Tampa, Fla. – The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) condemns Minnesota minor league baseball team St. Paul Saints for naming their mascot ‘Ozempig’ and calls for an immediate change. The name mocks Ozempic, a medication primarily indicated for the treatment of diabetes but sometimes used off-label for the treatment of obesity. Diabetes and obesity affect millions of Americans, and trivializing these serious health conditions is insensitive, disrespectful, and harmful to individuals affected by the diseases. 

The St. Paul Saints announced the name of their mascot as ‘Ozempig’ and gave the pig a backstory of trying to lose weight. Despite pushback, the baseball team has decided to stick with the offensive name. 

“Treating the diseases of diabetes and obesity should not be considered jokes, particularly ones so clearly rooted in societal bias towards people in larger bodies.  I am tired of my health and my size being just another punchline,” said Liz Paul, OAC Board Member and Minnesota resident. 

More than 130 million Americans live with obesity, with Minnesota ranking 26th in states impacted by obesity. OAC, representing the voice of people affected by obesity,  will submit a formal comment letter to the St. Paul Saints condemning the name of the mascot, demanding it recognize the harmful impact of its actions, and calling for the team to change the name of the mascot. 

“Words and actions matter. The St. Paul Saints are exhibiting blatant weight bias. Its decision to name its mascot ‘Ozempig’ is sending a message that it’s okay to mock individuals struggling with their health and weight,” said Kristal Hartman, OAC Board Chair. “It is not only disrespectful but harmful to people battling the stigma and discrimination associated with diabetes and obesity.”

Weight bias is defined as holding negative attitudes about people’s weight or harming and shaming them because of their weight. Forty-two percent of U.S. adults say they have experienced weight bias, and 46% of those say that it has affected their ability to lose weight. 

OAC believes that individuals with the disease of obesity should be treated with dignity and respect and should not face any bias or discrimination based on their size. OAC demands the elimination of weight bias in our society and calls for the protection of individuals with obesity from facing discrimination. 

Those who disagree with the actions of the St. Paul Saints can utilize a pre-drafted letter to urge the team to change the mascot’s name. Access the letter template at obesityaction.org/action-center/weight-bias-issues/st-paul-saints-mascot

To speak with an OAC advocate or a member of OAC leadership, please contact OAC Communications Manager Kendall Griffey at kgriffey@obesityaction.org

OAC has been working to end weight bias since its founding in 2005. To learn about OAC’s Stop Weight Bias Campaign, visit stopweightbias.com. To learn more about OAC’s advocacy efforts, please visit obesityaction.org/advocacy, and to support our mission of making the world a kinder, more inclusive place for people with obesity, please visit obesityaction.org/donate. 

The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), a more than 80,000-member-strong National nonprofit organization, is dedicated to improving the lives of individuals affected by the disease of obesity through education, advocacy and support.