Woman in gym using exercise machine
© Obesity Canada

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The Shift guide provides clear and simple information about how to create non-stigmatising messages about overweight and obesity. Because it’s time to change the way we talk about obesity.

People with overweight and obesity are faced with pervasive stigmatisation and discrimination. Explicit stigma towards people with overweight and obesity is often seen as socially acceptable whereas other forms of stigma, such as racism, are publicly denounced. This is due to the stereotype that defines people with overweight and obesity as solely responsible for their weight due to over-eating and laziness and blames them for the resultant ill-health.

We need to change how we talk about weight to reduce the stigma and shame experienced by people with obesity. Choice of language, messaging and imagery can help start a respectful conversation about weight and health. Images and messages that foster self-efficacy, positive behaviour changes and provide specific behavioural strategies to make the change promote more positive responses and are more likely to lead to action.

Watch the video or click the button below to find out more about how you can help Shift the conversation.