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Discrimination Against the Over Weight

Timeless Health Tip

According to the Canadian Obesity Network and PREVNet, "Discrimination of the obese is widespread among the public, health professional, media, policy makers and employers".

Discrimination Against the Over Weight

Heavier people have known for years: they are portrayed in a negative way on television; are stigmatized in a variety of settings, including education, employment, and health care; and are subject to bias even from doctors who specialize in the treatment of obesity.

We feel this is horrific and so wrong...yet it's a reality we face in these judgmental times we live in. We need to reduce bias against those who struggle with their weight.

In one study, 24-percent of nurses said they are "repulsed" by obese people. Discrimination also occurs in adoption, housing, and even jury selection.

Another study found that with a few notable exceptions, obese or overweight people are largely absent from television and when such characters do appear, they usually are associated with negative characteristics.

On average, a person's chances of being discriminated against because of weight become higher as their body weight increases. In our study, 10 percent of overweight women reported weight discrimination, 20 percent of obese women reported weight discrimination and 45 percent of very obese women reported weight discrimination.

Rates for men were lower, with 3 percent of overweight, 6 percent of obese and 28 percent of very obese men reporting weight discrimination. This finding also tells us that women begin experiencing weight discrimination at lower levels of body weight than men.

The prevalent discrimination of the overweight/obese leads to a further increase in their weight problems and also creates a worsening cycle of obesity and poor health along with low self esteem and often depression.

And that is why everyone should care...and stop worrying about what a person weighs, but what they are inside.

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