Weight Stigma: Combating Negative Messages and Shaping Policy

 

BingeBehavior.com, along with the Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA), is leading a coalition of physical and mental health, body image and eating disorders advocates to guide the messaging of the White House related to stigma within the Let’s Move! and workplace wellness programs.

Together we are tasked with is identifying the ways in which the programs stigmatize or discriminates against people of any body type while they encourage people to adopt healthy habits.

For example, when the program is administered by people who are overly eager and uneducated about the mental health component they often trigger eating disorders – especially in kids.  With the proper emphasis on health, rather than weight loss, kids enjoy moving for fun rather than competing with the scale.

In addition to that, a health first emphasis takes the question of BMI report cards off the table completely. The consequences are unintended, that’s why the feedback from my community is helpful – we are able to take the stats and data of outcomes (significant rise in childhood eating disorders, significant rise in weight based bullying and suicidal ideation, etc.) and help to fill in the gaps so that EVERYONE is served by the program and the community/school/work program administrators are giving the proper messages rather than showing bias or discrimination or causing injury.

For more information on Weight Stigma, please visit Weight Stigma Awareness Week component of the BEDA website for a wealth of information in the areas of Health and Weight Stigma at Any Size, Weight Stigma Viewed Through the Eating Disorders Lens, Weight Stigma Within Diverse Populations, Consequences of Weight Stigma in Healthcare Employment and Education, Combating Weight Stigma and Weight Stigma Research.   In addition to this information, BEDA provides toolkits to assist you in speaking with treatment providers AS WELL AS toolkits assisting providers in supporting clients.

The progress we make regarding program policy will be regularly updated on this website and you can find it using the keywords “Weight Stigma” or by looking under the Weight Stigma dropdown.

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