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:6/14/2017)... PARIS , June 15, 2017  IBM (NYSE: IBM ... the international tech event dedicated to developing collaboration between startups ... on June 15-17. During the event, nine startups will ... deliver value in various industries. ... in the international market, with a 30 percent increase in ...
(Date:5/16/2017)... DALLAS , May 16, 2017   ... for health organizations, and MD EMR Systems ... certified development partner for GE, have established a ... Patient Portal product and the GE Centricity™ products, ... Centricity EMR. These new integrations ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... The global military biometrics market ... by the presence of several large global players. The ... major players - 3M Cogent, NEC Corporation, M2SYS Technology, ... 61% of the global military biometric market in 2016. ... military biometrics market boast global presence, which has catapulted ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... September 20, 2017 , ... From industry leaders, sports stars, and ... medicine failed. Many of these people had lost all hope. Their stories ... Free Download (pdf) , “Neil takes readers on a riveting journey through ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... ... September 19, 2017 , ... ... fume hood and a high-performance fume hood. Along with the advantages and disadvantages ... for ductless vs. ducted hoods in the laboratory. , Attendees will learn from ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... , ... September 19, 2017 , ... ... biological outbreak is about to be eliminated, said Lyle Probst, President, CEO and ... FireflyDX™ technologies different than other pathogen detection solutions, Probst said, “Sample preparation ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... ... September 19, 2017 , ... ... of Financial Services (NYS DFS) cybersecurity regulations have transitioned into full ... insurance organizations operating in the state (“Covered Entities”) to conduct an annual, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: