"Before and after" diet advertisements escalate weight stigma.
(Clinical Trial;Journal Article)
The stigma-producing effects of "before and after" diet advertisements on a healthy weight sample were examined. Subjects (n = 59) were exposed to a presentation containing either a "before and after" diet ad, or solely the "before" or "after" picture embedded in a different ad. Subjects were then given measures to assess negative attitudes and endorsement of stereotypes about overweight people. Across all subjects, strong implicit anti-fat bias was present. Subjects in the Before and After condition indicated that weight is more easily controllable than did subjects in either the Before Picture Only or the After Picture Only conditions. There were two moderating variables for this effect. Subjects who reported greater life satisfaction endorsed fewer anti-fat stereotypes, and those who enjoyed an emotionally close relationship with an overweight person were less biased. These results suggest that "before and after" diet ads enhance weight stigma and perpetuate damaging stereotypes.
Geier, AB; Schwartz, MB; Brownell, KD
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