Weight Bias in Racial and Ethnic Groups

Weight bias isn’t the same for everyone. We know that a person’s cultural identity plays a key role in their everyday life, but did you know that it also impacts how much weight bias they experience and how they experience it?
Over 40% of minorities have experienced weight bias
Over 80% of minorities believe that weight bias exists in today’s society
Over 43% of all minority groups have been teased because of their weight

Our ethnicity influences our language, religion, customs and helps shape our identity. Unfortunately, it can also determine our experience with weight bias.

Understanding Weight Bias in Communities of Color

The United States is a melting pot of different ethnic groups and the country’s ethnic landscape keeps growing every year. Understanding the differences between ethnic groups and their experiences is crucial to building a better world. However, trying to understand the differences among other cultural groups can be difficult if you are not part of that group.

To better understand how weight bias is affected by one’s background/cultural experience, the Obesity Action Coalition recently placed surveys among four U.S. groups: all adults, Black/African American adults, Latino/Hispanic adults, and Asian/Pacific Islander adults. Here are some of the key findings:

47% of Blacks/African Americans and 47% of Latinos/Hispanics and say they’ve experienced weight bias compared to 42% of all adults.
18% of Asians/Pacific Islanders and 29% of Blacks/African Americans say they’ve experienced weight bias in health care compared to 10% of all adults.
32% of Latinos/Hispanics and 26% Asians/Pacific Islanders say they’ve experienced weight bias in employment compared to 11% of all adults.
31% of Asians/Pacific Islanders and 30% of Latinos/Hispanics say they’ve experienced weight bias in education compared to 14% of all adults.

In order to be a part of the solution, we must first understand where bias comes from, how it is formed, and how it is experienced. Learning how weight bias affects communities of color is an important step to pushing equality forward and building a better world – free of weight bias.

What can I do to #StopWeightBias ?

1. Ask yourself if you hold negative opinions about people with excess weight. If so, remember obesity is a complex disease with multiple causes including genetic, biological, and other noncontrollable factors.

2. Challenge people who express negative opinions about people with excess weight.

3. Be Part of the Solution. With your help, we can build a better world, free of weight bias. We deserve a world where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.

Join the movement to Stop Weight Bias!
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