I have lived with a large size body for my entire life (I was born in 1946). I spent one year of my life before the age of 18 in hospitals because of my weight, which gave me the opportunity to meet people with other kinds problems. An important part of my life has been working against stigma and for better conditions for people with various kinds of health issues and impairments, and I have been active in a number of disability organizations as a representative for users and patients.
I was the first chairman of the EASO Patient Council, which was the forerunner to the ECPO. I am also a former chairman of the Swedish Association for People with Large Size (“Överviktigas Riksförbund”, ÖR, now called HOBS, “Health independent of size”) and was chairman of the Stockholm chapter of ÖR.
Prior to that I was a user representative in the Stockholm region (HSO, a collaborative organization representing users of health care), including negotiating with politicians on health care issues.
I believe in opening up the social, academic and work-related world to all people “independent of size, colour, sex, education, physical impairment etc” and in working to change the social environment for people by increasing “user involvement”, to share knowledge and experience with the community, focusing on including persons/patients in the general everyday life, which includes getting resources for this avail. To try to build bridges to the political world to open eyes towards possibilities rather than restrictions when it comes to “user participation” in the general society, in particular for people living with obesity.
Educational background: Fil.Pol.Mag, Uppsala University, MA.Spec.Ed San Francisco State University, MPH Nordic School of Public Health, (Gothenburg, Sweden) – focus on disability studies, particular on the concept of stigma and user involvement.