Weight Bias Issues
Obesity stigma is a major issue in our society. Weight bias is negative attitudes, beliefs, judgments, stereotypes, and discriminatory acts aimed at individuals simply because of their weight. This type of stigma has negative effects on the victims and we need to eradicate it. When it comes to fighting 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:
Share Your Personal Story to Help Others Think Differently about Weight and Obesity
HERE’S THE ISSUE: For the OAC, stories are essential for reducing weight stigma and helping others think differently about weight. They build empathy, awareness and understanding. They also put faces behind statistics and help humanize obesity.
YOUR ASK: Use the OAC’s dedicated story-sharing platform, Weight of the World, to share your personal story or experiences that relate to weight and help others think differently about these topics.
Take the Pledge to Speak out and Challenge Perceptions of Obesity
HERE’S THE ISSUE: Although the disease of obesity affects more than 93 million Americans, it is very misunderstood. False but common perceptions of obesity create weight stigma and can prevent people from getting help and support.
YOUR ASK: Take the pledge to speak out, challenge perceptions of obesity and help improve understanding and support.
Help Educate the Media to Accurately Represent the Disease of Obesity and the People Affected by it!
HERE’S THE ISSUE: Often times, articles in the media addressing the disease of obesity project weight bias. This bias is most commonly seen through the use of headless images and the use of the term “obese.” When weight bias appears in the media, even if it is unintentional, it has enormous reach. It not only perpetuates the stigmas and bias much of society has, it can have a very harmful impact on individuals affected by obesity. Psychological effects include depression, anxiety and poor body image.
YOUR ASK: Contacting the editors of the top 25 media outlets across the US and asking them to use people-first language and images that do not promote stigma is an important step toward ending weight bias in the media.
Help End Weight Bias and Stigma Caused by the Sale of “Fat” Costumes at Halloween!
HERE’S THE ISSUE: When retailers sell “fat” costumes they promote weight bias and stigma. The sale of these costumes lets people think it is okay to make fun of a body type often associated with obesity. It is not okay, and it is not “funny.” These costumes also allow negative stereotypes about people living with obesity (that they are lazy and undisciplined) to continue. This is wrong and hurtful.
YOUR ASK: Send emails to major retailers who sell “fat” costumes at Halloween and ask that the costumes be removed from their stores and websites.
Past Weight Bias Issues
- Sign-on to OAC’s Letter Addressing Weight Bias on NBC’s Tonight Show
- OAC’s Letter Addressing Weight Bias in CBS’s Blue Bloods
- Entertainment Tonight Fat Suit Segment
- Boy Scouts of America
- Click here for additional past weight bias issues.