Obesity stigma is based on the misconception that obesity is a choice.

Nature Medicine

Joint international consensus statement for ending stigma of obesity

People with obesity commonly face a pervasive, resilient form of social stigma. They are often subject to discrimination in the workplace as well as in educational and healthcare settings.

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ICPO Stigma in the Media

We have gathered a variety of memes that show the scale of stigma in the media. Many of these stigmatising memes have been shared on social media since the COVID-19 lockdown.

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ICPO Patient Perspective

STIGMA - The Patient Perspective by Bernadette Keenan ICPO

On 27th of August, Dr Flint was invited to speak at the 2020 second annual Obesity Summer school hosted by the HSE’s Obesity Management Clinical Programme. ‘Weight Stigma and discrimination; implications for healthcare’ being the title of the talk.

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What is Stigma and Bias?

When people hold negative weight-related beliefs or attitudes towards people in larger bodies, this is known as weight bias. When expressed as social exclusion, stereotyping and discrimination, this is called weight stigma.

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Dr Jean O’Connell

What is Stigma - Are we managing obesity as a chronic disease?

Obesity stigma is based on the misconception that obesity is a choice. This untruth has led to inadequate funding of obesity research, under-resourcing of weight management and bariatric clinical centres, a tiny pool of pharmacological treatment options, minimal training of health professionals in obesity management, and confusing and unhelpful public-health campaigns. Media and public-health messages often underplay the significant effort and commitment required to lose weight and not regain weight. We need to counteract this myth. We need to tell our patients that it is not their fault, that it is achievable but difficult to lose weight, and not uncommon to regain it. We need to focus more on health gains rather than weight loss. Obesity stigma is reinforced when we place the emphasis on volitional control of body weight, rather than the multiple genetic, biological and environmental factors. We all have a roll in relaying this message, to patients, our colleagues, our family and friends, the media, politicians and governmental agencies. Most people living with obesity will never achieve a so-called ‘normal’ weight. We have a responsibility to support people to achieve their best weight, and to help create a society that does not judge people at any weight.


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By Lauren Silva

What Is Weight Bias, And How Does It Affect Medical Care?

Weight bias in medical care settings, which involves health care professionals stigmatizing and judging patients with the disease of obesity, is widespread. Obesity as a disease state leads to dangerous consequences for more than 40% of U.S. adults and 20% of U.S. children and adolescents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Below, we cover the effects weight bias can have on patients with obesity or excess weight, why weight bias is prevalent in health care and what to do if you’ve experienced weight bias when receiving medical care.


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