October 11th is World Obesity Day, and Obesity Canada is highlighting how deeply ingrained weight bias in our society is a barrier to quality healthcare for people living with this chronic disease.
You read that correctly — the Canadian and American Medical Associations, the World Health Organization and other major health-focused groups now consider obesity to be a chronic disease when weight affects someone’s health. This means there is no cure, but treatments and other types of support are available.
Unfortunately, Canadians with obesity are all too often shamed and blamed for their condition within the healthcare system. More broadly, obesity is seen as personal and moral failing deserving of scorn rather than understanding and support. All too frequently, unrelated illness in people with obesity is blamed on their weight, and goes untreated.
One in four adults and one in 10 children in Canada are now living with excess weight — this means roughly six million Canadians could be affected by this disease.
They deserve better. We can do better. It’s time to #TreatObesityFairly.