Weight Stigma & Obesity

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Weight Stigma & Obesity. Sitey Abdi NSC 311.

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Weight stigma does nothing to reduce the prevalence of obesity because stigmatization of obese individuals Weight stigma threatens their health by generating health disparities and interferes with effective obesity intervention efforts..

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Research papers attribute the rise obesity to the consumption of more energy-dense, nutrient poor foods with high levels of sugar and saturated fats, combined with reduced physical activity. The perception society has that being overweight is unhealthy is one formed by media, research, etc because they way fatness is portrayed to the public..

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Weight is not an accurate reflection of health. Body mass index (BMI) does not do enough to educate people about the state of their health as well as what factors in their life are contributing to their health negatively or positivity. It’s important that weight is not stigmatized so that people struggle with their diet or physical activity are confident in asking for the resources needed for the betterment of their health..

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The stigma of weight and the negative perception of "fatness" has negatively impacted those living with bigger bodies. People who are "fat" are berated with negative images and associations with their weight, resulting them in feeling less than human for their weight. Weight stigma promotes the association between excess weight and being unhealthy..

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Weight stigma consequences include unhealthy eating behaviors, depression, anxiety, increased weight gain in the long term, and avoidance of physical activity. Diet culture and weight stigma prevent the improvement of health by having negative physical and mental effects on people as they develop a harmful perspective and relationship with their body and body image.

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Weight stigma also contributes to weight-based discrimination which increases the amount of adversity someone is exposed to in life. More exposure to adversity contributes to trauma, as well as healthcare disparities, that lower one's life expectancy and increases the likelihood of acquiring and dying from treatable conditions. Exposure to adversity predisposed people to chronic stress which leads to increased susceptibility to illness, risky behavior, and substance abuse later in life. Therefore weight stigma contributes to worse health outcomes..

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The negative connation’s with being overweight (laziness, inactivity, lack of self-control in regard to food, etc) are reinforced with weight stigma Weight stigma places the blame on the individual rather than acknowledging the weight is s complex issue influenced by many different such as socioeconomic class..

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The social determinants impact someone's health status as they determine the assets that promote their health and the obstacles that make improving their health status difficult Lower socioeconomic status is associated with reduced access to care and poorer health outcomes. The more money one has, the more that they can obtain foods of higher nutritional value, the better healthcare coverage they're able to obtain as well as better housing in safer communities..

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One's living conditions, neighborhood, and community can contribute to stressors that lead to poor health outcomes. Everyone encounters stress but it is more detrimental to the health of the poor because they, unlike those who are affluent, do not have abundant resources available to them to mediate the stress they experience. In all, the choices one has to work, food, health services, housing quality are all limited by the kind of neighborhood one lives in..

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Social inequalities result in better health outcomes for some people and poorer health outcomes for others Theses inequalities can be resolved if society focused less on weight as the root of theses inequities rather than the social aspects of our society. For example, increasing people's accessibility to resources to improve health status would also be beneficial..

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Socioeconomic status relates to environment which dictates resources available in the community. Resource availability helps reduce stress which can exacerbate health conditions.

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Sources of stress that come with low socioeconomic class/living in poorer communities include hypervigilance, living in an unsafe community, food insecurity, lack of mental health and other counseling, and inadequate health care coverage.

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Eliminating the negative connotations that come from being heavier set will reduce body shaming in our society. Reduction of body shaming will decrease weight stigma while dissociating obesity with disease..

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Life expectancy is impacted by a variety of factors including level of exposure to childhood adversity. The weight-inclusive approach rests on the assumption that everybody is capable of achieving health and well-being independent of weight, given access to non-stigmatizing health care..

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Importance of non-judgment and weight sensitivity, especially in areas that seek to improve the health of those in are overweight. Make overweight individuals feel comfortable to voice concerns about health Practice and reinforce weight-inclusive approaches to health and weight management..

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References:. Alberga AS, Edache IY, Forhan M, Russell-Mayhew S. Weight bias and health care utilization: a scoping review. Prim Health Care Res Dev . 2019;20:e116. Published 2019 Jul 22. doi:10.1017/S1463423619000227 Braveman P, Gottlieb L. The social determinants of health: it's time to consider the causes of the causes. Public Health Rep . 2014;129 Suppl 2(Suppl 2):19-31. doi:10.1177/00333549141291S206 Condon E. M. (2018). Chronic Stress in Children and Adolescents: A Review of Biomarkers for Use in Pediatric Research. Biological research for nursing , 20 (5), 473–496. https://doi.org/10.1177/1099800418779214 McMaughan, D. J., Oloruntoba, O., & Smith, M. L. (2020). Socioeconomic status and access to healthcare: Interrelated drivers for healthy aging. Frontiers in public health , 8 , 231. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2020.0023 1 Robinson E, Haynes A, Sutin A, Daly M. Self-perception of overweight and obesity: A review of mental and physical health outcomes. Obes Sci Pract . 2020;6(5):552-561. Published 2020 Jun 8. doi:10.1002/osp4.424.