Jan - Feb 2012

OAC Launches “Bias Busters” to Fight Weight Bias and Stigma

By Joe Nadglowski, OAC President and CEO


The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) has unveiled a new initiative to combat weight bias and stigma, titled "Bias Busters." Weight bias and discrimination create significant obstacles for individuals affected by obesity. From weight bias in healthcare settings to pop culture, these individuals are often targets of unfair, disrespectful treatment because of their weight. No other disease is the focus of discrimination as well as jokes, ridicule or humor.


Obesity affects more than 93 million Americans nationwide. In addition to the debilitating effects of obesity, individuals affected must also face weight bias and stigma. Weight bias is especially prevalent in children affected by obesity, which could make them a target of being bullied. Since the OAC's inception, advocacy efforts have been focused on combating weight bias and stigma and we have seen many great successes due to the overwhelming support and involvement of our members.


The goal of "Bias Busters" is to engage the public in the conversation of weight bias and stigma, and raise awareness of the prevalence of the issue in today's society. "Bias Busters" will highlight examples of weight bias that emerge in society, and provide individuals with an opportunity to respond and let their voices be heard. "Bias Busters" also provides information about the nature and extent of weight bias and invites the public to share their own examples of bias with the OAC through biasbusters@obesityaction.org.


Each month the OAC will alert its members to issues of weight bias and stigma in a special section of the OAC's members-only e-newsletter, OAC Members Make a Difference. Although OAC members are the first to be alerted to these important issues, "Bias Busters" alerts will also be available on the OAC website for public view.


The OAC has already alerted our members to two issues and received a great response from our membership! There will be a new weight bias issue that needs attention and action every month, so become a member and get involved today! Individual membership is $20 a year and the OAC encourages all individuals concerned with weight bias and stigma to join and receive automatic "Bias Busters" alerts.


To join the OAC and become a "Bias Buster," please visit www.obesityaction.org or contact the OAC National Office at (800) 717-3117 or info@obesityaction.org. For more information on "Bias Busters," please click here.