Weight bias and Weight Stigma – what do these mean? 

 June 19, 2021

Weight bias refers to negative attitudes towards those living with obesity. Weight stigma refers to social stereotypes and misconceptions about obesity. 

The size of the body someone is living in, is often not a reflection of their overall health. A lean person can be very unhealthy. A large body can be very healthy. Eating habits, quantity of movement, and many other complex factors contribute to an individuals overall health. Making assumptions based on appearances will not lead to fair or accurate conclusions.

It’s important to recognize and change our own bias and stigma towards larger bodies. Being conscious of the language we use towards ourselves and others is crucial in identifying and changing our views towards different bodies as well as our own. Instead of telling someone they look great because they have lost weight, maybe congratulate them for lifting heavier weights, getting stronger, or being able to complete a new movement!

There is a big misconception that when people move their bodies, especially in a gym, that they must lose weight. Losing weight is often a goal, but being healthy should be foremost in our focus. Let’s make an effort as a community to encourage and celebrate healthy bodies in all shapes and sizes!

See great resources on weight bias/stigma.