On the 27th of October 2020 Stowelink executives, Oduor Kevin Chief Programmes Officer and Ogweno Stephen the CEO were interviewed in a one hour thirty minute show at Al Huda Tv where they talked extensively about what obesity is and what it means to use people first language for obesity. During the interview, our executives on the show insisted on people first language for obesity besides addressing the myths and misconceptions surrounding obesity.
WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW HIGHLIGHTS ON THE LINK BELOW:
So, what is people first language for obesity and why is it important?
People-first language strives to eliminate weight-bias by not labeling the person by their condition. Instead, the person is acknowledged first, followed by their condition (i.e., “person with obesity” rather than “obese person”)
People-First Language is not something new; however, it is new to the obesity community. For years, other chronic disease, such as those in the mental health and disabilities community, have adopted People-First Language and encouraged its usage in all reporting. For example, today you will see language such as:
“The man with diabetes was elderly.” instead of
“The diabetic man was elderly.”
“Individuals affected by schizophrenia are considered to have a mental illness.” instead of
“Schizophrenics have a mental illness.”
As you can see, these statements provide clear examples of People-First Language as they DO NOT label someone their disease.
How Can People-First Language Change Obesity?Quite often, you will see news stories, articles and journal entries refer to an individual with obesity as “obese.” By using “obese,” we are dehumanizing individuals affected by this disease. Here are some examples of how you can use People-First Language:
“The woman was affected by obesity.” instead of “The woman was obese.”
“The man with obesity was on the bus.“ instead of “The man on the bus was very obese.”
As you can see here, as we did above, we’re no longer labeling an individual with their disease.
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