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:
Urge the FDA to Ensure That All Medications Are Safe and Effective for People with Obesity
HERE’S THE ISSUE: People living with obesity often use prescribed medications for the treatment of various health conditions, like diabetes and high blood pressure. Unfortunately, many medications have not been fully tested on people with obesity. Medications or medical devices may be less (or sometimes more) effective for people with obesity, and this can have real consequences for health and possibly lead to harm.
YOUR ASK: Urge the FDA to ensure that medications are safe and effective for people living with obesity, and that ALL clinical trials include people with obesity.
Urge Your State Legislators to Expand Access to Care and #StopWeightBias!
HERE’S THE ISSUE: Access to obesity treatments are too often based on your individual health insurance plan or zip code, and only one state has a law banning weight-based discrimination. It’s time to prioritize obesity care in your state!
YOUR ASK: Help us create a better world for people living with obesity by contacting your state representatives today!
Massachusetts Residents: Take Action Today to Stop Weight Bias!
HERE’S THE ISSUE: Massachusetts could make history in the coming weeks by becoming only the second state in the U.S. to make it unlawful to discriminate on the basis of height and weight in compensation, in terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, housing, or public accommodations! Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) is calling on its members and supporters in Massachusetts to urge key members of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary for timely consideration and enactment of Senate Bill 1127 and House Bill 1822 today.
YOUR ASK: Help OAC build support for ending weight-based discrimination in Massachusetts by contacting key members of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary today!
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.
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
- Boy Scouts of America
- Click here for additional past weight bias issues.