Reducing weight stigma: how to practice weight-inclusive approaches in a weight-centric society

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Dietitians of Canada (DC) and Practice-Based Evidence in Nutrition (PEN)® set out to write a PEN® backgrounder on weight stigma in response to the growing concerns and feedback from our profession. Knowing the harms of weight stigma and that the vast majority of weight loss attempts result in changes to appetite, energy regulation and ultimately weight regain, many dietitians are looking for strategies to support their clients without focusing on weight.

This session provides an overview of the PEN® backgrounder on weight stigma, reviewing the evidence from both a chronic disease understanding and a social justice understanding. Dietitians will gain valuable insight and practice approaches to find common ground related to weight stigma and client-centred care.

After this presentation, listeners will be able to:

  • describe weight stigma and its impacts on dietetic practice,
  • gain an appreciation for the physiology of weight change; and
  • adopt weight-inclusive approaches in dietetic practice using a client-centred approach.

Date of presentation: June 2019, DC National Conference


  • Jennifer Brown, MSc RD is a registered dietitian with the Ottawa Hospital Bariatric Centre of Excellence. She specializes in bariatric nutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, appetite regulation and the pathophysiology of weight change while using non-weight goals to support individuals before and after bariatric surgery. Jennifer is involved with a number of initiatives across North America, including Canadian Clinical Practice Guidelines.
  • Lindsey Mazur, MSc (c) RD has worked in women’s health, specializing in and advocating for weight-inclusive approaches, eating disorders prevention as well as reducing weight stigma. For her advocacy and professional work, Lindsey was named Future Leader of Manitoba in 2014. In 2016, she founded Manitobans Against Weight Stigma to increase awareness of weight stigma and to advocate to amend the Manitoba Human Rights Code to include “physical size and weight” as a protected characteristic.
  • RD, is Chair of the DC Consulting Dietitians Network and owner of A Little Nutrition in Winnipeg.


  • Video presentation (81 minutes) with the presentation slides and handouts (pdf)
  • Audio file (mp3 file)

Cost: $19.95 for members; $24.95 for non-members; $14.95 for students

Last Updated: August 20, 2020

Type: Learning on Demand

Jennifer Brown