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Obesity Action Coalition (OAC)
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June 2014
OAC Releases New Guidelines for
Media Portrayals of Obesity
The Obesity Action Coalition (OAC), the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, and The Obesity Society (TOS) released new media guidelines to help educate media representatives on appropriate ways to discuss the disease of obesity. The OAC, Rudd Center, and TOS believe obesity should be treated the same as any other disease and hopes to reduce weight bias in the media by releasing these educational guidelines.
While the media helps to elevate this important health issue by including it in many different stories, sometimes these discussions can perpetuate weight bias. For years, the OAC has encouraged members to reach out to reporters when stigmatizing imagery is used in news articles. It is commonplace for imagery to include individuals affected by excess weight or obesity without heads or faces showing, or to include imagery of these individuals eating (often unhealthy) foods. It is also common to use "obese" when referring to these people. The OAC wants to put people first and encourages the use of People-First Language for Obesity. For example, rather than saying "the obese man," use the phrasing, "the man affected by obesity" or "the man with obesity." 

The media guidelines focus on areas of reporting such as respecting diversity and avoiding stereotypes, using appropriate language and terminology, conducting balanced and accurate coverage of obesity, and selecting appropriate pictures and images of individuals affected by obesity. The OAC, TOS and the Rudd Center have shared this education with media outlets and hope to see these guidelines included in discussions about obesity.
What You Can Do
We also encourage the use of these guidelines for everyone, so here are a few ideas for you:
  • When discussing obesity or writing about it, please use People-First Language for Obesity.
  • When visually portraying obesity, ensure the imagery does not perpetuate weight stigma. If it were a photo of you, would you be happy with it?
  • Review your company Web site or personal blog to see if they are incorporating these guidelines.
  • When posting on social media, ensure you are using People-First Language for Obesity.
Only by working together to make these important changes in the way obesity is portrayed, can we hope to change the public perception of obesity. 

If you see obesity portrayed in a way that is stigmatizing for individuals affected by this disease, please politely reach out to the media organization responsible and share these educational guidelines. YOU can help create a society in which all individuals are treated with respect, and without discrimination or bias, regardless of their size or weight.
Learn more about how to portray obesity in an acceptable way, and share this great resource with others by CLICKING HERE
The 2014 Your Weight Matters National Convention will take place this September 25-28 in Orlando, FL, at the beautiful Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld – and we want you to come be part of it! You can benefit from the support, health, inspiration, networking and top-notch education found only at YWM2014. With more than 50 topics on the diverse educational Program Agenda and fun special events, there’s something for everyone at the OAC Convention. The early-bird pricing deadline is coming up on June 4, so don’t wait – REGISTER TODAY to attend the OAC’s 3rd Annual Convention.

This is THE place to learn about your weight and health, as leading experts in the field come together with attendees from all over the country to present all the latest evidence-based strategies for weight management at this three-day event. While this is a patient-focused meeting, healthcare providers may also qualify to earn up to 14 CE Credits by learning what your patients learn. For more information on CE credits, CLICK HERE.

The OAC strives to keep costs low for all attendees to come and benefit from the PREMIER event for topics of weight and health. After June 4, you will still be able to register, but all registration pricing options will increase and we don’t want you to miss-out on the great savings currently available:
  • Full Convention Registration for $95, with access to all the educational presentations and fun social events. (Pricing increases to $125 after June 4.)
  • One-Day Registration for only $30, which gives you the opportunity to attend educational sessions on Friday or Saturday. (Pricing increases to $40/day after June 4.)
  • Full Convention Registration with CE Credits for $135, available for some healthcare professionals to learn what their patients learn at YWM2014. (Pricing increases to $165 after June 4.)
  • One-Day Registration with CE Credits for $50, available for some healthcare professionals to get credit for the day's sessions. (Pricing increases to $60/day after June 4.)
Many past Convention attendees have called Convention, "life-changing," and this is your LAST chance to save on registration. To register today and take advantage of the early-bird prices, please CLICK HERE
  • Stress can lead to weight gain and other negative impacts on your health. If you’re feeling stressed, try exercising as a healthy outlet. 
  • Chew your food! Taking longer to chew and enjoy what you are eating can actually help you get more nutrients.
  • Do you need to come up with a great, creative idea? Try taking a walk! A recent study demonstrated that walking can help boost creative thinking abilities. 
  • A lot of different activities count as exercise, so to find an activity you will do regularly pick one that you enjoy!
  • Both too little and too much sleep can negatively impact your health - try to stick with seven to nine hours per night.
Connect with the OAC
Thank You!
Thank you for subscribing to the Obesity Action Alert, the OAC's FREE monthly e-newsletter. To learn more about the OAC or to join the Coalition as a member, please visit
Thank you,
Obesity Action Coalition
Getting to Know Us – A New OAC Blog Series! - The OAC is made up of a great group of dedicated individuals, some who have been with the organization since it was founded more than nine years ago. This month, we’re proud to offer an inside look at the OAC National Board of Directors and staff through a series of posts featured on the OAC Blog. Each of these posts offers a 10 Question interview with all of the Board members and OAC staff.

