Fat Stigma Study: More People Find Obesity Unacceptable Around the World

Obesity Stigma Grows Around the World

Even as more and more people become overweight, fat gets a bad rap. Between the ever-thin actresses and prominent healthy-living campaigns, most know that being fat isn't something to be proud about. But this increasing nonacceptance for the overweight is not just in our celebrity-obsessed American society — a recent study found that most people view obesity in a negative light, especially ones in cultures that usually view bigger bodies as attractive.

The study asked 700 people around the world what they thought about overweight people by responding to statements like "Fat people are lazy." or "A big woman is a beautiful woman." They found that societies that traditionally value larger bodies actually had the most negative opinions about the overweight.

An increasing global fat stigma can be a double-edged sword. While it does help encourage people to lose weight, it doesn't factor in the fact that being overweight is caused by a number of factors, not all of which have to do with lifestyle habits — which can make the obese feel even worse about themselves.

But is it needed? Do you think a global fat stigma, like a smoking stigma, will help us become a healthier society?

Source: Flickr User tobyotter

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