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:
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.