Why Weight Bias Hurts Everyone

Weight bias is real, and it has devastating consequences.

People put themselves through hell because they've been told they "should" lose weight to be happy, healthy, and successful (or just free from bullying), only to end up with disordered eating and exercise behaviors that are far more damaging to their well-being than weight itself could ever be.     

Of course, people in larger bodies experience the effects of weight bias more deeply and pervasively than those in smaller bodies, but no one is exempt from harm. Our culture's obsession with weight makes people of every size feel on guard, critical of their perceived "flaws," and fearful of any changes that could take away whatever privilege their current body size might give them. 

Weight bias makes us judgmental of ourselves, and often of others, too. It robs us of our compassion and connection.  

It keeps us playing small. 

Fiona Sutherland, my guest on this week's episode of Food Psych, shares what this experience was like for her, growing up in a family where her size was considered more "acceptable" than that of her larger-bodied sibling. 

We discussed how internalized weight bias affected her own relationship with food and her body growing up, why she initially became a dietitian, how she moved beyond the weight-biased model she learned in school to become a champion of Health at Every Size, how weight stigma is used as a tool of oppression, and lots more.  

This episode is quickly becoming a fan favorite, and it's one of my recent faves, too! Tune in here to listen now, and be sure to subscribe via iTunes to get new episodes delivered to your device every week. 

Speaking of weight bias, my colleague and past podcast guest Megan Bruneau wrote a great piece on weight bias in the wellness world that's definitely worth a read if you're a health professional or a fan of wellness media. (Heads up that there is one triggering image in the article, so I'd suggest you steer clear if you're currently struggling with an eating disorder.) 

This post was originally published in my weekly email newsletter