Weight Stigma Awareness Week 2013
National Weight Stigma Awareness Week is scheduled for September 23-27, 2013.
This week-long event creates awareness for the unfair discrimination that occurs in society regarding people's weight.
Also called weight discrimination, weight stigma happens any time someone is judged because of their size.
Weight stigma takes place when overweight individuals are thought of as lazy or incompetent, when movies or TV shows portray overweight characters as bumbling idiots, and when kids on the playground make fat jokes.
Weight stigma also occurs on the flip side, when thin people are categorized as hard working or driven, and when thin individuals are looked at as having an eating disorder or always on a diet.
Effects of Weight Stigma
Weight stigma does not only come from outside sources. Individuals struggling with weight bias wonder if they are worthwhile humans themselves because of their weight.
The pressures to have the perfect body type lead many people to feel badly about themselves, and to go to extreme measures to remedy their weight issues. This quickly leads to eating disorders, depression and extreme self-loathing, all of which can be dangerous and even fatal.
The problem of weight stigma does not only occur among peers or in the media. It happens in the workplace, in social settings and in the gym.
According the Binge Eating Disorder Association (BEDA), weight stigma is the "last socially acceptable prejudice in America", and it is something that must be stopped.
BEDA has hosted Weight Stigma Awareness Week for the past 3 years. This year's blog conference will feature over 25 experts in the field of eating disorders in the form of video conferences, Tweetchat and a Virtual Mixer. Weight Stigma Awareness Week brings together those who are working to end this bias and educates the public about the dangers of weight discrimination.