The Canadian Obesity Network

The Canadian Obesity Network

December 09, 2011 13:28 ET

Media Advisory: Changing the Face of Obesity in Canada

Canadian Obesity Network Launches Stock Image Gallery to Combat Stereotypes

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Dec. 9, 2011) -

WHO: News editors, photo editors, features editors, editors/journalists covering the health beat on: childhood and adult obesity, weight loss, conditions related to obesity, prevention, treatment, surgery, weight bias and discrimination, and more.
WHAT: Photoshoot for the Perfect at Any Size stock image gallery.
WHERE: Queen of Tarts Bakery, 10129 104 Street Northwest, Edmonton, AB
WHEN: December 12th, 2011, 2pm-4pm

BACKGROUND: The Canadian Obesity Network - Réseau canadien en obésité (CON-RCO), Canada's national organization representing health professionals and other stakeholders with an interest in obesity, has launched a stock image gallery of non-stereotypical images depicting real Canadians living excess weight.

"The stereotypical depiction of 'headless' torsos that generally accompany media reports on obesity are not only demeaning, but very much promote the negative image of people living with excess weight, a key driver of the widespread weight bias and discrimination that obese people face every day," says Dr. Arya M. Sharma, scientific director, CON-RCO. "In an effort to reduce stereotypical portrayals, we are creating a series of images that will promote accurate coverage of obesity-related topics in news reporting and challenge harmful weight-based stereotypes."

The Perfect At Any Size galleries are supported by a generous grant from CON-RCO partner TOPS Club, Inc. TOPS is a non-profit organization of weight-loss support groups with nearly 10,000 chapters worldwide.

"TOPS has been supporting obesity research since 1968, and we are honoured to partner with CON-RCO on this important initiative," says Barbara Cady, TOPS Club Inc. president. "Any negative stereotyping of the obese is extremely detrimental to their progress in their weight loss efforts. Our members participated in the Yale study published by Kelly Brownell in 2010, the results which gave voice to many of their experiences and concerns. We are hopeful that this image gallery will further efforts to enhance the image of obese people as successful, happy and contributing members of society."

Join us December 12th and meet real people who live with excess weight every day. Contact Linnie Sharma at (780) 271-5599 or

Non-commercial use of the images is free. Galleries are available at

About the Canadian Obesity Network - Réseau canadien en obésité (CON-RCO)

CON-RCO was founded in 2006 to link the research, policy and practice communities to advance the development and delivery of effective obesity prevention and treatment solutions. The network's core strategies focus on addressing the stigma associated with excess weight, changing the way policy makers and health professionals approach obesity, and improving access to prevention and treatment resources. Currently, more than 5,000 professionals in Canada are members of the network. CON-RCO is hosted by the University of Alberta, and is based at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton, AB.

About TOPS CLUB Inc.

TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) Club, Inc. is a non-profit, non-commercial network of weight-loss support groups across Canada and the U.S. that offers realistic tools and programs for healthy living and weight management. Weekly meetings include private weigh-ins and professionally prepared, educational chapter programs featuring up-to-date information on nutrition, exercise, and healthy lifestyles. With nearly 32,500 men, women and children in more than 1,500 chapters across Canada, TOPS teaches that sensible balanced nutrition, portion control, changes in behaviors and regular physical activity add quality and years to members' lives. In 2010, Canadian TOPS members lost a collective 175,000 pounds.

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