World Obesity Day

World Obesity Day is on the 11 th of October and we have partnered with World Obesity to help spread awareness and information about their #EndWeightStigma campaign.

World Obesity Day was launched in 2015 as an annual campaign to stimulate and support practical solutions to help people achieve and maintain a healthy weight, and to reverse the global obesity crisis. The number of adults living with obesity continues to rise. On current trends, 2.7billion adults worldwide will live with obesity by 2025, of which 177 million adults will be in need of treatment as a result of severe obesity. This #WorldObesityDay we are asking you to help us #EndWeightStigma by calling out examples of stigma and prejudice in the media and online

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Stigmatisation is harmful for a vast array of reasons, amongst them the fact that it leads to harmful misconceptions being popularised and spread. There are many other reasons to focus on the elimination of stigmatisation, such as: · Stigmatising obesity undermines people’s health and makes it harder to seek support · Negative images and language reinforce stigma around obesity. Modern environments encourage and promote unhealthy lifestyles. Obesity is not about individual blame but shared responsibility in society · A positive, supportive narrative between clinicians and their patients will increase the effectiveness of care.

Now that we know why stigmas are harmful we must know divert our focus towards how to end such stigmas. These are some of the most useful strategies that have been decided upon:

- Media outlets must cease using negative language and images about obesity. - Health care practitioners must acknowledge the fact that environmental factors play a considerable role in the spread and encouragement of obesity. - We must spread awareness about the toxicity of stigmas and how to avoid them in the workplace and other facets of life. - The government must take action in mitigating the environmental influences that lead to obesity instead of simply shifting blame onto those negatively affected.

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Linda Crystal

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Isobel Vosloo

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pa@cemmsonline.co.za

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