Weight bias is a major issue for people dealing with obesity. This type of stigma has adverse effects on a person’s health journey, and the OAC actively advocates for people who experience this type of bias. We need to help individuals understand what weight bias is and why this type of discrimination is unacceptable and why the OAC strives to eradicate it.. The OAC’s Weight Bias Program aims to help increase education and awareness about the damaging and lasting effects of negative stigma while helping you raise your voice and giving you tools to make a difference.
What is Weight Bias?
Weight bias is defined as negative attitudes, beliefs, judgments, stereotypes, and discriminatory acts aimed at individuals simply because of their weight. It can be overt or subtle and occur in any setting, including employment, healthcare, education, mass media and relationships with family and friends. It also takes many forms – verbal, written, media, online and more. For specific examples of weight bias, read our Understanding Obesity Stigma brochure.
Why Weight Bias is a Key Issue for the OAC:
Weight bias is dehumanizing and damaging: it causes poor physical and psychological health outcomes and promotes a social norm that marginalizes people with obesity. It remains a socially acceptable form of prejudice and is rarely challenged. One of the OAC’s goals is to eliminate the negative stigma associated with obesity. To do this, we must recognize obesity stigma exists in all aspects of life. Once we can identify the nature and extent of this problem, we can increase education and awareness about the damaging and lasting effects of weight bias.
Why We Need You:
The OAC strives to reduce the weight bias associated with obesity. We know that when it comes to fighting weight bias, every voice counts. All of us have a part in calling-out bias when we see it. Schools and workplaces should have policies and programs in place to protect people from unfair treatment. Healthcare providers should strive to have a bias-free environment that uses People-First Language, have furniture and equipment to accommodate all patients, and take time to listen to their needs and concerns. We encourage you to get involved, get educated and take action to make a difference in reducing weight bias.
Awareness & Education
Understand the issues of weight bias and arm yourself with education and resources so that you are able to make a difference. Visit stopweightbias.com and take the bias quiz.
Recognizing Weight Bias
Make an effort to recognize weight bias whether it’s on social media, in the news or in everyday places like the office and/or healthcare facilities.
Responding to Weight Bias
Respond to Weight Bias as you see it using OAC’s resources and tools. Share on your platforms how you are taking OAC Action by playing an active part in ending Weight Bias.
Resources and Tools
There are various ways you can get involved in the OAC’s efforts to combat weight bias. The resources and tools below were designed with you in mind to be easily accessible and help you become an active participant in the fight against weight bias.
If you still have questions about taking action or getting involved with key advocacy issues, please email us here.