IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/socmed/v118y2014icp152-158.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Stigma and the perpetuation of obesity

Author

Listed:
  • Brewis, Alexandra A.

Abstract

Even as obesity rates reach new highs, the social stigmatization of obesity seems to be strengthening and globalizing. This review identifies at least four mechanisms by which a pervasive environment of fat stigma could reinforce high body weights or promote weight gain, ultimately driving population-level obesity. These are direct effects through behavior change because of feeling judged, and indirect effects of social network changes based on stigmatizing actions and decisions by others, psychosocial stress from feeling stigmatized, and the structural effects of discrimination. Importantly, women and children appear especially vulnerable to these mechanisms. The broader model provides an improved basis to investigate the role of stigma in driving the etiology of obesity, and explicates how individual, interpersonal, and structural dimensions of stigma are connected to variation in health outcomes, including across generations.

Suggested Citation

  • Brewis, Alexandra A., 2014. "Stigma and the perpetuation of obesity," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 152-158.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:118:y:2014:i:c:p:152-158
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.08.003
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953614005206
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Stuber, Jennifer & Meyer, Ilan & Link, Bruce, 2008. "Stigma, prejudice, discrimination and health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 351-357, August.
    2. Leung, Cindy & Blumenthal, Susan & Hoffnagle, Elena & Jensen, Helen H. & Foerster, Susan & Nestle, Marion & Cheung, Lilian & Mozaffarian, Dariush & Willett, Walter, 2013. "Associations of Food Stamp Participation with Obesity and Dietary Quality among Low-income Children," Staff General Research Papers Archive 36017, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    3. Bombak, A., 2014. "Obesity, health at every size, and public health policy," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 104(2), pages 60-67.
    4. Hatzenbuehler, M.L. & Phelan, J.C. & Link, B.G., 2013. "Stigma as a fundamental cause of population health inequalities," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 103(5), pages 813-821.
    5. Schaefer, D.R. & Simpkins, S.D., 2014. "Using social network analysis to clarify the role of obesity in selection of adolescent friends," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 104(7), pages 1223-1229.
    6. Giles-Corti, Billie & Donovan, Robert J., 2002. "The relative influence of individual, social and physical environment determinants of physical activity," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 54(12), pages 1793-1812, June.
    7. Greener, Joe & Douglas, Flora & van Teijlingen, Edwin, 2010. "More of the same? Conflicting perspectives of obesity causation and intervention amongst overweight people, health professionals and policy makers," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 70(7), pages 1042-1049, April.
    8. John Cawley, 2004. "The Impact of Obesity on Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
    9. Mancino, Lisa & Newman, Constance, 2007. "Who Has Time To Cook? How Family Resources Influence Food Preparation," Economic Research Report 55961, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    10. Maximilian D. Schmeiser, 2009. "Expanding wallets and waistlines: the impact of family income on the BMI of women and men eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(11), pages 1277-1294, November.
    11. Lewis, Sophie & Thomas, Samantha L. & Blood, R. Warwick & Castle, David J. & Hyde, Jim & Komesaroff, Paul A., 2011. "How do obese individuals perceive and respond to the different types of obesity stigma that they encounter in their daily lives? A qualitative study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(9), pages 1349-1356.
    12. McNeill, Lorna Haughton & Kreuter, Matthew W. & Subramanian, S.V., 2006. "Social Environment and Physical activity: A review of concepts and evidence," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 1011-1022, August.
    13. Gee, G.C. & Ro, A. & Gavin, A. & Takeuchi, D.T., 2008. "Disentangling the effects of racial and weight discrimination on body mass index and obesity among Asian Americans," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 98(3), pages 493-500.
    14. Charles L. Baum & William F. Ford, 2004. "The wage effects of obesity: a longitudinal study," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(9), pages 885-899, September.
    15. Jacoby, Ann, 1994. "Felt versus enacted stigma: A concept revisited: Evidence from a study of people with epilepsy in remission," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 269-274, January.
    16. Puhl, R.M. & Heuer, C.A., 2010. "Obesity stigma: Important considerations for public health," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 100(6), pages 1019-1028.
    17. Yang, Lawrence Hsin & Kleinman, Arthur & Link, Bruce G. & Phelan, Jo C. & Lee, Sing & Good, Byron, 2007. "Culture and stigma: Adding moral experience to stigma theory," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 64(7), pages 1524-1535, April.
    18. John Cawley & Sheldon Danziger, 2005. "Morbid obesity and the transition from welfare to work," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(4), pages 727-743.
    19. de la Haye, Kayla & Robins, Garry & Mohr, Philip & Wilson, Carlene, 2011. "How physical activity shapes, and is shaped by, adolescent friendships," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(5), pages 719-728, September.
    20. Hruschka, D.J. & Brewis, A.A. & Wutich, A. & Morin, B., 2011. "Shared norms and their explanation for the social clustering of obesity," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 101(SUPPL. 1), pages 295-300.
    21. Pescosolido, Bernice A. & Martin, Jack K. & Lang, Annie & Olafsdottir, Sigrun, 2008. "Rethinking theoretical approaches to stigma: A Framework Integrating Normative Influences on Stigma (FINIS)," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 431-440, August.
    22. Cutts, Bethany B. & Darby, Kate J. & Boone, Christopher G. & Brewis, Alexandra, 2009. "City structure, obesity, and environmental justice: An integrated analysis of physical and social barriers to walkable streets and park access," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 69(9), pages 1314-1322, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Claire E. Altman & Jennifer Van Hook & Jonathan Gonzalez, 2017. "Becoming Overweight without Gaining a Pound: Weight Evaluations and the Social Integration of Mexicans in the United States," International Migration Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(1), pages 3-36, March.
    2. Davis, Jenny L. & Goar, Carla & Manago, Bianca & Reidinger, Bobbi, 2018. "Distribution and disavowal: Managing the parental stigma of Children's weight and weight loss," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 219(C), pages 61-69.
    3. Panter-Brick, Catherine & Eggerman, Mark, 2018. "The field of medical anthropology in Social Science & Medicine," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 196(C), pages 233-239.
    4. Hackman, Joseph & Maupin, Jonathan & Brewis, Alexandra A., 2016. "Weight-related stigma is a significant psychosocial stressor in developing countries: Evidence from Guatemala," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 161(C), pages 55-60.
    5. Wilson, Marisa & McLennan, Amy, 2019. "A comparative ethnography of nutrition interventions: Structural violence and the industrialisation of agrifood systems in the Caribbean and the Pacific," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 228(C), pages 172-180.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Obesity; Stigma; Weight gain; Gender; Stress; Embodiment;

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:118:y:2014:i:c:p:152-158. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Haili He). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.