SOURCE: University of Calgary

University of Calgary

March 12, 2015 12:47 ET

Media Advisory: Putting People First

Two day summit aims to change perceptions of how we look at each other

CALGARY, AB--(Marketwired - March 12, 2015) - Weight bias is a term used to define negative attitudes and behaviors towards people because of their size.

In North American society, this bias most often is aimed at people who live in larger bodies, and it can be as obvious as verbal teasing or physical abuse; but it can also be seen in more subtle ways such as excluding people from activities or treating people differently because of their size.

On Thursday and Friday March 12 and 13, an invited group of academics, researchers, experts and health care leaders are gathered for a two day summit, the focus of which is the reduction of weight bias in education, public health, and health care. 

The sessions include a discussion panel responding to a newly released video about weight issues in secondary education. Attendees will also network, share experiences, and partake in working groups to develop a provincial research strategy to effectively reduce weight bias in the province of Alberta. A public forum will also take place on Thursday evening.

WHAT: Weight Bias Summit

WHEN: Thursday March 12, 11:30-1:30 pm (other times by prior arrangement)

Media are also invited to attend a public forum to be held on Thursday evening at the Parkdale Community Centre; for more details, visit:

WHERE: Blue Room, Dining Centre, University of Calgary (map attached; recommend parking in Lot #3, directly in front of Hotel Alma)

WHO: Summit organizer Shelly Russell-Mayhew, associate professor in the Werklund School of Education
Summit organizer Angela Alberga, Postdoctoral Fellow
Dr. Arya Sharma, Director of the Canadian Obesity Network
Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, University of Ottawa, blogger and author

To find the parking map, click here:

About the University of Calgary
The University of Calgary is a leading Canadian university located in the nation's most enterprising city. The university has a clear strategic direction to become one of Canada's top five research universities by 2016, where research and innovative teaching go hand in hand, and where we fully engage the communities we both serve and lead. This strategy is called Eyes High, inspired by the university's Gaelic motto, which translates as 'I will lift up my eyes.' 
For more information, visit Stay up to date with University of Calgary news headlines on Twitter @UCalgary. For details on faculties and how to reach experts go to our media center at 

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Contact Information

  • Media Contacts

    Betty Rice
    Senior Communications Manager
    Werklund School of Education
    (cell) 403.966.0776

    Don McSwiney
    Director of Communications and Marketing
    Faculty of Kinesiology
    (cell) 403.852.7652