EP 268 Why Does an Overweight Society Still Discriminate Against Overweight People?

:           National rates of obesity in American youth and adults remain high and yet many societal messages tell us that you should be ashamed of being larger than certain standards suggest.  Studies bear out that this form of discrimination hinders many people’s chances in this society and can result in some very harmful effects, like depression, eating disorders, reduced self esteem and other chronic diseases.  It all points to the fact that ‘fat shaming’ as it’s often called, while intended by parents, for example, to encourage weight loss and certain changes in behavior may have the opposite effect. Weight issues may be the result of genetics or previous life traumas, but the messaging in our culture pays no account and focuses on a thin representation of beauty.  Those messages are often matched or exceeded by the food industry urging us to eat more junk foods which contribute to obesity.  The whole picture is disturbing and confusing.  To help us sort through it all is Rebecca Puhl, PhD, a professor at the University of Connecticut and Deputy Director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity