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Obesity EpidemiologyFrom Aetiology to Public Health$
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David Crawford, Robert W. Jeffery, Kylie Ball, and Johannes Brug

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199571512

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199571512.001.0001

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Psychosocial issues in obese children and adults

Psychosocial issues in obese children and adults

Chapter:
(p.59) Chapter 5 Psychosocial issues in obese children and adults
Source:
Obesity Epidemiology
Author(s):

Andrew J. Hill

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199571512.003.0005

Body weight affects people's perception of themselves and of others. Although attitudes to obesity are shaped by age, gender, and cultural background, the prevailing climate in the developed world is ‘anti-fat’. These negative attitudes lead to assumptions about the character and psychological state of obese people and are linked, in turn, to deeply held beliefs about responsibility and blame. This chapter summarizes evidence on the social and psychological circumstance of an increasing section of the population. What does it mean to grow up and live as a fat person in the world today? The following commentary is dominated by research from North America, Europe, and Australasia. Prevalent anti-fat attitudes in these regions contrast with the perceptions, values, and attitudes regarding fatness held by people in regions where poverty is common, food in short supply, and overweight a marker of affluence. Societies in socioeconomic transition are likely to have a mix of values reflecting traditional and new world views. In turn, their social and psychological responses will reflect this complexity.

Keywords:   obesity, fat, obese, body image, self-perception, affluence

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