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19.03.2020 | Brief Communication

Fighting Weight Bias and Obesity Stigma: a Call for Action

Zeitschrift:
Obesity Surgery
Autoren:
Ricardo Cohen, Scott Shikora
Wichtige Hinweise

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Abstract

Obesity is a complex medical condition, influenced by several factors. Weight bias refers to pervasive negative weight-related attitudes or beliefs, expressed as stereotypes, prejudice, and even open discrimination toward individuals because they have obesity. Obesity increases the risk of acquiring a wide range of associated diseases, as diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. This chronic disease can also impair a person’s well-being and quality of life. Nevertheless, the media, public, and even healthcare providers, including doctors, focus overwhelmingly on the contribution of individual choices and responsibility. The widely held assumptions are that individuals with obesity do not have self-control, don’t “eat wisely,” or do not want to be healthier. These assumptions are inherently linked to stereotypes and are likely to exacerbate stigmatizing attitudes towards people with obesity. Even with the growing incidence and prevalence of obesity worldwide, weight stigmatization did not recede.

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