The OAC’s Respect Pledge – Good Anytime, Anywhere

One week from today the Obesity Action Coalition’s annual convention, Your Weight Matters 2015 kicks in to gear with some advocacy training in the afternoon and the opening kick-off that evening. And once again, a record breaking attendance is expected.

The OAC is all about giving a voice to individuals affected by the disease of obesity, and with nearly 50,000 members – that’s a lot of individuals. Obesity is a complicated disease with a myriad of causes, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to dealing with it. Obesity also has so many different ways it can effect people. Sure, there’s the physical health – from hypertension to diabetes to joint issues and more. Then there’s the mental health side of things with issues around self-esteem, depression, etc. And on top of that you have to factor in the social stigma of bias.

As a group, the OAC is there to support folks, no matter what their choice is for treatment options, no matter where they are in their fight against obesity. The upcoming Your Weight Matters Convention is going to bring together hundreds of these folks, and when you get that diverse a group of people together under one roof, you’re bound to have… conflicts. I don’t mean physical altercations, but conflicts of ideas, ideals, motivations, and the like. With that in mind, they’ve put forth a Commitment to Respect for YWM… though it’s something worth keeping in mind well beyond the event.


It’s a pretty simple idea really. As an attendee at YWM2015, you’re simply asked to keep the following in mind, pledging to:

  • RESPECT the different paths and journeys of my fellow attendees.
  • ACKNOWLEDGE that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to treating obesity and personal decisions to addressing/not addressing weight should be free from ridicule.
  • SHOW my fellow attendees RESPECT whether or not I agree with any opinions they share.
  • MAINTAIN a courteous, decorous, civil attitude with fellow participants.
  • HELP create an environment where all participants feel socially, emotionally, intellectually and physically SAFE!

It seems like something like this shouldn’t really be needed. Unfortunately… Well, looking at the bariatric surgery community in general, folks can sometimes get a bit zealous about their support for the type of surgery they have had. I’ve seen too many times in various online forums/groups where people tout their surgery choice as THE best option, that other options will not work/work as well.

The OAC is agnostic when it comes to treating obesity, the goal is to help make sure we have options, so that each individual has access to the option that they feel is best for them.

I’m looking forward to another great convention, if you’re going to be there, let me know, and be sure to come say hi!


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