Changing the global obesity narrative to recognize and reduce weight stigma: A position statement from the World Obesity Federation

Sarah Nutter, Laura A. Eggerichs, Taniya S. Nagpal, Ximena Ramos Salas, Christine Chin Chea, Shubo Saiful, Johanna Ralston, Olivia Barata-Cavalcanti, Claudia Batz, Louise A. Baur, Susie Birney, Sheree Bryant, Kent Buse, Michelle I. Cardel, Aastha Chugh, Ada Cuevas, Mychelle Farmer, Allison Ibrahim, Ishu Kataria, Catherine KotzTed Kyle, Sara le Brocq, Vicki Mooney, Clare Mullen, Joe Nadglowski, Margot Neveux, Karin Papapietro, Jaynaide Powis, Rebecca M. Puhl, Bernardo Rea Ruanova, Jessica F. Saunders, Fatima Cody Stanford, Ogweno Stephen, Kwang Wei Tham, Agbo Urudinachi, Lesly Vejar-Renteria, Danielle Walwyn, John Wilding, Saifullah Yusop

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Weight stigma, defined as pervasive misconceptions and stereotypes associated with higher body weight, is both a social determinant of health and a human rights issue. It is imperative to consider how weight stigma may be impeding health promotion efforts on a global scale. The World Obesity Federation (WOF) convened a global working group of practitioners, researchers, policymakers, youth advocates, and individuals with lived experience of obesity to consider the ways that global obesity narratives may contribute to weight stigma. Specifically, the working group focused on how overall obesity narratives, food and physical activity narratives, and scientific and public-facing language may contribute to weight stigma. The impact of weight stigma across the lifespan was also considered. Taking a global perspective, nine recommendations resulted from this work for global health research and health promotion efforts that can help to reduce harmful obesity narratives, both inside and outside health contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13642
JournalObesity Reviews
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Obesity Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of World Obesity Federation.


  • global health
  • obesity
  • weight stigma

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Review


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