OAC Rising to the Challenge of Weight Bias

The second annual Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) national convention opened in a packed ballroom Friday, with OAC Chair Pam Davis and Convention Chair Amber Huett welcoming nearly 400 people affected by obesity. The opening session brought together a remarkably diverse audience of activists, patients, and professionals rising to the challenge of obesity.OAC YWM2013

CEO Joe Nadglowski and Vice-Chair Ted Kyle capped the opening with a call to recognize and defeat weight bias. Nadglowski explained that weight bias is common and growing in media, employment, education, and healthcare. “Many people who perpetuate weight bias are misguided, thinking they will somehow motivate people to do something about their weight,” said Nadglowski. “But the fact is that they do just the opposite, and make the problem worse.”

Kyle was a bit more blunt, calling out the notion of stigma as motivation as “a lie.” He pointed out that recent research shows that experiencing weight discrimination doubles the risk of developing obesity, and it triples the risk that someone who has obesity will continue to have it. He called on the activists of OAC to advance a positive message of defeating obesity and empowering people who are affected by it.

Click here to view slides from the presentation by Nadglowski and Kyle and click here to watch video streams from the OAC national convention, Your Weight Matters 2013.

Mission Peak Magic, photograph © satosphere / flickr

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