Weight stigma is widespread and results in discrimination from landlords, lenders, employers, and service providers; interpersonal harassment from loved ones; and structural exclusion when public spaces are built to be inaccessible to larger bodies, as with the ever-shrinking size of commercial airline seats. Weight stigma is also a known risk factor for eating disorders in people of all sizes. The more a person takes negative messages about fat bodies to heart, the likelier they are to develop an eating disorder, regardless of how much that person weighs. In addition to eating disorders, weight stigma is associated with risk for diabetes and other poor health outcomes. Addressing weight stigma and discrimination through legislation is imperative.
States like Massachusetts are already leading the charge on this important social justice matter. Click here for updates on their advocacy efforts.
Below you will find important materials to help you bring this important advocacy effort to
your state and community:
This legal article by Iyiola Solanke advocates for the civil rights law strategy for people with large bodies seeking protection from discrimination.
Summaries of research studies for more background on the problems weight discrimination poses.
A selection of news stories about the deleterious consequences body size discrimination has on the nation’s health and wellbeing. This 1-pager will grab the attention of policymakers, legislative staff, and advocates alike.
A fact sheet on how this piece of legislation aims to address body size discrimination in order to promote social justice and health equity.
This policy brief defines the problem and explains how you can use policies to address this important issue.