The Obesity Society Position on Recent Criticism of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

A person’s body weight provides no indication of an individual’s character, credentials, talents, leadership, or contributions to society. To suggest that Governor Christie’s body weight discounts and discredits his ability to be an effective political candidate is inappropriate, unjust and wrong.

Caution should be taken in making assumptions about a person’s lifestyle behaviors based on physical appearance alone. Individuals who are not struggling with their weight are not necessarily healthy. A lean body does not reveal whether or not a person smokes cigarettes, drinks excessive alcohol, eats a balanced diet, exercises regularly, or wears a seat belt. To single out a political candidate on the basis of body weight is discriminatory.

Stigmatization of individuals who are struggling with their weight results in considerable suffering, impaired quality of life, and waste of human potential. There is no place for weight bias in a just, compassionate society. The Obesity Society opposes weight bias and discrimination, including recent attacks of Governor Christie. As a leading scientific organization on obesity, The Obesity Society is committed to increasing public awareness about weight bias and its negative consequences for those affected.

SOURCE The Obesity Society