Breaking News
October 21, 2018 - Report reveals growing impact of cannabis on young people
October 21, 2018 - NSF awards $5 million grant to help scientists magnify societal impact of research
October 21, 2018 - Fertility Rates Down for Each Urbanization Level 2007 to 2017
October 21, 2018 - Genetically engineered 3-D human muscle transplant in a murine model
October 21, 2018 - Moms’ tight work schedules may affect their children’s sleep
October 21, 2018 - AHA: No Direct Link Between Preeclampsia and Cognitive Impairment, Study Finds
October 21, 2018 - Weight loss success linked with active self-control regions of the brain
October 21, 2018 - Scripps researchers successfully test potential new smoking-cessation treatment in rodents
October 21, 2018 - More accurate and less stressful way to measure a baby’s heartbeat
October 21, 2018 - Researchers show better cardiorespiratory fitness leads to longer life
October 21, 2018 - Healthy candies for diabetic patients
October 21, 2018 - Environment impact of microplastics remains unclear
October 21, 2018 - Antibiotics for appendicitis? Surgery often not needed
October 21, 2018 - AHA and AMA recognize more than 800 medical practices, health systems for blood pressure control
October 21, 2018 - Scientists obtain clearest ever image of Ebola virus protein
October 21, 2018 - Study reveals connection between two proteins known to be hyperactive in cancer
October 21, 2018 - Gabapentin Beats Pregabalin for Chronic Sciatica
October 21, 2018 - Cosmetic surgeons offering incomplete information for breast augmentation customers
October 21, 2018 - Chronic sleep disruption in early adult life accelerates AD-related tau pathology
October 21, 2018 - Take 10 for Mindfulness – Drugs.com MedNews
October 21, 2018 - Length of breathing disruption in OSA may be better predictor of mortality risk
October 21, 2018 - ApoE4 gene linked with chronic inflammation increases risk for Alzheimer’s disease
October 21, 2018 - Mother-daughter conflict associated with suicide risk in abused adolescent girls
October 21, 2018 - Scientists molding bacteria into unnatural shapes
October 21, 2018 - High diet quality associated with lower risk of death in colorectal cancer patients
October 21, 2018 - Discharged mental health patients ‘at greater risk of dying’
October 21, 2018 - Research provides insight into neurobiology of aggression and bullying
October 21, 2018 - As billions in tax dollars flow to private Medicaid plans, Who’s minding the store?
October 21, 2018 - Neuroscientists identify brain region that appears to be related to food preference decisions
October 21, 2018 - Deaths related to air pollution in the U.S. decreased by 47% between 1990 and 2010
October 21, 2018 - Study shows correlation between spatial memory and the sense of smell
October 21, 2018 - Increased cardiorespiratory fitness associated with reduced long-term mortality
October 21, 2018 - IU researchers receive $1.55 million from NIH to improve chronic-disease management
October 21, 2018 - Income and wealth affect the mental health of Australians, study shows
October 21, 2018 - Patients with hypertension and psoriasis more often require cardiovascular interventions
October 20, 2018 - Leading hip-hop videos depict use of tobacco and marijuana products, study finds
October 20, 2018 - Dose Range of IV Ketamine for Adjunct Tx of Depression Tested
October 20, 2018 - Infants can distinguish between leaders and bullies, study finds
October 20, 2018 - Mad Cow disease found on Aberdeenshire farm
October 20, 2018 - Study identifies factors associated with prescription opioid misuse among students
October 20, 2018 - Scientists uncover key regulator of mTORC1 in cancer growth
October 20, 2018 - Pounds Regained After Weight-Loss Op Can Tell Your Doc a Lot
October 20, 2018 - Sending parents letters to fight childhood obesity doesn’t work
October 20, 2018 - Supervised aerobic exercise can support major depression treatment
October 20, 2018 - Mindfulness-based program effective for reducing stress in infertile women
October 20, 2018 - Molecule capable of halting and reverting neurodegeneration caused by Parkinson’s disease identified
October 20, 2018 - Midazolam-mediated alterations of PER2 expression may have functional consequences during myocardial ischemia
October 20, 2018 - Sweat bees are ideal for studying the genes underlying social behavior
October 20, 2018 - Weight loss success associated with brain areas involved in self-control
October 20, 2018 - KHN’s ‘What the Health?’ Republicans’ preexisting political problem
October 20, 2018 - Research provides a more complete picture of suffering caused by terrorist attacks
October 20, 2018 - Eradicating Helicobacter pylori infections may be a key treatment for Parkinson’s disease
October 20, 2018 - Breast Cancer as a Dynamic Disease
October 20, 2018 - University of Pittsburgh wins NSF grant for big data research to prevent complications from anesthesia
October 20, 2018 - Skin-to-skin contact may promote attachment between parents and preterm infants
October 20, 2018 - Recommendations Developed to Verify NGT Placement in Children
October 20, 2018 - Weight loss can be boosted fivefold thanks to novel mental imagery technique
October 20, 2018 - Children with autism are more likely to be overweight, obese
October 20, 2018 - Nurses making conscientious objections to ethically-relevant policies lack support
October 20, 2018 - Prion strain diversity may be greater than previously thought
October 20, 2018 - Antidepressant treatment may lead to improvements in sleep quality of patients with depression
October 20, 2018 - Study reports increased risk of death in children with inflammatory bowel disease
October 20, 2018 - Number of Autism Genes Now Tops 100
October 20, 2018 - Total diet replacement programmes are effective for treating obesity
October 20, 2018 - CLARIOstar used for fluorescence measurements on CSIRO’s purpose-built research vessel
October 20, 2018 - People with more copies of AMY1 gene digest starchy carbohydrates faster
October 20, 2018 - Case Comprehensive Cancer Center wins NIH grant to study health disparities
October 20, 2018 - Newly discovered compound shows potential for treating Parkinson’s disease
October 20, 2018 - High rate of non-adherence to hormonal therapy found among premenopausal early breast cancer patients
October 20, 2018 - Immunotherapy medicine found to be effective in treating uveitis
October 20, 2018 - The Pistoia Alliance Calls for Greater Collaboration to Realise Benefits of Innovation and Announces Winners of the 2018 President’s Startup Challenge
October 20, 2018 - Female internists consistently earn less than men
October 20, 2018 - Stanford team looks at dangers of teens’ vaping habits
October 20, 2018 - New approach to understanding cancers will accelerate development of better treatments
October 20, 2018 - LJI and UC San Diego awarded $ 4.5 million as part of NCI’s Cancer Moonshot initiative
October 20, 2018 - School-based HPV vaccination did not increase risky sexual behaviors among adolescent girls
October 20, 2018 - Eye discovery to pave way for more successful corneal transplants
October 20, 2018 - New analysis examines the importance of location in the opioid crisis
October 20, 2018 - Green filters increase reading speed for children with dyslexia
October 19, 2018 - Bariatric Sx Cuts Macrovascular Complications in Obesity, T2DM
Many Americans blame themselves for weight stigma

