Canadian Summit on Weight Bias and Discrimination

Quick note today to let people know about an event taking place next week.  On Monday, January 17, the Canadian Obesity Network (CON) will be hosting the first Canadian Summit on Weight Bias and Discrimination.  Our friend Arya Sharma has done an excellent job of discussing Weight Bias, so for a quick overview I suggest his posts on weight bias among medical students, the effects of weight bias on body weight, and how to determine whether you have weight bias.

Here is a brief overview of the issue from the description of Monday’s event:

Weight bias and discrimination is widespread among the public, health professionals, media, policy makers and employers.  Overweight and obesity are often viewed as the result of making poor choices, or a lack of willpower and self control, and not as the complex conditions they are.

The direct implications for the health of those struggling with excess weight are profound.  Discrimination can be increase vulnerability for depression, low self-esteem, anxiety, suicide, eating disorders, an avoidance of physical activity, poor outcomes in behavioural weight loss programs and a reluctance to seek health care services.

The CON Summit will bring together a number of “thought leaders” to discuss the issue and ways to reduce this discrimination in the future, but unfortunately the event registration is now full.  Luckily, the CON Student and New Professionals are running an online event parallel with the real one. To take part, first watch these three short videos on Weight Bias and Discrimination which were created by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity.  Then, visit the CON Student and New Professionals on Facebook or Twitter on Monday, January 17th between 8:00am and 3:30pm EST, where you will be able to share your thoughts and experiences related to weight bias.

Since I don’t know of any pre-determined Twitter hashtags for the event, I’m going to suggest that everyone discussing weight bias on Monday, or any other day, use the hashtag #weightbias, which will make it easier for people to keep track of all the posts in one place (just enter #weightbias in the Twitter Search box to bring up all the posts).

Many of the CON Student and New Professionals Chapters are having local events across Canada, so to find and contact a Chapter (which, like all CON memberships, are 100% free) in your community click here.  As far as I know you do not need to be Canadian or live in Canada to join CON or take part in the event on Monday, so if Weight Bias is something that interests you I would urge you to take part regardless of your geographical location.

And for those who are interested, I have embedded a pdf with the event details below (email subscribers can see it by visiting our website).

Hope to see you all next Monday!


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