Posts Tagged ‘respectful language’

Promoting Insight Instead of Contempt on Obesity

January 11, 2024 — Clicks rule the internet and much of social media, so rudeness is rather easy to find, but hard to take. Reporting that brings insight and understanding is more rare and more rewarding. On obesity yesterday, we found a sharp contrast between promoting insight and promoting contempt. From the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public […]

Language Frames Our Response to Obesity

June 14, 2023 — Recent advances in the scientific understanding of obesity has led to more frequent public rejection of explicit weight bias, but implicit bias and stigma remains a serious impediment to health. Language is a potent tool that frames our understanding of obesity. But too often, even in scientific publications, it reflects bias against people with obesity […]

The World’s Most (Implicitly) Stigmatized Disease

February 25, 2023 — Justin Ryder is quite plain about obesity and the stigma attached to it. “It’s the most stigmatized disease in the world. In America, we view obesity as a personal behavior problem and not as a disease.” Ryder should know. He is a pediatric obesity scientist and a vice-chair of research at Lurie Children’s Hospital in […]

Fewer Fingers Wagging, More Hands Helping

November 23, 2022 — Whether or not it’s by intention, when and if parents try to talk with their children about body weight, it comes across as finger wagging. In fact, research published earlier this year tells us many youth never want their parents to talk about their weight – especially not their fathers. Parents might want to offer […]

Only Words? Words Shape Reality for Better or Worse

September 22, 2021 — We have an opportunity before us, say Thiago Gagliano-Jucá and Caroline Apovian. They are writing in Annals of Internal Medicine to reflect on the implications of words we use in healthcare. Specifically, they are talking about the words providers attach to obesity – words like morbid. These are words that leave patients feeling judged. Such […]

Words with Weight to Test Emotions

June 13, 2021 — Adiposity, chubbiness, corpulence, corpulency, embonpoint, fat, fatness, fattiness, fleshiness, grossness, plumpness, portliness, pudginess, pursiness, rotundity, weight. These are Merriam-Webster’s words for obesity. The words attached to weight evoke strong emotions. But they are mostly unpredictable. In fact, new research in Clinical Obesity tells us that people disagree widely in their feelings about weight-related words. However, […]

The O-Word Versus the W-Word

August 13, 2019 — The o-word has long been a problem. “Obesity” is a medical term that is more than just off-putting. It’s a stigmatizing diagnosis. Even worse is labeling people as “obese.” That’s not OK. Most people with obesity will tell you that they might have some excess weight, but obesity has nothing to do with them. Thus […]

Dodging Obesity: Euphemisms Don’t Help

September 29, 2018 — The language of obesity is a tricky business. Nobody likes being called obese. But it doesn’t stop there. Common wisdom tells clinicians to be very careful about the O-word in any form. Obesity clinics don’t tend to have long lines of patients waiting at the door. Weight management clinics attract more clients. However, new research […]