When it comes to fat people, many people have a negative impression. They think of them as greasy, dirty, smelly, or even just unattractive.
These prejudices have significant effects on fat people’s health and social status. They may also lead to poor self-esteem, depression and obesity-related medical conditions.
1. They’re greasy
A large percentage of the population has no idea what is on their plate, let alone what they are doing with it. While this is a good thing for the health and wellbeing of the human race, it can mean a less than stellar experience for some people. Having said that, there are a few things you can do to make the experience more pleasant, such as choosing what to eat, not eating it all, and putting on a smile. This, as well as other positive habits such as exercise and a positive attitude, can go a long way towards making you feel good about yourself.
2. They’re disgusting
A lot of people who are fat tend to be extremely disgusted with themselves. This is due to a behavioural immune system that has been developed in humans to react to signs of disease, such as rashes and lesions.
Disgust is one of the most powerful predictors of negative attitudes towards obese people. It fully mediated the association between perceived control over group membership and obesity prejudice.
These findings indicate that the concept of body weight as a matter of personal control is an important component of weight bias, but it is also necessary to consider other processes.
The performativity of disgust means that entities are experienced as disgusting not only because of their physical traits, but because they are connected to certain actions (eating specific amounts at a particular pace), objects (eating specific food such as high fat and sugar content), moral judgments or character traits. This enables the appeal to self-control as a key criterion in health campaigns explicitly using disgust, as well as those that aim to make healthy food the easy choice.
3. They’re overeating
Overeating is a huge problem for fat people. A recent study found that more than half of overweight adults eat more than they should. It’s also a contributing factor in obesity-related diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
The media is full of articles and advertisements that claim to offer weight loss tips and diet advice. But the most effective way to lose weight is to change your lifestyle and stop eating so much junk food. This may sound obvious, but many people still do not understand the connection between a healthy diet and a fit body. In fact, they might be more likely to fall victim to obesity because of a stigma that is associated with being fat. Among other things, fat people are often stereotyped as lazy or indolent, which can negatively impact their lives and health. Moreover, they are often subjected to derogatory jokes and pejorative comments from strangers in public and at work.
4. They’re lazy
People who are obese are often branded as lazy. This can come from a number of sources. Some people may simply not exercise enough and eat a lot of junk food, but others might be dealing with mental health issues that make them feel lazy or unmotivated.
This makes them very vulnerable to unfair treatment and social injustice, according to Tanya Berry, a researcher at the University of Alberta. In her study, she asked participants to look at pictures of thin people and overweight people relaxing, then have them say the colour of a sedentary word. She found that people were quick to say “couch potato” when they saw a thin person relaxing, but paused when they looked at an overweight person.
These stereotypical attitudes aren’t helpful for the obesity epidemic, which has become a leading public health issue in many countries. They’re also a barrier to change, says psychologist Rebecca Puhl at Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity in New Haven, Connecticut.