Stigma May Thwart Weight Loss in Obesity
Obese people experience an average of three stigmatizing events every day, researchers found. Unlike previous research based on stigmatizing events people recalled from their pasts, a study of 50 women focused on a week’s worth of daily diaries in which participants recorded events such as negative comments or looks, physical barriers, or job discrimination. Most common stigmatizing events were relationship-related, such as nagging from a relative to lose weight, while 76 percent of events were internalized, as evidenced by feeling that others have low expectations of them because of their size. Women who were the most stigmatized did more indoor activities and had lower dietary health, suggesting stigmas may prevent people from losing weight.
Source: Journal of Health Psychology, Spring 2014