Beyond the effects of BMI and depression, self-directed weight stigma is associated with increased risk for cardiovascular and metabolic disease.
Beyond the effects of BMI and depression, self-directed weight stigma is associated with increased risk for cardiovascular and metabolic disease.

Early and ongoing experiences of weight stigma associated with self-directed weight shaming: Study

ANI | Updated: Jul 15, 2019 19:35 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], July 15 (ANI): People who have extra weight are often subject to weight bias prejudice. However, some people may internalise the stigma directed towards them blaming and devaluing themselves because of their weight, finds a study.
The study -- published in the journal of 'Obesity Science and Practice' -- surveyed more than 18,000 adults before reaching the conclusion.
The researchers found that participants, who internalised weight bias the most, tended to be younger, female, have a higher body mass index (BMI). They also have an earlier onset of their weight struggle. Participants, who were black or had a romantic partner, had lower levels of internalisation.
"We don't yet know why some people who struggle with their weight internalise society's stigma and others do not," said Rebecca Pearl, lead author of the study.
"These findings represent a first step towards helping us identify among people trying to manage their weight, who may be most likely to self-stigmatise. People who are trying to lose weight may be among the most vulnerable to weight self-stigma, but this issue is rarely discussed in treatment settings," said Pearl.
Research has found that beyond the effects of BMI and depression, self-directed weight stigma is associated with increased risk for cardiovascular and metabolic disease.
Participants recalled when in their life, they experienced weight stigma from other people, how frequent and how upsetting the experiences were, and who it was that called them names, rejected them, or denied them an opportunity simply because of their weight.
Results showed that almost two-thirds of the participants reported experiencing weight stigma at least once in their life, and almost half reported experiencing these events when they were children or teens. The researchers examined the relationships between these experiences and levels of self-directed stigma.
Participants who reported experiencing weight stigma from others had higher levels of internalised weight bias than those who reported no experiences of weight stigma.
Researchers said this was particularly true for participants who had weight-stigmatising experiences early in life and continued to have these upsetting experiences as adults.
People who experienced weight stigma from family members or friends, or from those in their workplace, community, or health care setting, also had greater evidence of weight self-stigma as compared to the participants who did not encounter weight stigma from those sources. (ANI)

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