By: Courtney Luecking MPH, MS, RD Doctoral candidate: Nutrition
September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.
Nearly one in five children in the United States is considered obese. We often think of this as a public health problem because of long-term health consequences such as increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancers. However, the consequences of prejudice and discrimination children with obesity face can be equally detrimental.
Children as young as 3 years of age may experience weight bias from peers, teachers, parents, or other family members. These interactions can negatively impact a child’s social relationships, academic achievement, eating and activity behaviors, and overall quality of life.
What can you do?
- Check out the resources below to educate yourself
- Question your own biases
- Use People-First language
- Commit to stand up against weight bias and bullying
Videos and discussion guides from the UConn Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity
HBO’s Weight of the Nation bonus short film “Stigma: The Human Cost of Obesity”
Centers of Disease Control. September is National Childhood Obesity Month. http://www.cdc.gov/features/childhoodobesity/
Obesity Action Coalition. Childhood Obesity Stigma. http://www.obesityaction.org/understanding-obesity-in-children/childhood-obesity-stigma
Obesity Action Coalition. Weight Bias and Stigma. http://www.obesityaction.org/weight-bias-and-stigma
UConn Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. Weight Bias and Stigma. http://www.uconnruddcenter.org/weight-bias-stigma