Health Impacts of Weight Stigma
Weight stigma: causes and effects
Image courtesy of World Obesity
Weight bias refers to the negative ideologies associated with obesity.
Weight bias → Weight stigma
Weight stigma refers to the discriminatory acts and ideologies targeted towards individuals because of their weight and size.
What can weight stigma look like?
- unsolicited suggestions to exercise or subtle WL advice
- unsolicitored recommendations eg “flattering..gives you a waist”
- backhanded compliments eg “you have such a pretty face”
- perpetuating false stereotypes
- micro-aggressions eg rolling eyes, tutting
- Opinions from high profile people/industry eg Rebel Wilson
- Job descriptions
- Verbal taunts
- Physical abuse
- Blamed for equipment/clothing malfunction
- Inequity: education,workforce…
Consequences of weight stigma
What can we do?
- Use people first language i.e. people living with obesity
- Use non stigmatizing images
- Language matters: tone and content
- Stick to the scientific facts
- Focus on gain in health not just weight loss
- At an individual level:
- Audit your life
- Talk back to yourself
- Speak up if you can
Images courtesy of World Obesity image bank