Weight-related stigma is a significant psychosocial stressor in developing countries: Evidence from Guatemala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Weight-related stigma is established as a major psychosocial stressor and correlate of depression among people living with obesity in high-income countries. Anti-fat beliefs are rapidly globalizing. The goal of the study is to (1) examine how weight-related stigma, enacted as teasing, is evident among women from a lower-income country and (2) test if such weight-related stigma contributes to depressive symptoms. Modeling data for 12,074 reproductive-age women collected in the 2008-2009 Guatemala National Maternal-Infant Health Survey, we demonstrate that weight-related teasing is (1) experienced by those both underweight and overweight, and (2) a significant psychosocial stressor. Effects are comparable to other factors known to influence women's depressive risk in lower-income countries, such as living in poverty, experiencing food insecurity, or suffering sexual/domestic violence. That women's failure to meet local body norms-whether they are overweight or underweight-serves as such a strong source of psychological distress is particularly concerning in settings like Guatemala where high levels of over- and under-nutrition intersect at the household and community level. Current obesity-centric models of weight-related stigma, developed from studies in high-income countries, fail to recognize that being underweight may create similar forms of psychosocial distress in low-income countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-60
Number of pages6
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Volume161
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016

Fingerprint

Guatemala
Developing Countries
developing country
Thinness
Weights and Measures
low income
nutrition
evidence
income
Obesity
nutrition situation
Depression
domestic violence
Domestic Violence
Food Supply
Sex Offenses
Poverty
infant
Health Surveys
poverty

Keywords

  • Depression
  • Guatemala
  • Obesity
  • Psychological stress
  • Stigma
  • Weight-stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Cite this

@article{ece8e227fd9d4d91bb375ce9ba5596b2,
title = "Weight-related stigma is a significant psychosocial stressor in developing countries: Evidence from Guatemala",
abstract = "Weight-related stigma is established as a major psychosocial stressor and correlate of depression among people living with obesity in high-income countries. Anti-fat beliefs are rapidly globalizing. The goal of the study is to (1) examine how weight-related stigma, enacted as teasing, is evident among women from a lower-income country and (2) test if such weight-related stigma contributes to depressive symptoms. Modeling data for 12,074 reproductive-age women collected in the 2008-2009 Guatemala National Maternal-Infant Health Survey, we demonstrate that weight-related teasing is (1) experienced by those both underweight and overweight, and (2) a significant psychosocial stressor. Effects are comparable to other factors known to influence women's depressive risk in lower-income countries, such as living in poverty, experiencing food insecurity, or suffering sexual/domestic violence. That women's failure to meet local body norms-whether they are overweight or underweight-serves as such a strong source of psychological distress is particularly concerning in settings like Guatemala where high levels of over- and under-nutrition intersect at the household and community level. Current obesity-centric models of weight-related stigma, developed from studies in high-income countries, fail to recognize that being underweight may create similar forms of psychosocial distress in low-income countries.",
keywords = "Depression, Guatemala, Obesity, Psychological stress, Stigma, Weight-stigma",
author = "Joseph Hackman and Jonathan Maupin and Alexandra Slade",
year = "2016",
month = "7",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.socscimed.2016.05.032",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "161",
pages = "55--60",
journal = "Social Science and Medicine",
issn = "0277-9536",
publisher = "Elsevier Limited",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Weight-related stigma is a significant psychosocial stressor in developing countries

T2 - Evidence from Guatemala

AU - Hackman, Joseph

AU - Maupin, Jonathan

AU - Slade, Alexandra

PY - 2016/7/1

Y1 - 2016/7/1

N2 - Weight-related stigma is established as a major psychosocial stressor and correlate of depression among people living with obesity in high-income countries. Anti-fat beliefs are rapidly globalizing. The goal of the study is to (1) examine how weight-related stigma, enacted as teasing, is evident among women from a lower-income country and (2) test if such weight-related stigma contributes to depressive symptoms. Modeling data for 12,074 reproductive-age women collected in the 2008-2009 Guatemala National Maternal-Infant Health Survey, we demonstrate that weight-related teasing is (1) experienced by those both underweight and overweight, and (2) a significant psychosocial stressor. Effects are comparable to other factors known to influence women's depressive risk in lower-income countries, such as living in poverty, experiencing food insecurity, or suffering sexual/domestic violence. That women's failure to meet local body norms-whether they are overweight or underweight-serves as such a strong source of psychological distress is particularly concerning in settings like Guatemala where high levels of over- and under-nutrition intersect at the household and community level. Current obesity-centric models of weight-related stigma, developed from studies in high-income countries, fail to recognize that being underweight may create similar forms of psychosocial distress in low-income countries.

AB - Weight-related stigma is established as a major psychosocial stressor and correlate of depression among people living with obesity in high-income countries. Anti-fat beliefs are rapidly globalizing. The goal of the study is to (1) examine how weight-related stigma, enacted as teasing, is evident among women from a lower-income country and (2) test if such weight-related stigma contributes to depressive symptoms. Modeling data for 12,074 reproductive-age women collected in the 2008-2009 Guatemala National Maternal-Infant Health Survey, we demonstrate that weight-related teasing is (1) experienced by those both underweight and overweight, and (2) a significant psychosocial stressor. Effects are comparable to other factors known to influence women's depressive risk in lower-income countries, such as living in poverty, experiencing food insecurity, or suffering sexual/domestic violence. That women's failure to meet local body norms-whether they are overweight or underweight-serves as such a strong source of psychological distress is particularly concerning in settings like Guatemala where high levels of over- and under-nutrition intersect at the household and community level. Current obesity-centric models of weight-related stigma, developed from studies in high-income countries, fail to recognize that being underweight may create similar forms of psychosocial distress in low-income countries.

KW - Depression

KW - Guatemala

KW - Obesity

KW - Psychological stress

KW - Stigma

KW - Weight-stigma

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84973569755&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84973569755&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.socscimed.2016.05.032

DO - 10.1016/j.socscimed.2016.05.032

M3 - Article

VL - 161

SP - 55

EP - 60

JO - Social Science and Medicine

JF - Social Science and Medicine

SN - 0277-9536

ER -