New policy to highlight impact of 'fatphobia' introduced at by University of Bristol Students' Union

The university is calling on other institutions around the country to implement similar policies Credit: ITV News West Country

Sports teams and coaches at the University of Bristol are being told to change their language to ensure there are no stigmas around weight.

The 'Changing our language to embrace body positivity' policy has been implemented by the Students' Union and will be active for the next three years.

It means teams throughout the University that deal with sports fitness and exercise will undertake training around the harmful impact of weight stigma, diet culture and fatphobic language to develop a greater understanding of eating disorders.

The aim is to create positive change in student activities in which people of all body types will be free from facing stigma.

It is also hoped that the move will make sport and exercise less harmful for both those with eating disorders and those at risk of developing disorders.

According to the university the motion is the first of its kind in the country to be passed through a student meeting. Credit: ITV News West Country

Examples of the language the university is looking to stop

  • An example of diet culture would be: ‘let’s burn some calories’.

  • An example of fatphobic language would be: ‘let’s slim those waists’.

According to a Bristol University survey 20% of students thought they might have an eating disorder. Credit: PA Images

Peter Burrows, the Physical Activity and Health Development Officer at Bristol University Sports Exercise and Health, said that this motion is "fundamentally necessary".

He added: "As a progressive, research-driven institution we owe it to both our own and the wider community to take steps to improve here and share best practice, setting a new precedent in this arena."

Sports and Student Development Officer at Bristol SU Rushab Shah added: "Sports and exercise has a valuable role in improving student wellbeing."

A spokesperson for the University said: “No specific words are being banned but we are taking student feedback on board and will be training staff in our Sports, Exercise and Health department to be mindful of their language and to develop a greater understanding of eating disorders.”