Because it contains information that may no longer be accurate, this article should only be considered a historical document. The Journal of American College Health recently examined factors that influence college students?
The alarming rates of obesity have brought widespread attention to the medical consequences of this public health problem.
Often ignored, however, are the social and personal obstacles that individuals with excess weight or obesity face.
Bias, stigma, and discrimination due to weight are frequent experiences for many individuals with obesity, which have serious consequences for their personal and social well being and emotional health. Given that at least half of the American population is overweight, the number of people potentially faced with discrimination and stigmatization is immense.
Weight Stigma Plays a Role in Everyday Life At Work There is clear evidence of weight stigma and bias in multiple aspects of daily life for individuals with obesity. Negative perceptions of persons with obesity exist in employment settings where employees with obesity are viewed as less competent, lazy and lacking in self-discipline by their co-workers and employers.
These attitudes can have a negative impact on wages, promotions and decisions about employment status for employees with obesity. Research studies also show that applicants with obesity are less likely to be hired than thinner applicants, despite having identical job qualifications.
There are also increasing legal cases emerging where employees with obesity have been fired or suspended because of their weight, despite demonstrating good job performance and even though their body weight was unrelated to their job responsibilities.
In School Multiple forms of weight stigmatization also occur in educational settings.
Students with obesity face numerous obstacles, ranging from harassment and rejection from peers at school, to biased attitudes from teachers, lower college acceptances and wrongful dismissals from college. The severity of this problem is highlighted by research which shows that stigma toward overweight students begins very early.
For example, negative attitudes have been reported among pre-school children ages three to five who associated overweight peers with characteristics of being mean, stupid, ugly, unhappy, lazy and having few friends. In Healthcare Settings Unfortunately, weight stigma also exists in healthcare settings.
Negative attitudes about overweight patients have been reported by physicians, nurses, dietitians, psychologists, and medical students.
Research shows that even healthcare professionals who specialize in the treatment of obesity hold negative attitudes. It is not yet known how bias among healthcare professionals affects the quality of care they provide to patients with obesity.
However, some studies have indicated that patients with obesity are reluctant to seek medical care, and may be more likely to delay important preventative healthcare services and cancel medical appointments. One reason for these experiences may be weight bias in healthcare settings.
How Obesity is Perceived Impacts the Negative Stigma Perceptions about the causes of obesity may be partially responsible for this stigma and bias. Assumptions that obesity can be prevented by self-control, that patient non-compliance explains failure at weight-loss, and that obesity is caused by emotional problems, are all examples of attributions that contribute to negative attitudes.
Additional research suggests that beliefs about the causality and stability of obesity are also important factors contributing to negative attitudes.
For example, studies show that individuals with obesity are more likely to be stigmatized if their overweight condition is perceived to be caused by controllable factors compared to uncontrollable factors e.
Individuals with obesity suffer terribly from this, both from direct discrimination and from more subtle forms of bias and stigma that are frequently encountered.
Given how pervasive and acceptable weight stigma is in our society, transforming societal attitudes and enacting laws that prohibit discrimination based on weight are needed in order to eliminate the problem of stigma toward individuals with obesity.
Although this requires enormous efforts, there are other important steps that can be taken by both patients and their healthcare providers to help improve the daily functioning and well-being of individuals with obesity.
Patients as Advocates Patients who are struggling with weight stigma can begin to approach this problem by becoming advocates for themselves. This includes identifying situations in which they have been stigmatized because of their weight and deciding how best to handle the situation to achieve positive emotional health to help prevent additional stigma from occurring.
An Important Role for Healthcare Professionals Healthcare can easily become a negative and shaming experience for patients with obesity because of weight stigma. Therefore, healthcare professionals have an extremely important role to play in addressing the problem of weight bias.
Motivation and Consequences of Lying. A Qualitative Analysis of Everyday Lying Motivation and Consequences of Lying. A Qualitative Analysis of Everyday Lying. Beata Arcimowicz, Katarzyna Cantarero & Emilia Soroko. and emotional reaction of an exclusively negative character as negative consequences of lying. The sub-theme . Fear, stigma and discrimination have many negative effects, not just on people infected, but also on families and society in general. Individuals infected by HIV/AIDS suffer deep psychological effects from the stigma and discrimina-. Internalized stigma is the extent to which those negative attributes and beliefs about people living with HIV are endorsed and accepted internally. Anticipated stigma represents the extent to which a person living with HIV expects to experience enacted stigma (Rueda et al., ).
Encouraging patients to share their experiences of stigma and to help them feel less isolated in these experiences is an important first step. These tools can help reduce the tendency of individuals with obesity to internalize negative stereotypes of obesity and blame themselves, both of which can negatively impact emotional well-being.
A second role for healthcare professionals is to address the issue of weight bias within themselves, their medical staff, and colleagues. Education can help increase awareness among healthcare professionals about the pervasiveness and consequences of weight bias and can also encourage providers to adopt a more accurate and empathic understanding of their patients with obesity.
Finally, healthcare professionals can do a great service to their patients with obesity by improving the physical and social environment of healthcare settings. Healthcare professionals can also improve their interpersonal interactions with patients with obesity by being sensitive to situations of embarrassment for patients, such as weighing patients in a private and sensitive matter, without judgmental commentary.
Providers can also help by emphasizing goals of health and fitness behaviors rather than only the number on the scale and celebrating positive health behavior changes made by patients.
Strategies to Deal with Weight Stigma Educate others about the stigma of obesity to help challenge negative attitudes. Obtain social support from others who are struggling with weight stigma, or from friends and family members who are supportive. Instead of avoiding enjoyable activities because of negative feelings about your weight, set goals to ease these restrictions and participate more fully in these experiences.
Rather than feeling inferior, practice positive self-talk strategies that emphasize self-acceptance and positive self-esteem. Be vocal about individual needs and positively assert these to appropriate individuals e.Why We May Never Beat Stigma.
By Maia This month saw the “Lying Dutchman”—a top social psychologist who was found to have published over 55 Tilburg University began faking studies right at the start of his career—but he apparently experienced few if any negative consequences from it until an investigation began in Fear, stigma and discrimination have many negative effects, not just on people infected, but also on families and society in general.
Individuals infected by HIV/AIDS suffer deep psychological effects from the stigma and discrimina-. Internalized stigma is the extent to which those negative attributes and beliefs about people living with HIV are endorsed and accepted internally.
Anticipated stigma represents the extent to which a person living with HIV expects to experience enacted stigma (Rueda et al., ).
Motivation and Consequences of Lying. A Qualitative Analysis of Everyday Lying Motivation and Consequences of Lying.
A Qualitative Analysis of Everyday Lying. Beata Arcimowicz, Katarzyna Cantarero & Emilia Soroko. and emotional reaction of an exclusively negative character as negative consequences of lying. The sub-theme . Public stigma is the reaction that the general population has to people with mental illness.
Self-stigma is the prejudice which people with mental illness turn against themselves. Both public and self-stigma may be understood in terms of three components: stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination.
Mental illness has wide-reaching effects on people’s education, employment, physical health, and relationships. Although many effective mental health interventions are available, people often do not seek out the care they need.