In health-related articles, images play a very important role in how messages are communicated. The purpose of this article is to show how to include body positive images in written communication.
The research article, Obesity Stigma: Important Considerations for Public Health by Puhl et al, 1 states ‘numerous studies have documented harmful weight-based stereotypes that overweight and obese individuals are lazy, weak-willed, unsuccessful, unintelligent, lack self-discipline, have poor willpower, and are noncompliant with weight-loss treatment. These stereotypes give way to stigma, prejudice, and discrimination’.
Weight stigma has been attributed to high blood pressure, unhealthy weight control and binge eating behaviours, low self-esteem, negative body image and depression among adults, adolescents and children. It is also been related to increased health risks that are normally associated with being obese.2
To create positive messages around health that don’t stigmatise body shapes and sizes consider the four tips below:
Resources that show positive images
If you would like to learn more about weight stigma in the media:
- Puhl, R. M., & Heuer, C. A. (2010). Obesity stigma: important considerations for public health. American journal of public health, 100(6), 1019-28.
- Tylka, T. L., Annunziato, R. A., Burgard, D., Daníelsdóttir, S., Shuman, E., Davis, C., & Calogero, R. M. (2014). The weight-inclusive versus weight-normative approach to health: Evaluating the evidence for prioritizing well-being over weight loss. Journal of Obesity, 2014.
Article written by Chelsea Slobbé, NZRD.
Published 4th March 2019