Quebec Public Health Agency Conference Warns Against Weight Obsession

The mantra about the benefits of weight loss seem to be gospel in most discussions about solutions to the obesity epidemic.

It was therefore quite refreshing to follow the presentations and discussions at yesterday’s session on weight bias and discrimination at the Journées annuelles de santé publique (Québec).

One of the most innovative presentations was in fact a review of the many programs and initiatives by ÉquiLibre, a Québec non-profit organization with the mission:

“to prevent and reduce problems related to weight and body image in the population, through actions encouraging and facilitating the adoption of healthy lifestyle and developing a positive body image.”

For the past 20 years, this organization has been providing “Choose to Lose Weight?“, a program for women concerned about their weight, that focusses on size acceptance and ending the cycle of ‘yo-yo’ dieting.

For people fluent in French, the site provides ample advise on myths regarding weight loss, the potential risks of dieting and weight obsession, and tips on how to recognize ‘ethical’ weight management programs.

The ÉquiLibre site also links to an most interesting interactive site called ‘Behind the Mirror” aimed at youth, that most engagingly challenges weight and appearance stereotypes.

For non-French speaking readers, I recommend exploring the site in the Google translation mode, which does a remarkably efficient job of translating the content of these pages.

French speakers should of course browse the original site for information on ÉquiLibre.

I’d love to hear from anyone, who has participated in their courses.

Montreal, QC