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About 40 Percent of Men Report Experiencing Weight Stigma

Experience of weight stigma associated with increased odds of underweight or obesity

WEDNESDAY, April 25, 2018 (HealthDay News) — A substantial proportion of men report experiencing weight stigma, according to a study published online April 23 in Obesity.

Mary S. Himmelstein, Ph.D., from the University of Connecticut in Hartford, and colleagues assessed the weight stigma experiences of 1,513 men, examining the characteristics of men who experienced weight stigma versus men who did not. The authors assessed data from three samples of men: one consisted of obese men at elevated risk for weight stigma, another was a convenience online panel, and the third included men from a national online panel of adults in the United States.

The researchers found that roughly 40 percent of men reported experiencing weight stigma. Weight stigma was associated with increased odds of having a body mass index (BMI) consistent with underweight or obesity compared with normal weight. The most common form of weight stigma experienced across all life stages was verbal mistreatment. Peers, family members, and strangers were the most common sources of weight stigma. Compared with men not reporting weight stigma, men reporting weight stigma were younger and less likely to be married, had higher BMIs, and were more likely to have tried to lose weight in the past year.

“Understanding differences among men as a function of weight stigma is important for practitioners, as it can identify men who may most benefit from intervention,” the authors write.

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