ERIC Number: EJ920315
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 53
The Stigma of Obesity: Does Perceived Weight Discrimination Affect Identity and Physical Health?
Schafer, Markus H.; Ferraro, Kenneth F.
Social Psychology Quarterly, v74 n1 p76-97 Mar 2011
Obesity is widely recognized as a health risk, but it also represents a disadvantaged social position. Viewing body weight within the framework of stigma and its effects on life chances, we examine how perceived weight-based discrimination influences identity and physical health. Using national survey data with a 10-year longitudinal follow-up, we consider whether perceptions of weight discrimination shape weight perceptions, whether perceived weight discrimination exacerbates the health risks of obesity, and whether weight perceptions are the mechanism explaining why perceived weight discrimination is damaging to health. Perceived weight discrimination is found to be harmful, increasing the health risks of obesity associated with functional disability and, to a lesser degree, self-rated health. Findings also reveal that weight-based stigma shapes weight perceptions, which mediate the relationship between perceived discrimination and health. (Contains 5 tables and 8 footnotes.)
Descriptors: Obesity, Physical Activity Level, Physical Health, Risk, Body Weight, Social Bias, Self Concept, Guidelines, National Surveys, Longitudinal Studies, Correlation, Disabilities
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
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