Weight Bias and Bullying
Weight bias (also known as weight stigma) refers to negative attitudes toward people who are affected by a heavier weight or obesity. Weight bias occurs in schools, homes, health care settings, and in the media. Negative stereotypes that blame children and parents for a child’s weight (such as being lazy, lacking self-control, or overeating) are common in our culture and often ignored. Some people even incorrectly believe that using stigma can motivate a person to lose weight. Even though there are many ways for weight bias to happen, it usually occurs as teasing, bullying, and victimization from peers.
Millions of youth of heavier weights experience teasing and bullying, leading to significant physical, emotional, social, and academic consequences. Rudd ‘Roots Parents encourages you to begin to think about weight bias as a serious issue that deserves more attention.
As a parent, you can help make your child’s school and community safe and welcoming for youth of all shapes and sizes. Rudd ‘Roots Parents provides you with useful tools and information that can help you address weight bias with your child. Consider sharing these resources with other parents, school staff, healthcare providers, and policy makers to raise awareness about weight bias and bullying.
Click through the sections below, and be sure to watch this video about Weight Bias Myths and Facts.