Stigma and the perpetuation of obesity

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    89 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Even as obesity rates reach new highs, the social stigmatization of obesity seems to be strengthening and globalizing. This review identifies at least four mechanisms by which a pervasive environment of fat stigma could reinforce high body weights or promote weight gain, ultimately driving population-level obesity. These are direct effects through behavior change because of feeling judged, and indirect effects of social network changes based on stigmatizing actions and decisions by others, psychosocial stress from feeling stigmatized, and the structural effects of discrimination. Importantly, women and children appear especially vulnerable to these mechanisms. The broader model provides an improved basis to investigate the role of stigma in driving the etiology of obesity, and explicates how individual, interpersonal, and structural dimensions of stigma are connected to variation in health outcomes, including across generations.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)152-158
    Number of pages7
    JournalSocial Science and Medicine
    Volume118
    Issue numberC
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 2014

    Fingerprint

    Obesity
    Emotions
    demographic situation
    stigmatization
    body weight
    etiology
    Stereotyping
    social network
    discrimination
    Social Support
    Weight Gain
    Fats
    Body Weight
    health
    Stigma
    Health
    Population

    Keywords

    • Embodiment
    • Gender
    • Obesity
    • Stigma
    • Stress
    • Weight gain

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Health(social science)
    • History and Philosophy of Science

    Cite this

    Stigma and the perpetuation of obesity. / Slade, Alexandra.

    In: Social Science and Medicine, Vol. 118, No. C, 2014, p. 152-158.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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