4 ways to decrease obesity stigmatization
By Stéphanie Boivin
According to the World Health Organization, obesity is when the body mass index (BMI) is beyond 30. It is a chronic disease with multiple sources: environmental, metabolic, cultural, educational, psychological and many others. Even if this information is known, the public and the medias are frequently downplaying its complexity to a lack of physical activity and bad food habits.
People suffering from obesity do not always live well with it and are subject to negative experiences not only because of the hardships it puts in their lives but can also be discriminated against because of it.
What can you do about it?
- Wait before you give advice
People that live with obesity can see their weight like a moral failure and think about using inefficient short-term solutions like extreme diets or fasting. The best advice you can give if your asked is to make an appointment with their doctor or a health specialist.
- Acknowledge the Importance of the Environment
Obese people can sometimes be stigmatized because we link their obesity to an unhealthy lifestyle. Acknowledging the importance of external factors that can be amplified by disease or genetic traits can help destigmatize their condition.
- Avoid Personal Bias
Weight stigma is all the discrimination linked to obesity. Questioning ourselves, trying to find if it happens that you make suppositions based on a person’s weight can play a huge role in decreasing the weight stigma both in private and public space.
- Inspire Change
As a society, we must accept that obesity is a complex matter and talk about it with family and friends. Let’s give ourselves the mission to help getting rid of weight stigma and by admitting that obesity can be a lot more complex than just changing bad habits.
Let’s not focus on obesity as an individual problem and more like a society problem.
Let’s not focus on obesity as an individual problem and more like a society problem. If you want to learn more about this subject, contact us at 1-877-325-4472.