Many Americans blame themselves for weight stigma

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print
A new study by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at UConn shows that many individuals who are targets of weight bias blame themselves for the stigma they experience. Credit: Shutterstock Photo

A new study by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut shows that many individuals who are targets of weight bias also internalize the stigma directed towards them, blaming themselves for the stigma and unfair treatment they experience because of their weight.

It is well known that negative stereotypes and biases against people with obesity are widespread and this weight stigma can be harmful for physical and emotional health. Internalized weight bias has also been linked to concerning health consequences, but little is known about the prevalence of this self-directed stigma – until now.

The study, published today in the journal Obesity, found that internalized weight bias is prevalent among U.S. women and men, with high levels of internalized weight stigma in approximately 1 in 5 adults in the general population and as many as 52 percent of adults with obesity.

“Our findings indicate that internalized weight bias is common in the general population, and present among individuals across a range of body weights. Adults with high levels of weight bias internalization are more likely to be white, have a higher body-mass index, lower education and income, and be actively trying to lose weight,” says Rebecca Puhl, deputy director of the UConn Rudd Center, professor of human development and family studies at UConn, and the study’s lead author.

“In addition, people with high levels of internalization had experienced considerable weight stigma in their lives, especially being teased or treated unfairly by others because of their weight,” Puhl says.

The study involves a comprehensive analysis and comparison of internalized weight bias across three groups of American adults: 2,529 adults from a diverse national survey panel; 515 adults from a national online data collection service; and 456 members of the Obesity Action Coalition who have struggled with their weight.

The 3,504 participants completed online surveys between July 2015 and October 2016. In all three samples, participants answered questions about their demographic characteristics, weight status and dieting behavior, and history of experiencing weight stigma. They also answered questions about internalizing weight bias – the extent to which they blame themselves for stigma, apply negative weight-based stereotypes to themselves, and negatively judge themselves due to their body weight.

The key findings of the study include:

  • At least 44 percent of adults across all three samples reported average levels of weight bias internalization.
  • Among adults with the highest levels of weight bias internalization, 72 percent were women, supporting other studies showing an increased vulnerability among women compared to men.
  • 84 percent of adults with a high level of weight bias internalization reported a history of experiencing weight stigma.
  • Blacks and Latinos had lower levels of weight bias internalization compared to Whites.
  • Among adults with a high level of weight bias internalization, 86 percent were currently trying to lose weight, 78 percent reported being teased, and 58 percent reported being treated unfairly because of their weight.
  • In contrast, much smaller percentages of people with low internalization were currently trying to lose weight (21 percent), or reported being teased (17 percent) or treated unfairly (7 percent) because of their weight.

“This study provides an initial foundation to better understand the characteristics of individuals likely to internalize weight bias,” Puhl says. “With so many people vulnerable to self-stigma, there is a clear need to implement strategies to support individuals who not only experience weight stigma but also internalize these negative experiences.”


Explore further:
Race and gender affect response to weight stigma

More information:
Rebecca M. Puhl et al. Internalizing Weight Stigma: Prevalence and Sociodemographic Considerations in US Adults, Obesity (2017). DOI: 10.1002/oby.22029

Journal reference:
Obesity

Provided by:
University of Connecticut

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles