The impact of weight stigma on caloric consumption.
The present study assessed the influence of exposure to weight stigma on energy intake in both overweight and normal-weight adult women. Seventy-three women (mean age: 31.71 ± 12.72 years), both overweight (n = 34) and normal weight (n = 39), were randomly assigned to view one of two videos depicting either weight stigmatizing material or neutral material, after which they consumed snacks ad libitum. Pre- and post-video measures included blood pressure, attitudes toward overweight individuals, and positive and negative affect. Participants' body weight was measured, as was the number of kilocalories consumed following video exposure. Overweight women who watched the stigmatizing video ate more than three times as many kilocalories as overweight women who watched the neutral video (302.82 vs. 89.00 kcal), and significantly more calories than the normal-weight individuals who watched either the stigmatizing or the neutral video. A two-by-two analysis of covariance revealed that even after adjusting for relevant covariates, there was a significant interaction between video type and weight status in that when overweight, individuals consumed significantly more calories if they were in the stigmatizing condition vs. the neutral condition (F(1,65) = 4.37, P = 0.04, η(2) = 0.03). These findings suggest that among overweight women, exposure to weight stigmatizing material may lead to increased caloric consumption. This directly challenges the notion that pressure to lose weight in the form of weight stigma will have a positive, motivating effect on overweight individuals.
Schvey, NA; Puhl, RM; Brownell, KD
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