It’s time to remove the stigma attached to people's weight

Our readers have their say on obesity, Pakistan and environmental taxes

(FILES) In this file photo taken on February 10, 2011, GeMar Neloms (C-back), a professional in the non-profit world who also has been active her entire life in the fitness area, teaches her popular spinning class at the Washington Sports Club in downtown Silver Spring, Maryland.  Americans have grown fatter in the past two decades, adding girth to their bellies and in some cases, even growing shorter, according to federal health data released Thursday, December 20, 2018. The report gave no specific reasons for the trends, which come as no surprise as the nation battles with an ongoing obesity epidemic.  / AFP / Jewel SAMAD
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With reference to your news article Lack of sleep exacerbating obesity rates among children, study reveals (December 16), those living with obesity can feel stigmatised. Ending weight stigma is one the World Obesity Federation's top five policy priorities and was the focus of this year's World Obesity Day. There are many scientific studies associating obesity with a variety of serious medical conditions. However, there are also studies that indicate that weight stigma plays a fundamental role in the development of some medical conditions. For example, it has been found that weight stigma, independent of actual obesity, correlates with increased stress hormone levels. Stress has been found to impact multiple areas of health such as blood pressure, cardiac health, visceral fat levels and insulin resistance.

We believe weight stigma is contributing considerably towards the globally rising obesity levels. We are working in four distinct areas to tackle the stigma experienced by people with obesity, including education for healthcare professionals and the wider population, and campaigning for a fair portrayal of people with obesity in the media by recommending the use of non-stigmatising imagery.

Johanna Ralston, chief executive, World Obesity Foundation

The UAE’s support of Pakistan is a wonderful gesture

It is an extremely sincere and brotherly gesture of the UAE government to stand by Pakistan in its hour of financial need by pledging support of $3 billion to boost the nation's liquidity.

Every Pakistani is grateful for this, and for many other UAE-sponsored welfare projects in Pakistan. We thank the rulers and the government of the UAE.

Mohammad Hamza, Dubai

Saving the environment doesn’t have to cost citizens

I write with reference to your opinion piece Paying people to reduce their carbon footprint could be the answer to climate change (December 16). In her comparison of the yellow vest protests in France, kickstarted by a fuel tax rise, and the revenue-neutral tax policy in Canada, columnist Rashmee Roshan Lall illustrated how climate policies work best when they don't punish ordinary working people.

K Ragavan, Bengaluru