Members of the Association for the Study of Obesity on the Island of Ireland (ASOI) supported and collaborated with the Irish Coalition for People Living with Obesity (ICPO) in the creation of the new European image bank designed to help curb obesity stigma.
The project was developed by the European Coalition for People Living with Obesity (ECPO) as part of an effort to change negative perceptions of those living with obesity. The bank, which has been praised by the WHO, features a selection of volunteer models from Ireland alongside 11 other European Countries.
Dr Jean O'Connell, ASOI Chair, condemned the bias and discrimination faced by those living with this disease: 'obesity stigma can have devastating social and health impacts', while leading to 'significant physiological and psychological consequences'.
In the face of widespread stigma, Susie Birney, ICPO Executive Director, asserted the importance of positive imagery, especially in the context of media portrayals that 'perpetuate stereotyped portrayals of people living with obesity and reinforce the social acceptability of weight bias'.