Bias, discrimination, and obesity.
This article reviews information on discriminatory attitudes and behaviors against obese individuals, integrates this to show whether systematic discrimination occurs and why, and discusses needed work in the field. Clear and consistent stigmatization, and in some cases discrimination, can be documented in three important areas of living: employment, education, and health care. Among the findings are that 28% of teachers in one study said that becoming obese is the worst thing that can happen to a person; 24% of nurses said that they are "repulsed" by obese persons; and, controlling for income and grades, parents provide less college support for their overweight than for their thin children. There are also suggestions but not yet documentation of discrimination occurring in adoption proceedings, jury selection, housing, and other areas. Given the vast numbers of people potentially affected, it is important to consider the research-related, educational, and social policy implications of these findings.
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