Last week I was busy on my FB page sharing a variety of perspective pieces from BEDA’s Weight Stigma Awareness Week. I was all set to write one myself but the plethora of knowledge and topics addressed pretty much had it all covered. There was so much good content that a) I wasn’t able to read them all and b) it was hard to narrow it down to just a a couple of thought-provoking commentary. But here are a few that resonated for me and I think you’ll like to:
- WSAW chair, Marsha Hudnall and president of Green Mountain at Fox Run, Vermont was interviewed regarding the question of whether weighing ourselves is really necessary to gauge our health.
- An Eating Disorder survivor shared what was going through her mind when she returned to work just as a Workplace Wellness program was being launched in Caught in the Workplace Wellness Crossfire.
- Lisa DuBreuil, a clinical social worker based in Boston, gave an eye-opening report on Weight Stigma and Weight Loss Surgery and the problems that surface.
- And body image expert, Marci Warhaft-Nadler, talked about how the next generation might live in a world where weight stigma is not so pervasive. *HINT* It starts with taking a look at ourselves and finding ways to address it head-on.
Finally, BEDA developed a number of toolkits that act as a valuable resource, not just for Weight Stigma Awareness Week but for whenever the need arises:
- Weight Stigma is everywhere, from the school-yard to the boardroom and right on into the family home. Educate yourself and be on the ready for YOU or someone you love. These toolkits provide action steps and resources to help self-advocate for positive, non-discriminatory care.
- This is where I find myself somewhat embarrassed to be a part of an industry where size discriminatory behaviours runs rampant (although I’m hoping to change all that one day). If you are a fitness professional, know or work with one, you may want to forward this toolkit along. They also have toolkits for those in the nutrition field, mental health and one specifically for physicians. Why not print the toolkits off and take them to your next appointment? Educate your providers on how their well-intentioned but weight-bias practices can do more harm than good.
Amazing content and fantastic resources from the week! And resources that we can all take and learn from going forward. Education and action is key if we are ever going to put a stop to this last socially acceptable form of discrimination.