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Sociocultural and Familial Factors Associated with Weight Bias Internalization

13 Apr 2018

Background/Aims: Sociocultural and familial factors associated with weight bias internalization (WBI) are currently unknown. The present study explored the relationship between interpersonal sources of weight stigma, family weight history, and WBI. Methods: Participants with obesity (N = 178, 87.6% female, 71.3% black) completed questionnaires that assessed the frequency with which they experienced weight stigma from various interpersonal sources. Participants also reported the weight status of their family members and completed measures of WBI, depression, and demographics. Participant height and weight were measured to calculate body mass index (BMI). Results: Linear regression results (controlling for demographics, BMI, and depression) showed that stigmatizing experiences from family and work predicted greater WBI. Experiencing weight stigma at work was associated with WBI above and beyond the effects of other sources of stigma. Participants who reported higher BMIs for their mothers had lower levels of WBI. Conclusion: Experiencing weight stigma from family and at work may heighten WBI, while having a mother with a higher BMI may be a protective factor against WBI. Prospective research is needed to understand WBI's developmental course and identify mechanisms that increase or mitigate its risk.
Obes Facts 2018;11:157-164

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Obesity Facts: The European Journal of Obesity

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