The social impact of Obesity

Once being an overweight and obese individual, I have experienced the impacts but also have experience how it affects people socially, not just health wise. A new paper was published in the journal social science and medicine. This study was conducted at multiple universities in Australia. The study interviewed 141 obese people to find out what sorts of stigma are commonly experienced and what affect it has on their lives.

The results found that between half and three quarters of those interviewed had experienced the stigma of obesity from strangers, family, school peers, health professionals, friends, employers and colleagues. The paper then stated that “most direct stigma was based on moral judgements about the reasons why the participant was overweight – particular laziness, gluttony and overconsumption.

The study also found that obese people have their parenting abilities questioned and whether they would make good parents. Judging and looking at what they are eating and shopping for the participants were unwilling to participate in exercise as they feel they will be judged, laughed at and victims of abuse.

The study then found that the anti-fat stigma in society prevents many people from pursuing ambitions such as university, applying for work, engaging in new relationships and a decrease in social activities leading to loneliness.

After a quick overview of the study you can see that obesity has so many more impacts to an individual than just your fat and you will get heart disease. I cant see the ridicule ever stopping but from my experience it makes it worst and the obese person than turn to their one comfort and that’s food and the cycle begins and only gets worst, this is what causes the morbidly obese people in society (just watch the start of any biggest loser to get an idea of how someone gets to a breaking point).

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