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Tackling obesity while preventing obesity stigma
  1. Jonathan C Darling1,2,
  2. Mary C J Rudolf3,
  3. Francesco Rubino4,
  4. Anne Greenough5
  1. 1Division of Women's and Children's Health, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
  2. 2Paediatric Medicine, Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds, UK
  3. 3Department of Population Health, Azrieli Faculty of Medicine, Bar-Ilan University, Safed, Galil Elyon, Israel
  4. 4Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery, School of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine & Sciences, King's College London, London, UK
  5. 5Department of Women and Children's Health, School of Life Sciences, Faculty of Life Science and Medicine, King's College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jonathan C Darling, Division of Women's and Children's Health, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9NL, UK; j.c.darling{at}


Obesity is a significant public health problem. Prevalence is rising in children and young people, with lifelong health impacts and implications for paediatric clinical practice. Obesity stigma is increasingly acknowledged as a problem within health services. Health professionals can inadvertently contribute to this stigma, which is harmful and in itself can promote weight gain. A complex web of factors contributes to obesity, and a simplistic approach exclusively focused on personal responsibility, diet and exercise is unhelpful. A more nuanced, sensitive and informed approach is needed, with careful use of language and non-judgemental partnership working.

  • Obesity
  • Child Health
  • Child Health Services
  • Paediatrics
  • Epidemiology

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  • Contributors JCD, FR and AG conceived the idea for the article. JCD, MCJR, FR and AG agreed the overall approach. JCD wrote an initial draft. JCD, MCJR, FR and AG added significant contributions and revisions and agreed the final manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests FR reports receiving investigator-initiated research grants from Ethicon (Johnson & Johnson), Novo Nordisk and Medtronic; receiving consulting fees from GI Dynamics; receiving speaking honoraria from Medtronic, Ethicon and Novo Nordisk; and serving (unpaid) as a member of the scientific advisory board for Keyron and member of DSMB for GI Metabolic Solution.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.