This is the best way for you to learn more about the thought leaders behind the OAC. If you want to know how each person became involved with our efforts, and get a peek at their personality, be sure to check out all the new posts in the series by CLICKING HERE. The OAC Blog will continue this series, with new posts from staff members and each member of the OAC Board, throughout the month of June.

The Your Weight Matters Campaign is Now Available En Español! -With more than 42 percent of the Hispanic population in the United States affected by obesity, it is important to be able to offer weight-related resources and education to this community. We are proud to announce that the Your Weight Matters Campaign is now available in Spanish.

The Your Weight Matters Campaign, founded by the OAC, is a National health awareness initiative to help individuals recognize that weight and health go hand-in-hand, and encourage individuals to talk to their healthcare provider about their weight.
If you have Spanish-speaking friends, family, coworkers or others you know – please share this great resource to help them achieve better health. To view the new "En Español" section and resources, please
The OAC Welcomes Three New Members and One Returning Member to the OAC Chairman’s Council – The OAC is pleased to welcome the addition of three new members to the OAC Chairman’s Council, along with one returning Council Member. Arena Pharmaceuticals and Takeda Pharmaceuticals both joined at the Silver level within the Council, and The Obesity Society (TOS) officially joined the Council at the Patron level. We are also excited that EnteroMedics has recently renewed their commitment to the OAC through the Chairman’s Council.

Arena Pharmaceuticals has supported the OAC throughout the past several years and we are pleased to welcome them as a Silver level member of the Chairman’s Council. Arena is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing novel drugs to address unmet medical needs. We appreciate the support of Arena, in addition to their commitment to providing more tools in the toolbox for patients.

Also joining the OAC Chairman’s Council at the Silver level is Takeda Pharmaceuticals. Based on the philosophy of "Takeda-ism" (Integrity: Fairness, Honesty and Perseverance) developed over its long history, Takeda conducts activities according to the mission to “strive toward better health for people worldwide through leading innovation in medicine.” The OAC is pleased that Takeda has taken their support of the OAC and patients to the next level through their membership in the Council.

The Obesity Society has also joined as a new member of the OAC Chairman’s Council at the Patron level, though has been a long-time partner of the OAC in our efforts to improve access to obesity treatments and eradicate weight bias. TOS is the leading scientific society that studies obesity, committed to encouraging research on the causes and treatment of obesity, and to keeping the medical community and public informed of new advances. TOS is also a member of the Obesity Care Continuum (OCC), which is a joint organizational effort leading the advocacy charge through raising awareness of obesity, advocating for access to evidence-based treatment and working to eradicate weight bias and stigma.

This month, we would also like to thank EnteroMedics for renewing their support at the Patron level. EnteroMedics has been a member of the OAC Chairman’s Council since 2009 and are the developers of VBLOC Therapy, which is a newly-emerging device (under review by the FDA next month) designed to address obesity and its co-morbidities such as diabetes and hypertension. The OAC is excited to have our long-time member once again renew their commitment at the Patron level of the Chairman’s Council.

The OAC appreciates the support of all Chairman’s Council Members and welcomes any individual, company or organization interested in making a difference in the lives of patients to join. To learn more about the highest level of membership in the OAC, please
Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) • 4511 N Himes Ave, Suite 250 • Tampa, FL 33614
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