World Obesity Day aims to raise awareness about the prevalence, severity and diversity of weight stigma. Stigma occurs in a wide variety of settings and the media has been identified as one of the main perpetrators. Current media portrayals of obesity reinforce inaccurate and negative stereotypes about weight which can lead to weight stigma.
Weight stigma refers to negative behaviours and attitudes that are directed towards individuals solely because of their weight. Although it has been proven to undermine people’s broader health, weight stigma remains relatively absent from the conversation surrounding obesity.
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Being overweight and obesity may increase the risk of many health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers.
World Obesity Day can help family and
friends give advice to help people overcome the barriers that arise as a result of weight stigma.
This negative weight stigma often prevents them getting the medical treatment they need.