It’s no wonder it’s hard for some people to lose weight..

It’s no wonder it’s hard for some people to lose weight..

In undertaking research for the new Thrive book, I was looking to see if I could find any evidence to support my belief that many people don’t really think or feel very kindly or empathetic towards obese people.  I thought I would share some of that research with you…

Wang, Brownell and Wadden (2004) went on to suggest that:

…obese people are stigmatized and discriminated against in a number of areas, including the workplace, social settings, school, and interactions with health professionals. Unlike the bias against many other minority groups, however, negative attitudes toward overweight individuals are accepted and even encouraged. Obese persons often speak of public ridicule (e.g., strangers approaching them in grocery stores and commenting on their food choices or scolding them in restaurants for eating dessert) and teasing (e.g., being made fun of as children because of their weight).

On a societal level, similar messages are transmitted. For instance, top-rated television programs consistently ridicule overweight characters and portray them in stereotypical fashion as being underemployed, gluttonous, and devoid of healthy relationships.

In an American study of 318 family Doctors by Price, Desmond, Krol, Snyder and O’Connell (1987), two-thirds reported that their obese patients lacked self-control, and almost half stated that their obese patients were lazy. It appears that both overweight and non-overweight people believe overweight people to be lazy, lacking in self-control, and somehow powerless. It’s no wonder overweight and obese people often struggle to lose the weight, when their own negative attitudes towards themselves are echoed by pretty much everyone else – including their own Doctors!


Please watch this short video below:

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