Weight stigma predicts emotional distress and binge eating during COVID-19

Links between obesity and complications of COVID-19 have received increasing attention throughout the pandemic. But a different aspect of body weight – the social stigma that people face because of their weight – may also have harmful implications for people’s health during the pandemic. New research from the UConn Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity and the University of Minnesota shows that young adults who experienced weight stigma before the pandemic have higher levels of depressive symptoms, stress, eating as a coping strategy, and are more likely to binge-eat during COVID-19 compared to those who haven’t experienced weight stigma.