Posts Tagged ‘weight stigma’

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 […]

Callous Bias and Anger In Place of Curiosity and Caring

September 19, 2021 — The Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) is out with its annual report on obesity. The headline? It’s bad and getting worse. But any mention of the lived experience for real persons with obesity is absent. Empathy doesn’t fit with a strategy focused on catastrophizing the problem of too many people living with obesity. The implicit […]

Decades of Weight Bias in Healthcare, Little Change

September 8, 2021 — The first ever systematic review and meta-analysis of weight bias in healthcare professionals is bracing. Blake Lawrence and colleagues have just published it in Obesity. It tells us that weight bias in healthcare has been fully visible for three decades. But the work of reversing it has barely begun. The authors of this analysis note […]

Blame and Shame for Suffering: Obesity and COVID

September 4, 2021 — Suffering creates a vacuum. But health stigma is always ready to fill that vacuum, so blame and shame flow in and amplify the suffering. This has long been the case with obesity. We’re now seeing it come into play with COVID and even with the intersection of COVID and obesity. This is called blaming the […]

Fat Camps: A Sad Artifact of Obesity Misunderstood

September 3, 2021 — For 53 years, Camp Shane was a place where parents sent kids with overweight and obesity. It called itself “a summer weight loss camp…not a fat camp.” But no more. The camp shut down on July 13 with the owner telling reporters that the problem was a staffing shortage. At the time, the Connecticut Office […]

Making the Lived Experience of Obesity Invisible

August 18, 2021 — The lived experience of obesity has many dimensions, but one of the most troubling is being invisible. Melanie Bahlke, a remarkable patient advocate from Frankfurt, Germany,  explains it beautifully: “I am used to being talked about more than having people talk to me. For everyone I am something different and I am rarely what I […]

Exploiting Kids with Obesity for Political Mudslinging

August 17, 2021 — Nothing rankles quite so much as exploiting kids living with obesity for raw political purposes. Right now, a conservative group is using  images of kids with obesity in a campaign against companies that speak out on voting rights. In this case, they are targeting Coca-Cola with political attack ads, calling the company Woka-Cola. But to […]

Navigating Perceptions of Normal Bodies

August 11, 2021 — Normal and healthy are tricky words. They provide a reference point but at the same time they have the potential to alienate people. Pressure to conform pushes against a desire for acceptance. The culture imposes ideas about sizes and shapes of bodies that are normal or healthy. From this pressure, weight bias emerges. It is […]

An Inner Critic That Looms Large or Goes Missing

August 1, 2021 — Most of us have this voice within us – our inner critic. For a few people, that voice might be missing. But for people living with obesity, it can loom large. This is how self-stigma works. The world is full of implicit bias about larger bodies. The bias is that size is an indication of […]

Shame Gets a Failing Grade for Health Promotion

July 28, 2021 — Is it helpful to use shame for health promotion? The impulse is certainly strong. Shame and blame have been consistent threads through years of grappling with the health impact of obesity. Along the same line, we’re seeing shame and blame trotted out for the unvaccinated in the U.S. as a the Delta variant produces a […]