Obesity Stigma

1965 Words 8 Pages
When people in society think about the perfect body, one thing comes to mind and that is being pretty skinny. We see this so called “perfect body image” everywhere we look: in the movies, in ads, and on magazines. Society deems that these people are perfect, and whoever doesn’t fit this image, must be bad. This kind of thinking really hurts all people, but especially obese people. Not only do regular-weight people in society typically think that obese people are less, but research shows that this thought process actually actually creates a stigma around people who carry extra weight. This stigma around obesity is not only created by all the ads that proclaim that skinny people are better people such as the TV ads that only show skinny people …show more content…
Doctors were instrumental in the start of the stigma that was created around obesity. Since doctors don’t view obesity as a disease, they set a precedent that shows people that obesity is a self inflicted problem and this is a problem because then these obese people are casted aside by society. They are casted aside due to the fact that most of the normal weight people think that if the doctors won’t treat them, then the obese people are just lazy and don’t want to be treated. This problem is a worldwide problem and Professor of Law Mette Hartlev, University of Copenhagen, Denmark writes about this in the European Journal of Health. When talking about the lack of help that these obese people get she writes that, “This development has been described as a global epidemic, which gives rise to major health and economic concerns; and WHO , OECD and the EU , as well as national governments, have developed special public-health policies and strategies to deal with the challenge” (Hartlev 367). By describing how world organizations are trying to fix this problem, Hartlev is able to reveal that this problem with doctors are actually the ones who are setting the bar with this weight stigma and lack of weight acceptance. The author of this article writes, “The causes of obesity are at the same time very simple and very complex. Put simplistically, overweight and obesity is a result of a surplus of calories within the energy balance. If an individual consumes more calories than he or she uses, this will over time result in overweight” (Hartlev 368). Hartlev explains how most doctors view this problem and the reason why there is a weight stigma is due to the fact that doctors explain obesity as “simplistic”. Since society thinks that doctors now who they should treat or what is treatable, society shapes their views accordingly. In her

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