Here’s the Issue:
Have you ever seen pictures on news reports that use headless photos of people with obesity, often eating a greasy meal or covered in food? How many times have you heard a journalist or writer refer to someone as “obese,” or talk about obesity as a matter of laziness without willpower?
Weight bias exists everywhere, but it’s especially present in the media. However, we can’t turn a blind eye to this bias because the media has an enormous reach – even if it’s unintentional. Not only can it influence depression, anxiety and poor body image, but it perpetuates stigma.
Any form of weight bias portrayed in the media can shape public perceptions and attitudes about a health issue that is already severely stigmatized. We simply can’t afford for more people to ignore, attack and discriminate those who are affected by by obesity or issues with weight.
What You Can Do:
Want to help end weight bias? Visit the OAC Action Center and use our automated message generator to contact the editors of the top 25 media outlets across the U.S. and educate them on how to avoid weight bias when they report on obesity. The OAC makes this process easy! The letters have already been pre-written for you. All you have to do is fill-out your information and SEND!
Here are some of the topics your letters will educate the media about:
- Using People-First Language (Ex: “affected by obesity” vs “obese”)
- Avoiding headless imagery and utilize the OAC Image Gallery
- Using science-based information also found in OAC educational resources
Sending your letters through OAC’s Action Center is fast, easy and well worth it! You can help OAC spread awareness and education about obesity and weight bias to some of the top influencers in today’s media.
Sharing on Social Media?
If you’re passionate about this coordinated effort and you want people in your personal networks to send letters too, share this action on social media and use the #OACAction hashtag. That way, all our efforts will appear on one page so others can be inspired to take action too!