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Obesity and Stigma, Research Proposal Example

Pages: 2

Words: 436

Research Proposal

Description Of Topic

This paper focuses on how obesity remains stigmatized in western society which has resulted in weight discrimination throughout the United States in various settings. There is a large corpus of literature that covers obesity and stigma in the United States that primarily emphasizes pejorative stereotypes, discrimination in various settings, and the nexus between a cultural obsession with thinness and beauty that has spawned an epidemic of pathologized eating behaviors and unhealthy lifestyle habits, especially among women. However, there are various gaps in the literature that need to be taken into consideration in order to have a nuanced understanding of this phenomenon and to be able to effectively combat it at the micro and macro levels. More studies are needed to trace how weight discrimination affects an individual’s physical, mental, and emotional health over a protracted period of time in addition to effective interventions that will facilitate.

Introduction Paragraph

Individuals who are obese remain extremely stigmatized and confront various forms of discrimination and prejudice on a quotidian basis because of their weight. The ubiquity of weight discrimination in the U.S. has escalated by over 60% in just the past ten years and is commensurate to rates of racial prejudices, particularly among women (Puhl & Huer, 2009). Biases predicated on weight perceptions often translate into a plethora of inequalities in healthcare facilities, employment settings, and in academic and educational institutions because of the diffusion of pejorative stereotypes that render obese individuals unmotivated, lazy, sloppy and incompetent (Puhl & Brownell, 2003). Such stereotypes in western society remain unchallenged and are ubiquitous, thereby resulting in obese and overweight people vulnerable to unfair treatment, a low quality of life, and various social inequities due to stigmatization and disadvantages (Puhl & Huer, 2009). Individuals considered overweight or obese internalize perceived stigma against their weight and often pathologize their eating behaviors with the goal of reducing caloric intake. In western societies, an obsession with thinness as a barometer for one’s beauty has translated into pathologized eating behaviors due to the fear of becoming overweight or obese. In order to address the stigmatization of obesity, the cultural obsession with thinness as a prerequisite for beauty must be dismantled before the de-stigmatization can be effectively addressed.

References

Miller, C.T. & Myers, A.M. (1998). For prejudice: How heavyweight people (and others) control outcomes despite prejudice. United States: Academic Press.

Muenning, P. (2008). The body politic: The relationship between stigma and obesity-associated disease. BMC Public Health, 8(128), 1-10.

Puhl, R.M. & Brownell, K.D. (2003). Ways of coping with obesity stigma: conceptual review and analysis. Eating Behaviors, 4, 53–78

Puhl, R.M. & Huer, C.A. (2009). The stigma of obesity: A review and update. Obesity, 17(5), 944-964. .

Schvey, N.A., Puhl, R.M., & Brownell, K.D. (2011). The impact of weight stigma on caloric consumption. Obesity, 19(10), 1957-1962.

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