Rises in obesity prevalence over recent decades have corresponded with increasing stigmatisation of, and discrimination against, individuals living with obesity. Widespread stereotypes characterise people with obesity as lazy, less competent, lacking in self-discipline, non-compliant, sloppy, and worthless. These stereotypes are highly prevalent and rarely challenged in Western society. Weight bias has been documented among health professionals including doctors, nurses, and psychologists, and in employers and co-workers, teachers, landlords, peers, parents, and children as young as three. As a result, individuals with obesity encounter pervasive prejudice and discrimination across a number of domains, including healthcare, employment, and interpersonal relationships.
Sarah E Jackson
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