Daily Discrimination for Two-Thirds of Obese

Almost two-thirds of people living with obesity face daily discrimination, highlighting the need to address society’s views on the subject.

There is still a great deal of misunderstanding around the causes and management of obesity. It is therefore no surprise that most assumptions made about obesity are negative and lead to this daily discrimination.

People often jump to conclusions about how much control an individual has over their obesity, when the fact is obesity can be the result of many contributory factors. A staggering 70% of those causes are linked to genetics, family history and even ethnicity.

With one in four adults and one in five children leaving primary school currently living with obesity in the UK, more needs to be done to address the problem and understand the causes.

World Obesity Day lists the ‘roots of obesity’ as:

1. Biology
2. Food
3. Genetic risk
4. Healthcare access
5. Life events
6. Marketing
7. Mental health
8. Sleep
9. Stigma

You can read more about each on their website.

Whatever the contributory factors, the seriousness of obesity cannot be overlooked, or the solution oversimplified any longer.

Only 26% feel that their healthcare providers treat them with dignity and respect. This may in part explain why it takes an average of six years before someone living with obesity speaks to a healthcare professional about their condition.

A public awareness campaign aimed at changing perceptions and increasing understanding of obesity would go a long way. By changing assumptions, we could hope to end the stigmas commonly associated with being obese.

Onhealth strongly supports calls from Obesity UK asking the government to reconsider their obesity strategy, including further access to effective treatment options, improvements to legislation to prevent weight stigma and discrimination, and their request for a public awareness campaign to highlight the complexities of obesity.