“Fat” Jokes Aren’t Funny
People who find “fat jokes” funny are more likely to dislike overweight people, to believe stereotypes about them (for instance, that they are lazy or unintelligent), and to believe that being overweight is under a person’s control. In a study, more than 500 people watched clips containing fat-related jokes from popular TV shows such as Mike and Molly and movies including Fat Actress. Participants were asked to rate how funny or offensive they thought the videos were and how the videos made them feel. They then completed questionnaires about their attitudes toward heavy people. Those who believed that a person is responsible for his or her obesity were less likely to say that the videos made them feel upset, sad, or angry.
Source: Psychology of Popular Media Culture, published online June 16, 2014