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Stigmatized students: age, sex, and ethnicity effects in the stigmatization of obesity.
Obes Res. 2005 Jul; 13(7):1226-31.OR

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To assess the stigmatization of obesity relative to the stigmatization of various disabilities among young men and women. Attitudes across ethnic groups were compared. In addition, these findings were compared with data showing severe stigmatization of obesity among children.

RESEARCH METHODS AND PROCEDURES

Participants included 356 university students (56% women; mean age, 20.6 years; mean BMI, 23.3 kg/m2; range, 14.4 to 45.0 kg/m2) who ranked six drawings of same-sex peers in order of how well they liked each person. The drawings showed adults with obesity, various disabilities, or no disability. These rankings were compared with those obtained through a similar procedure with 458 fifth- and sixth-grade children.

RESULTS

Obesity was highly stigmatized relative to physical disabilities. African-American women liked obese peers more than did African-American men, white men, or white women [F(1,216) = 4.02, p < 0.05]. Overweight and obese participants were no less stigmatizing of obesity than normal weight participants. Adults were more accepting than children of their obese peers [t(761) = 9.16, p < 0.001].

DISCUSSION

Although the stigmatization of obesity was high among participants overall, African-American women seemed to have more positive attitudes toward obesity than did white women, white men, or African-American men. Participants' weight did not affect their stigmatization of obesity: obese and overweight adults were as highly stigmatizing of obesity as non-overweight adults. Such internalized stigmatization could help to explain the low self-esteem and poor body image among obese young adults. However, adults seemed to have more positive attitudes about obesity than children. An understanding of the factors that limit the stigma of obesity among African-American women could help efforts to reduce stigma.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Psychology, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch, New Zealand. janet.latner@canterbury.ac.nzNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Comparative Study
Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

16076992

Citation

Latner, Janet D., et al. "Stigmatized Students: Age, Sex, and Ethnicity Effects in the Stigmatization of Obesity." Obesity Research, vol. 13, no. 7, 2005, pp. 1226-31.
Latner JD, Stunkard AJ, Wilson GT. Stigmatized students: age, sex, and ethnicity effects in the stigmatization of obesity. Obes Res. 2005;13(7):1226-31.
Latner, J. D., Stunkard, A. J., & Wilson, G. T. (2005). Stigmatized students: age, sex, and ethnicity effects in the stigmatization of obesity. Obesity Research, 13(7), 1226-31.
Latner JD, Stunkard AJ, Wilson GT. Stigmatized Students: Age, Sex, and Ethnicity Effects in the Stigmatization of Obesity. Obes Res. 2005;13(7):1226-31. PubMed PMID: 16076992.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Stigmatized students: age, sex, and ethnicity effects in the stigmatization of obesity. AU - Latner,Janet D, AU - Stunkard,Albert J, AU - Wilson,G Terence, PY - 2005/8/4/pubmed PY - 2006/1/7/medline PY - 2005/8/4/entrez SP - 1226 EP - 31 JF - Obesity research JO - Obes Res VL - 13 IS - 7 N2 - OBJECTIVE: To assess the stigmatization of obesity relative to the stigmatization of various disabilities among young men and women. Attitudes across ethnic groups were compared. In addition, these findings were compared with data showing severe stigmatization of obesity among children. RESEARCH METHODS AND PROCEDURES: Participants included 356 university students (56% women; mean age, 20.6 years; mean BMI, 23.3 kg/m2; range, 14.4 to 45.0 kg/m2) who ranked six drawings of same-sex peers in order of how well they liked each person. The drawings showed adults with obesity, various disabilities, or no disability. These rankings were compared with those obtained through a similar procedure with 458 fifth- and sixth-grade children. RESULTS: Obesity was highly stigmatized relative to physical disabilities. African-American women liked obese peers more than did African-American men, white men, or white women [F(1,216) = 4.02, p < 0.05]. Overweight and obese participants were no less stigmatizing of obesity than normal weight participants. Adults were more accepting than children of their obese peers [t(761) = 9.16, p < 0.001]. DISCUSSION: Although the stigmatization of obesity was high among participants overall, African-American women seemed to have more positive attitudes toward obesity than did white women, white men, or African-American men. Participants' weight did not affect their stigmatization of obesity: obese and overweight adults were as highly stigmatizing of obesity as non-overweight adults. Such internalized stigmatization could help to explain the low self-esteem and poor body image among obese young adults. However, adults seemed to have more positive attitudes about obesity than children. An understanding of the factors that limit the stigma of obesity among African-American women could help efforts to reduce stigma. SN - 1071-7323 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/16076992/Stigmatized_students:_age_sex_and_ethnicity_effects_in_the_stigmatization_of_obesity_ L2 - https://doi.org/10.1038/oby.2005.145 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -