Obesity Image Bank
The way obesity is often portrayed and talked about in the media can create an environment where there is a lack of understanding and even a desire to shame individuals who are obese. Images used to accompany online or print news stories frequently depict obese people from unflattering angles, often inactive or consuming unhealthy food. They invariably exploit the “shock value” of focussing on abdomens/lower bodies, excluding heads from the frame.
Through our Action Initiative we are creating a gallery of free-to-use images across a range of cultural settings that can be used to illustrate advocacy and information materials on a wide range of subjects. This will also ensure that accurate, non-biased, respectful images are widely available and that more stakeholders are aware of the importance of using such images. The first phase of the Image Bank will launch in May 2016.
In the US, the Rudd Center has created a free to access Media Gallery and we have supported their approach on this. The difference we aim to make with our 'Image Bank', comes from the fact that World Obesity works globally. The Rudd Center's images are focused on obesity in the US, which is clear from settings and the representation of the people in the images. Our aim is to ensure that images are available that reflect the global face of obesity and that our entire membership can utilise.
In addition to providing professionally produced images we will encourage our Member Associations and other stakeholders to submit their own images for consideration for inclusion in the 'Image Bank'.
We will also link to other existing image banks and to guidelines developed specifically for media provided by other organisations such as the European Association for the Study of Obesity, the Obesity Action Coalition and the Canadian Obesity Network.