Overcoming Bias and Stigma in Obesity

Obesity bias and stigma are increasing parallel to the rates of obesity. Weight bias, stigma, and discrimination are highly evident in the media, education, employment, and healthcare. As many as half of women and 25% of men experience weight discrimination, and the internalization of these biases are associated with significant psychological and physical effects. Weight bias among healthcare providers affects the quality of care provided, and patients affected by obesity who experience weight bias are increasingly less likely to seek healthcare. This program will focus on strategies to minimize weight bias, stigma, and discrimination with a focus on respectful communication and actions one can take in their clinical setting. The expert faculty will conclude the program by providing resources and organizations focused on reducing weight bias that participants can utilize and participate in to overcome personal biases and become advocates for obesity as a disease.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Incorporate alternatives to minimize weight bias, stigma, and discrimination in the treatment of patients affected by obesity
  • Describe the psychological and physical effects of internalization of weight bias, stigma, and discrimination for the patient and the clinician in the management of obesity
  • Demonstrate ways to diminish weight bias in the office setting
  • Identify organizations and efforts one can take to advocate for obesity as a disease

Acknowledgement of Commercial Support

This activity is supported by an educational grant from NovoNordisk.