Weight Stigma in Men Associated with Harmful Health Consequences

Posted on August 1, 2019

Many people with obesity experience weight stigma, which could lead to negative impacts on their physical and mental health. While more emphasis has been placed on the impact of weight stigma on women, men are also facing prejudice related to their weight.

A study on obesity in men involved two groups of men from a national survey panel and an online data collection service. Participants were asked to fill out questionnaires regarding their experiences with weight stigma and the extent to which they internalized these experiences. Their mental and physical wellbeing are also assessed.

The findings suggested that participants who were on the receiving end of weight stigma and internalized the stigma reported more depressive symptoms and were more likely to engage in dieting. Experiencing weight-related stigma also leads to higher chances of binge eating. Participants who internalized the weight stigma rated their health more poorly.

Topics regarding losing weight and body image are often directed towards women, but it is common for men to suffer from weight stigma and receive criticisms related to their body as well. Therefore, the results of the study show that the struggles faced by men with obesity should also be recognized and properly dealt with.

Overlooking weight stigma in men can lead to them experiencing difficulties seeking treatment, which can have harmful effects on their health. Health professionals should not treat weight stigma as a gendered issue, but encourage men to talk about their experiences with weight-related stigma so as to help them receive appropriate help earlier.


Source material from Science Daily