Navigation Links
Stigma weighs heavily on obese people, contributing to greater health problems
Date:3/2/2011

WASHINGTON, DC, March 1, 2011 The discrimination that obese people feel, whether it is poor service at a restaurant or being treated differently in the workplace, may have a direct impact on their physical health, according to new research from Purdue University.

"Obesity is a physiological issue, but when people have negative interactions in their social worldincluding a sense of being discriminated againstit can make matters worse and contribute to a person's declining physical health," said Markus H. Schafer, the doctoral student in sociology and gerontology who led the study. "We found that around a third of the severely obese people in the United States report facing some form of discriminatory experience, and the experience of weight discrimination plays into people's own perspective about their weight. It seems that many people are internalizing the prejudice and stigma they feel, and it contributes to stress, which ultimately affects their health."

Whether someone is overweight or obese is determined by the body mass index scale, which accounts for height, weight, and gender. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that 34% of U.S. adults are overweight and another 34% are obese. Being overweight is a predisposition for obesity, which puts people at risk for cancers, heart disease, diabetes, and other complications and quality of life issues.

The Purdue team's findings are published in the March issue of Social Psychology Quarterly. Schafer, along with Kenneth F. Ferraro, a distinguished professor of sociology, compared body mass indexes to people's health and perceptions of weight discrimination. More than 1,500 people, ages 25-74, were surveyed in 1995 and 2005 about issues related to aging and health equality as part of the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States.

"As expected, those who were obese fared worse in overall health when they were followed up with 10 years later," Schafer said. "But we found there was a difference among those who felt they were discriminated against and those who didn't."

About 11% of those who were moderately obese and 33% of those who were severely obese reported weight discrimination, and these were the individuals who had the sharpest decline over time in their functional abilities, such as the capacity to climb stairs or carry everyday items. Functional ability is a key measure for health status, Schafer said.

"We've seen considerable progress to address racial and gender discrimination in the United States, but the iceberg of weight discrimination still receives relatively little attention," said Ferraro, who studies obesity and aging. "This is an interesting paradox because as the rates of obesity rise in this country, one might expect that anti-fat prejudice would decline. Public health campaigns for weight control are needed, but the stigma that many obese persons experience also exacts a toll on health."


'/>"/>

Contact: Daniel Fowler
pubinfo@asanet.org
202-527-7885
American Sociological Association
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Actress Glenn Close to address stigma of mental illness at worlds largest brain science meeting
2. New analysis weighs lost trade, costs to control invasive species against economic damages
3. Cleaning heavily polluted water at a fraction of the cost
4. Disabling enzyme allows mice to gorge without becoming obese, new study finds
5. Study suggests obese women should not gain weight
6. Study explains potential failure of oral contraceptives with obese women
7. Owners should count calories for obese pets, consider several factors for good health
8. Improved diet and exercise alone unlikely to cure obstructive sleep apnea in obese patients
9. Moderate weight loss in obese people improves heart function
10. It can be predicted the reaction obese patients will have to a diet
11. Clinical study supports benefit of breastfeeding support for obese women
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/17/2016)... CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif. , Nov. 17, 2016  AIC announces that it ... about using NVMe storage servers in organizations that require high-performance scale-out plus high speed data transfer ... ... ... Setting ...
(Date:11/15/2016)... 15, 2016  Synthetic Biologics, Inc. (NYSE MKT: ... on the gut microbiome, today announced the pricing ... of its common stock and warrants to purchase ... price to the public of $1.00 per share ... from the offering, excluding the proceeds, if any ...
(Date:11/14/2016)... SARASOTA, Fla., Nov. 14, 2016  xG Technology, Inc. ... in providing critical wireless communications for use in challenging ... ended September 30, 2016. Management will hold a conference ... at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time (details below). ... announced a $16 million binding agreement to acquire Vislink ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... Spain , Dec. 8, 2016  Anaconda BioMed ... the development of the next generation neuro-thrombectomy system for ... appointment of Tudor G. Jovin, MD to join its ... serve as a strategic network of scientific and clinical ... the development of the ANCD BRAIN ® to ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... launch of flexible packaging for their exceptionally efficient human mesenchymal stem/stromal cell ... RoosterBio’s portfolio of bioprocess media products engineered to radically streamline culture processes, ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , ... December 08, 2016 , ... This CAST literature ... for biotech crops. The authors focus on the economic effects in countries that are ... of new biotech crops and the resultant risk of low level presence (LLP) puts ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , Dec. 8, 2016 Soligenix, Inc. ... company focused on developing and commercializing products to treat ... announced today that it will be hosting an Investor ... ET on the origins of innate defense regulators (IDRs) ... review of oral mucositis and the recently announced and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: