'Weightism' increases risk for becoming, staying obese

July 24, 2013

Weight discrimination may increase risk for obesity rather than motivating individuals to lose weight, according to research published July 24 in the open access journal PLoS ONE by Angelina Sutin and Antonio Terracciano from the Florida State University College of Medicine.

The researchers compared the height and weight of over 6000 participants, measured in 2006 and 2010. They found that participants who experienced earlier were 2.5 times more likely to become obese by the follow-up assessment in 2010.

Obese participants who perceived weight discrimination in 2006 were more likely to remain obese at the later time than those who had not experienced such discrimination. Discrimination based on other factors, such as sex or race, did not appear to have the same correlation with weight. The effect of 'weightism' also appeared independent of demographic factors like age, gender, ethnicity or education. The researchers conclude that weight discrimination has further implications for obesity than just poorer mental health outcomes.

Sutin adds, "In addition to the well-known emotional and economic costs, our results suggest that weight discrimination also increases risk of obesity. This could lead to a where individuals who are overweight and obese are more vulnerable to weight discrimination, and this discrimination may contribute to subsequent obesity and difficulties with ."

Explore further: Ethical, legal aspects of docs' discrimination discussed

More information: PLoS ONE 8(7): e70048. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0070048

Related Stories

Ethical, legal aspects of docs' discrimination discussed

May 3, 2013

(HealthDay)—Recent examples of doctors refusing to treat certain patients on questionable grounds, including their weight, have triggered discussion of discrimination among doctors, according to a perspective piece published ...

Body weight and gender influence judgment in the courtroom

January 9, 2013

(Medical Xpress)—In a study that offers insight into the depth of stigmatization of overweight and obese people, researchers at the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity found that weight stigma extends to the courtroom. ...

The effects of discrimination could last a lifetime

August 27, 2012

Given the well-documented relationship between low birth weight and the increased risk of health problems throughout one's lifespan, it is vital to reduce any potential contributors to low birth weight. A new study by Valerie ...

Recommended for you

No silver bullet to beating obesity, study finds

January 10, 2017

As many seek to battle festive bulge in January, new research challenges previous findings that any single aspect of diet or lifestyle can be targeted to reduce the risk of obesity in adults with a high genetic risk of putting ...

Deeper than obesity: A majority of people is now overfat

January 3, 2017

Just in time for those making New Year's resolutions, researchers take a closer look on the current data to suggest up to 76 percent of the world's population is overfat. This amounts to an astonishing 5.5 billion people.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.