabilities community, have adopted People-First language and encouraged its usage in all reporting. To learn more about People-First, click here.
Guidelines for Media Portrayals of Individuals Affected by Obesity
The media is an influential source of information about obesity, and shapes public understanding and attitudes about this important health issue; however, media representatives often unknowingly depict obesity, and those affected by it, in a negative light. In an effort to educate media representatives on how to appropriately discuss the disease of obesity in the media, the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), along with The Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity and The Obesity Society (TOS) have developed the Guidelines for Media Portrayals of Individuals Affected by Obesity. To view the guidelines, click here.
Weight Bias Guides
In an effort to raise awareness of weight bias and its impact on individuals affected by the disease of obesity, the OAC has produced various guides designed to help all members of society better understand weight bias’ impact in settings such as employment, healthcare and more. To view the currently available guides, click here.
Join the OAC
Lastly, the most important way that you can combat weight bias is to join the OAC and support our efforts. Your voice makes a difference! To join today, click here.
As you can see, there are a variety of ways that YOU can get involved in the fight against weight bias. If you feel you have been a victim of weight bias and want to share your story with the OAC, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.