Weight discrimination and stigma can have significant consequences on somebody with obesity.
Weight bias are negative attitudes and beliefs we have about people living in larger bodies. Obesity stigma are deeply ingrained social stereotypes associated with obesity and people affected by obesity. Weight discrimination is the unjust treatment of individuals because of their weight. Weight bias, stigma and discrimination can have significant physical, psychological and psychosocial consequences. Obesity stigma can increase risk for obesity (e.g. increased stress hormones that promote weight gain, behaviours that promote weight gain such as avoiding health promoting environments for fear of being shame and blamed for one’s weight). Obesity stigma can also have social and economic consequences for individuals living with obesity, such as fewer opportunities for education and employment.
Internalized weight bias, or self-directed bias, is the extent to which individuals living with obesity endorse negative weight-biased beliefs about themselves and can impact health and obesity management outcomes.