Weight Discrimination and Bullying
Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, Yale University, 309 Edwards Street, New Haven, CT 06511, USA. Electronic address: .
Best practice & research. Clinical endocrinology & metabolism
04/2013; 27(2):117-27. DOI: 10.1016/j.beem.2012.12.002
Despite significant attention to the medical impacts of obesity, often ignored are the negative outcomes that obese children and adults experience as a result of stigma, bias, and discrimination. Obese individuals are frequently stigmatized because of their weight in many domains of daily life. Research spanning several decades has documented consistent weight bias and stigmatization in employment, health care, schools, the media, and interpersonal relationships. For overweight and obese youth, weight stigmatization translates into pervasive victimization, teasing, and bullying. Multiple adverse outcomes are associated with exposure to weight stigmatization, including depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, body dissatisfaction, suicidal ideation, poor academic performance, lower physical activity, maladaptive eating behaviors, and avoidance of health care. This review summarizes the nature and extent of weight stigmatization against overweight and obese individuals, as well as the resulting consequences that these experiences create for social, psychological, and physical health for children and adults who are targeted.
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