4 ways to understand weight stigma and promote a healthier community

Feb 17, 2020

Augustus Gloop from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Ursula from the Little Mermaid. Chunk from Goonies. What comes to mind when you think of these TV characters?

Characters affected by obesity in popular media are often portrayed as rude, aggressive, unintelligent, unhealthy and the target of ridicule and bullying. On news stories about weight or obesity-related conditions, often only a person’s body is shown and not their face.

If you haven’t noticed these trends, it’s not surprising. Weight stigma and bias are so common in our society that we often don’t know when we’re exposed to it. Yet, weight stigma can actually perpetuate and worsen health conditions for the children and adults we know and interact with.

In a blog for the Healthiest State Initiative, I offer four points you need to know to promote a healthier, more supportive community:

Related Issues & Ideas

Report

2021 Community Health Needs Assessment

View 2021 Community Health Needs Assessment
White Paper

Strengths of Latinx Immigrants Despite Legal Violence

View Strengths of Latinx Immigrants Despite Legal Violence
Website

Make It Okay messaging in multiple languages

View Make It Okay messaging in multiple languages
Report

Cultivating Change: How the HealthConnect Fellowship lifted a network of advocates to improve children's health in central Iowa

View Cultivating Change: How the HealthConnect Fellowship lifted a network of advocates to improve children's health in central Iowa
Report

Shifting the Lens: How The ACE Study sparked action to collectively improve our community's health

View Shifting the Lens: How The ACE Study sparked action to collectively improve our community's health
Website

Grant Makers in Health

View Grant Makers in Health
White Paper

Prenatal Strategies to Support Families

View Prenatal Strategies to Support Families
Report

2020 One Economy: The Blueprint for Action

View 2020 One Economy: The Blueprint for Action

Zeroing in on Health Needs

How a needs assessment of Oakridge Neighborhood residents is informing ways to improve health and well-being

View Story
View Story

Doula Care Becomes Essential Health Care

An Iowa Doula Project is expanding community-based health care to improve Black maternal health outcomes.

View Story
View Story

Improving Health through Community Advocacy

How AMOS engaged hundreds of advocates to push for a children's mental health crisis response system

View Story
View Story

Media's Role in Improving Health

How support to Iowa Public Radio is building awareness of factors that influence well-being

View Story
View Story

Latinx Project tells story of strength and opportunity

New report highlights central Iowa Latinos contributions and disparities and elevates Latinx leaders

View Story
View Story

Improving Health through Social Supports

MercyOne's community health worker model improves outcomes for families.

View Story
View Story

Champions for Change: A Collective Commitment to Children's Health

Outcomes from Mid-Iowa Health Foundation's HealthConnect Fellowship, October 2019-June 2021

View Story
View Story

Elevating the Latinx Community

How nonprofit leaders brought attention to the Latinx community and built new systems of support during the pandemic

View Story
View Story

Central Iowa Youth Drive Change for Better Health

uVoice high school students commit to learning about and addressing issues, including vaping and racial justice, in central Iowa.

View Story
View Story

How Youth Are Driving Community Efforts to End Homelessness

dsm Magazine features a unique collaboration that is engaging youth who’ve experienced homelessness in identifying new solutions to address this issue in central Iowa.

View Story
View Story

A New Approach to Supporting Youth in Juvenile Detention

Teenagers in jumpsuits lying on yoga mats, their eyes closed, their bodies still. This is the image Megan Hoxhalli describes as remarkable for juvenile detention, a place where youth arrive shaken, dysregulated, and scared about their future.

View Story
View Story

Meet the team leading UpLift – The Central Iowa Basic Income Pilot

View Post

HealthConnect Fellows: Engaging authentically in systems change

View Post

7 insights gained through a nonprofit merger

Foundation grants
Nov 17, 2022
View Post

Six Elements to Consider with Community Conversations

View Post

Community-Based Participatory Research: What to Know

View Post

How student research informed the basic income project

Action planning
Sep 20, 2022
View Post

How empathy is a part of systems-change work

View Post

Making the Case: Communications Tactics that Work

Advocacy
Jul 26, 2022
View Post

4 ways to measure system-change progress

System change
May 31, 2022
View Post

Health disparities for Black pregnant Iowans: What you should know

View Post

5 reasons why youth should lead systems-change work

View Post

What we mean by 'system change'

System change
Apr 6, 2022
View Post

4 insights from researching housing instability in central Iowa

View Post

Iowa youth aging out of foster care: How are they doing?

View Post

7 lessons learned from Sesame Street partnership

Foundation grants
Jan 31, 2022
View Post

A closer look at mental health in schools during the pandemic

Community response
Nov 29, 2021
View Post

Get to Know Dr. Nalo Johnson

Foundation news
Nov 24, 2021
View Post

4 questions for nonprofit and community leaders

View Post

5 questions for leaders in philanthropy

Funder practices
Nov 5, 2021
View Post

5 ways to think about your personal brand as a part of your work

Leadership
Nov 1, 2021
View Post