New Weight Bias Study Finds Women More Likely Than Men to Blame Themselves for Weight Stigma

Weight stigma can contribute to obesity, as individuals who experience stigma about their weight often cope with this distress by eating and avoiding exercise, increasing the likelihood of weight gain. Weight stigmatization can also impair emotional wellbeing, contributing to depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and body dissatisfaction. Despite higher rates of obesity among women and minority populations compared with white Americans, less is known about differences in weight stigma or strategies for coping with weight stigma across gender and racial groups. 

In a new study by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut, researchers found that although weight stigma is equally present across different groups (Asian, black and Hispanic, and white men and women) there are differences in how particular groups are likely to respond to being stigmatized.