Tampa, Fla. – Today, the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), along with supporting organizations, have issued formal letters to the leaders of Amazon.com, Apple Inc., Google Inc., and the Microsoft Corporation calling on each of them to remove offensive fat-shaming applications from their online app stores and strengthen their review process to ensure no further fat-shaming apps are approved for download.
“Applications such as “Fatify,” “Fatbooth,” “Fat You!” and others greatly perpetuate fat-shaming and weight bias in today’s society. Children are the primary users of these types of apps, and the apps are teaching children that the disease of obesity is a funny cosmetic issue, which we know is not true,” said Joe Nadglowski, OAC President and CEO. “You would never see an app target other diseases such as cancer, anorexia or HIV; therefore, obesity should be treated with the same consideration,” continued Joe.
The OAC was prompted to call on the tech giants to remove these types of apps after an OAC member contacted one of the app’s developers expressing concern and was told the app is intended for entertainment purposes only. “The cavalier response from the app developer only speaks to the severe lack of understanding and respect for the disease of obesity,” said Ted Kyle, RPh, MBA, OAC Chairman. “More than 93 million individuals in the United States are affected and impacted by obesity. The disease carries with it more than 40 related conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension. There is nothing funny about obesity – period,” continued Ted.
Approximately 30 percent of girls with excess weight and 24 percent of boys with excess weight report being teased by peers at school. These apps have the potential to further exacerbate weight-based bullying and fat-shaming. The OAC and its supporting organizations are hopeful that Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft will remove the apps before any further harm is done.
“As Chair of the OAC Weight Bias Committee, I feel these types of apps have no value in today’s society. In fact, they only fuel the weight bias and stigma that individuals battling this disease face on a daily basis – especially children. We know these companies will make the right decision to remove the apps and implement new guidelines that prevent approval of future submissions. As technology leaders and innovators are now expanding into the health and wellness space, we look to you to lead and support efforts that positively impact an individual’s wellbeing,” said Melinda J. Watman, BSN, MSN, CNM, MBA.
Along with today’s issued letters, the OAC is also encouraging its members, and the general public, to sign a petition displaying their support for the removal of fat-shaming apps and stronger app approval guidelines.
We thank the following organizations for pledging their support for the removal of fat-shaming apps: the American Board of Obesity Medicine, American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, B Stigma-Free, Binge Eating Disorder Association, Black Women’s Health Imperative, Eating Disorders Coalition of Tennessee, HealthyWomen, Hepatitis Foundation International, the Reality Coalition, Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, and the Society for Women’s Health Research.
About the OAC
The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), a nearly 50,000 member-strong National nonprofit organization, is dedicated to improving the lives of individuals affected by the disease of obesity through education, advocacy and support. To learn more about the OAC, please visit www.ObesityAction.org.
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