Overweight and obese men, women and children are forced to deal with the
social stigmas associated with their excess weight on a daily basis. Ranging
from name calling to physical obstacles, such as being unable to fit in
an airplane seat, affects individuals all too frequently. In addition
to derogatory terms or physical abuse, other stigmas include illegal employment
discrimination, medical equipment that is too small to accommodate an
obese person, and popular clothing stores not carrying sizes large enough.
In the work force, many applicants include a picture of themselves on their
resume. According to the Obesity Society, studies have shown that applications
and resumes submitted with a photograph of an overweight individual are
less likely to be hired. Along with that, overweight individuals face
negative stereotypes in the work place. They are seen to be lazy, less
competent, less conscientious, and inferior role models compared to others
in the company.
Children in schools face similar issues. Overweight children are more likely
to face teasing and ridicule from their classmates. The teachers as well
may act differently and negatively to his or her student.
A weight bias that causes problems for a variety of individuals is that
some medical professionals may not treat obese individuals with the same
respect as their thinner patients. Many times in response to these negative
attitudes, obese individuals choose to skip out on medical care, simply
to avoid seeing a doctor who makes them feel unwelcomed and uncomfortable.
If you have feel as though you are not getting the care from your doctor
that you deserve, it’s time to make a change. We can help you answer
the difficult questions of how to pick a new doctor by reading:
How to Choose a New Doctor.
Research has shown that victims of weight biases and stigmas have an increase
in depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. Even more unfortunate, recent
studies demonstrate a positive association between obesity and suicidal
attempts among youth, again as noted by the Obesity Society.
It is both important and necessary that social stigmas and weight biases
be removed. In order to do so, be sure to create an environment where
all shapes are appreciated, rather than judging based on an individual’s
size. Be sure to understand that losing weight is difficult, and that
you are there for them as support. Recognize that obesity is complex,
and do not look down upon anyone simply because they are overweight.
If you are struggling with excess weight, get help with
Torrance Memorial’s Weight Loss Programs today.