Weight Bias Summit


Despite decades of research demonstrating the negative impact of weight bias on individuals’ health and social well being, only a few efforts to reduce it have been identified. Furthermore, consensus on key messages and strategies to reduce weight bias is lacking, making it difficult to evaluate the impact of weight bias reduction interventions as a whole. Building on the 1st Canadian Weight Bias Summit (2011) and the 2nd Weight Bias Summit (2015), which focus on raising awareness about weight bias and identifying research gaps respectively, the 3rd summit will use a more practical approach in order to create opportunities for future action.


The objective of the 3rd Weight Bias Summit is to share best practices and move towards consensus on key messages and strategies to reduce weight bias in order to better evaluate the impact of these efforts locally, provincially and nationally through research, education and action.


This two-day summit will bring together individuals living with obesity, researchers studying weight bias, health professionals and knowledge translation experts.


Using a reflexive dialogue method, the summit will explore the following questions:

  1. How? (Explanation): How is weight bias experienced, addressed and contested by individuals living with obesity, health professionals and other obesity stakeholders?
  2. What? (Description): What are some weight bias reduction interventions and resources available in Canada?
  3. So What? (Synthesis): What are some common messages, strategies, principles and language used from existing weight bias interventions that we can all agree will advance changes in practice and policy?
  4. Now What? (Action): How can we incorporate these messages, strategies, principles and language into future weight bias reduction interventions?


On the first day, summit participants will share their experiences with weight bias and weight bias reduction strategies. We will also learn about best practices from stigma reduction efforts in other populations and communities. On the second day, participants will work towards consensus on common messages, strategies, principles, and/or language used from existing weight bias research and practice that we can all agree will advance changes in practice and policy. Participants will also discuss ways in which we can implement these messages, strategies, and/or principles into practice and policy action.


The results of this workshop will be used in future collaborative action (e.g. research grants, knowledge translation initiatives to the public, health professionals, and policy makers) that the Canadian Obesity Network (under the umbrella of the EveryBODY Matters Collaborative) and partners can utilize and implement to reduce weight bias and obesity stigma in Canada.

The following concrete deliverables are expected to come out of this workshop:

  • An inventory of weight bias reduction interventions, approaches and resources (including education curriculum) available in Canada.
  • A set of common messages from existing weight bias interventions that can be used/evaluated in future research and knowledge translation initiatives by stakeholders in respective sectors.
  • A clear plan of action for stakeholders in each sector (health care settings, education, public policy) to tailor these common messages and incorporate them into future weight bias interventions in their particular sector.
  • A consensus statement will be submitted for publication as a collaborative effort from all of our partners.


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Obesity Canada


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