Weight Stigma is judgment or stereotyping based on one’s weight, shape and/or size.
If you don’t think that weight stigma has anything to do with you, please keep reading. It’s the number one form of bullying and discrimination in the United States today.
A scientific study of 170,000 people showed that feeling fat is worse for your health than being fat
Research has shown that people are less likely to help fat people after a road accident and more likely to find them guilty when on trial
Physicians are less willing to prescribe tests and lab work for fat people
The majority of fat people avoid seeing a doctor for fear of being ridiculed, judged or otherwise mistreated
The likelihood of being bullied is 63% higher for obese children
The #1 source of weight stigma and bullying is from family and friends
Our communal stigmatization of overweight and obese people is exacerbating physical and mental illness. This week is Weight Stigma Awareness Week. Please, take the challenge to look within yourself. Only as individuals can we obliterate weight stigma.
1. Examine your own biases
2. Challenge your own beliefs
3. Get educated
4. Speak up
5. Refrain from weight talk
6. Take great care of yourself
7. Diversity, including body diversity, is a beautiful thing
The Binge Eating Disorder Association has created a week PACKED with online events to increase awareness about weight stigma. You can also check out the WSAW toolkits. Yours truly contributed by writing articles specific to weight stigma and nutrition counseling.
Everyone deserves to feel safe enough to walk outside their house and to be treated with dignity and respect. Commit this week to confront your own prejudice and commit to compassion rather than hate.