Have You Been Worried About Your Weight?

It is well known that stigma and prejudice have a negative impact on both our physical and emotional health.

Psychological Impact of Weight Management

It is well known that stigma and prejudice have a negative impact on both our physical and emotional health. One must also consider how the knowledge gained from studies on the effects of race and gender on health should be applied to other types of discrimination. This can be taken in the context where people spend a good amount of their time worrying about weight. How race and gender have an impact on how one views their body also should be something we all ask ourselves. 

According to Hatzenbuehler, Phelan, and Link (2013), stigma is “the co-occurrence of labelling, stereotyping, separation, status loss, and discrimination, in a context in which power is exercised.” The reason behind focusing on stigma is to throw attention to the idea that both society and internal stigma have an impact on one’s mental health. Deteriorating mental health has been said to have effects on the health of individuals as well. According to theoretical frameworks in public health (Hatzenbuehler et al., 2013), stigma is a significant contributor to persistent health disparities. 

Weight stigma is the “moral discrediting” (Brewis, 2014) a person who lives in a heavier body experiences as a result of the unfavourable verdicts and social assessments made by others. Internalized weight stigma has a long history of being linked to symptoms of poor psychological health, including disordered eating, body dissatisfaction, inactivity, emotional dysregulation, and low self-esteem (Hilbert et al., 2013). This is talked about very less in our everyday lives. We see far too many people talking, commenting, judging, and disregarding others for their weight. There is never usually an ideal weight for anyone. For some, you may be too fat and for others, you may be too thin. During this entire process, humans put unrealistic expectations upon themselves and their body. 

People encounter frequent, socially acceptable microaggressions that have effects beyond simple emotional distress. When discrimination occurs frequently, our stress levels rise, our fight-or-flight reaction is triggered, and our bodies change to release a hormone called cortisol. Chronic stress has a number of negative effects on physical health, including high blood pressure. Stigma significantly affects our physical health. According to Hatzenbuehler et al. (2009) study, perceived weight-based discrimination has negative effects on mental health that could have a big effect on population’s mental health.

Let’s talk about things that we often choose to not talk about because of the fear and stigma attached. More conversations around the impact of weight management and its impact on mental health will allow individuals to perceive things differently about themselves and their bodies. At ImPerfect, we adopt an affirmative, destigmatizing stance while dealing with all such concerns. Reach out to start the conversation now!  

Urveez Kakalia and Krupa Abraham.

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