Breaking Weight Bias - Promoting health without harming through digital training tools

Attention given to weight control has skyrocketed in recent years, ingraining words like ‘BMI’, ‘obesity epidemic’, and ‘diet’ into our everyday vocabulary. Since the increase of obesity prevention initiatives and campaigns, incidence of weight stigma has also increased. Although it is not socially acceptable to discriminate someone based on their weight; blaming, shaming, and ‘concern trolling’ are very common in all aspects of a person’s with excess weight life, from school to work, from their home to the doctor’s office.

Unfortunately, discrimination based on body size is prevalent in healthcare settings which leads to individuals with obesity being more reluctant to seek medical care, more likely to delay important preventative healthcare services and cancel medical appointments, and showing lower rates of adherence to medication (Amy et al., 2006). At the same time, health providers report inefficient training with regards to weight bias and stigma (Russell-Mayhew, 2016).

The main objectives of the project are to design, develop, and disseminate an innovative training framework and eventually a complete set of training material and tools about weight bias in healthcare settings as well as to make clear that treatment of obesity is more complex than the advice of “eat less-move more”. Also, the project aims to provide participants with the skills and methodological tools so they will be able to promote health without harming. The project is also aspiring to build an international network to co-create, evaluate, and help promote the Breaking Weight Bias training material to the healthcare systems and professionals all over Europe.

Starting / Ending Date

01/12/2020 – 30/11/2022

Project Coordinator



Funder: European Commission (ErasmusPlus Programme)
Grant Number: 2020-1-UK01-KA204-079106
Total Amount: 259.710,00 EUR
BBU Amount: 25.940,00 EUR

Staff from Department of Public Health

Research Assistant

Research Assistant

Project Partners

  1. Emmanouela Leounaki, Greece
  2. INOVA CONSULTANCY LTD, United Kingdom
  3. ATERMON B.V. , Netherlands

Project Outputs

Within two years, the following innovative products will ne developed with the BWB project:

The Breaking Weight Bias training course – A c0mplete set of training material that will equip healthcare professionals with the skills and knowledge to recognise and challenge negative attitudes towards weight, while giving them tools to encourage their patients to develop a better relationship with food and their body, while they focus on health and wellbeing, instead of their weight.

The Dynamic Demonstrator – An interactive tool that will enhance understanding of risks associated to weight-based stigma in healthcare and demonstrate in visual and effective ways its impact on the health of the individuals.

Breaking Weight Bias Academy, an online meeting place – An online space where users from all over the world can communicate, exchange ideas share best practices, that has the chance to become a huge network increasing the impact of the project.