Social stigma of obesity

Type of discrimination based on weight / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Social stigma of obesity is broadly defined as bias or discriminatory behaviors targeted at overweight and obese individuals because of their weight and a high body fat percentage.[1][2] Such social stigmas can span one's entire life, as long as excess weight is present, starting from a young age and lasting into adulthood.[3] Studies also indicate overweight and obese individuals experience higher levels of stigma compared to other people.[4]

In addition, they marry less often, experience fewer educational and career opportunities, and on average earn a lesser income than normal weight individuals.[3] Although public support regarding disability services, civil rights, and anti-workplace discrimination laws for obese individuals have gained support across the years, overweight and obese individuals still experience discrimination, which may have detrimental implications in relation to both physiological[5] and psychological health. These issues are compounded by the significant negative physiological effects that are already associated with obesity,[6] which some have proposed may be caused by stress from the social stigma of obesity, rather than from obesity per se.[5]

Anti-fat bias refers to prejudicial assumptions that are based on an assessment of a person as being overweight or obese. It is also known as "fat shaming" or "fatphobia". Anti-fat bias can be found in many facets of society,[7] and fat activists commonly cite examples of mass media and popular culture that pervade this phenomenon.[8][9]

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