Weight Discrimination

Overweight and obese women are prone to a daily menu of discrimination, harassment, or plain old rudeness a new study suggests. The conclusion published in the Journal of Health Psychology follows an analysis of “stigma diaries” that were kept by 50 overweight and obese women. At an average age of about 38 all were recruited from public weight discussion forums. All spent a week jotting down incidents in which they felt slighted as a result of their excess weight. In the end, the group registered nearly 1100 stigmatizing events equal to about 3 negative encounters per day, per person. 84% said they ran into physical barriers. Roughly three-quarters said strangers made nasty comments, stared at them, or made negative assumptions based on their weight. And more than 1/5 said their weight provoked some form of job discrimination. 12% even said they had been physically attacked because of their body status. The researchers say these findings suggest that weight stigma may be much more common than previously thought.

I’m Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with news from today that can lead to healthy tomorrows.

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