Our expert panel of Professor Stephen Simpson, Emily Maguire, Louise Stone and Catherine Pelle sets the record straight on the causes of obesity, and explains why the finger of blame should not be pointed at the individual.
The misconception that obesity develops within an individual purely as a result of gluttony or sloth remains prevalent within the Australian community and underlies much of the discussion around strategies to address the problem. The prevailing narrative is that obesity is a result of personal failings, and therefore the solutions must come from the individual and should not impinge upon the rest of the community.
How is it then that two out of three adults and one quarter of children in Australia are already overweight or obese?
The truth is that obesity in any individual results from a complex interplay of biological predisposition with the social, political and economic environment that drives behaviours. As such, it is a societal problem requiring whole-of-community solutions. This does not diminish each person’s requirement to commit to appropriate behaviours to maintain a healthy weight for themselves and their children, but society also needs to commit to providing an environment that supports rather than inhibits their efforts to achieve these outcomes. Failure to accept our communal responsibility for the drivers and solutions to obesity results in the discrimination and stigmatisation of individuals who are already affected by the consequences of it.
This event will explore the role of weight stigma and ‘obesophopbia’ as a barrier to collective action on obesity. It will explore how a change in the narrative around this issue will lead to real and measurable progress in the fight against the obesity epidemic.
This event was held on Thursday 29 November, 2018 at the University of Sydney.
Monday 3 December
Australian Local Hero of the Year and proud University of Sydney graduate Eddie Woo returns to campus to show us the spellbinding world of maths that surrounds us.
Sunday 9 December
Join us to reflect on Australia's human rights record, with a keynote address from Gillian Triggs, as well as responses from Tanya Plibersek and Elizabeth Evatt in this event, co-presented with the Evatt Foundation.
Monday 10 December
Our expert panel showcases some of the most innovative and original human rights work being done in Australia today, and facilitates a lively conversation about what we all need to do to forge vibrant forms of human rights action for the next 70 years.