A consensus statement and pledge were recently released from a group of international scientific organizations regarding weight bias and the treatment of those with obesity. This type of pledge is essential to address the widespread perception that obesity is a choice, and the common discrimination that occurs against those with obesity in the workplace, in educational settings, and even by healthcare providers.
Both the disease itself and stigma around obesity can lead to significant harm. It has been shown that those who experience the stigma around obesity are less likely to pursue and receive proper health care. This stigma also leads to inadequately allocated funds to support public health policies and to finance much needed advances in research. This is evidenced by the fact that obesity and type 2 diabetes research receive far less funding than other diseases relative to their prevalence and societal impact.
Eradicating the stigma around obesity requires the public opinion about obesity to match the scientific knowledge we have gained through research advances, which indicates that there are many involuntary factors that contribute to obesity and that the individual is not at fault for their disease. At Integrative Phenomics, we acknowledge that addressing obesity stigma is also a way to advance the prevention and treatment of this chronic disease.
Integrative Phenomics condemns the stigma of obesity and pledges to join the international scientific movement to eradicate this stigma by putting science first, acknowledging that obesity is a disease strongly affected by from biological, genetic and environmental factors. Following the international consensus statement, we make the following pledge:
Source: Rubino, F., Puhl, R.M., Cummings, D.E. t al. Joint international consensus statement for ending stigma of obesity. Nat Med 26, 485–497 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-020-0803-x