People living with obesity experience weight bias and stigma across settings, including in the healthcare system. Most health care professionals do not receive training on weight bias. The main aim of this symposium is to learn about weight bias and stigma and consider ways to reduce its prevalence in day-to-day practices by developing practical, realistic and achievable strategies for change.

The objectives of this symposium are to:

  • present scientific and experiential evidence regarding the negative health consequences of weight bias and stigma and reflect on how healthcare practices can perpetuate societal weight bias;
  • share current initiatives that address weight bias and stigma in health professional education;
  • present practical resources and guidance that can reduce weight bias and stigma in health care settings.

The symposium will begin with the perspectives of persons living with obesity who will share their lived experiences of weight bias and stigma in healthcare. Weight bias experts will then share research on the prevalence and consequences of weight bias and present practical and evidence-based solutions to address it.

This session was jointly produced by The Obesity Society (TOS), Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), and Obesity Canada.


8:30am Weight Bias and Stigma: Definitions, Causes, and Why it Matters in Obesity Management Practice?
W Scott Butsch, MD
8:50am Weight Bias Reduction in Health Care
Mary Forhan, PhD OT
9:10am Weight Stigma: Perspectives of Individuals Living with Obesity
Patricia Nece, JD
9:30am Impact of Weight Bias Internalization on Obesity Management
Ximena Ramos Salas, PhD