Obese Patients Face Stigma and Discrimination

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Claudia Sikorski
Dr. rer. med. Claudia Sikorski, Dipl.-Psych.
Institut für Sozialmedizin, Arbeitsmedizin und Public Health (ISAP)
Institute of Social Medicine, Occupational Health and Public Health
Universität Leipzig, Medizinische Fakultät

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Obesity is a highly stigmatized condition. People with obesity are often regarded a lazy, slow and sloppy. One consequence of these negative attitudes may be discrimination, e.g. the unfair treatment of individuals with obesity. This study, conducted by Jenny Spahlholz, myself and colleagues reviews observational and experimental studies that investigated the occurrence and nature of discrimination in obesity.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: We find that patients with obesity are indeed faced not only with negative attitudes but also with unfair treatment in every-day life in numerous domains. Heavier individuals and women report more experiences of discrimination and may therefore be more prone to psychosocial effects such as low self-esteem.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: We would like to find out more about the mechanisms of stigmatization and discrimination. We also need to re-think legislative protection for individuals with obesity.


upcoming ECO abstract :

Obesity and Discrimination – A Systematic Review

Spahlholz J.1,2, Baer N.2, König H.H.3, Riedel-Heller S.G.2, Sikorski C.1,2

1Leipzig University Medical Center, IFB AdiposityDiseases, Leipzig, Germany, 2Institute of Social Medicine, Occupational Health and Public Healt (ISAP), Leipzig University, Leipzig, Germany, 3Department of Medical Sociology and Health Economics, University Medical Center

Presented at the 2015 European Conference on Obesity May 2015

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MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Claudia Sikorski (2015). Obese Patients Face Stigma and Discrimination 

Last Updated on May 8, 2015 by Marie Benz MD FAAD