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Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2015 Mar;17(3):552. doi: 10.1007/s11920-015-0552-6.

Stigma and eating and weight disorders.

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Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, University of Connecticut, 1 Constitution Plaza, Suite 600, Hartford, CT, 06103, USA,


Although research has consistently documented the prevalence and negative health implications of weight stigma, little is known about the stigma associated with eating disorders. Given that weight stigma is a risk factor associated with disordered eating, it is important to address stigma across the spectrum of eating and weight disorders. The aim of this review is to systematically review studies in the past 3 years evaluating stigma in the context of obesity and eating disorders (including binge eating disorder, bulimia nervosa, and anorexia nervosa). Physical and psychological health consequences of stigma for individuals with obesity and eating disorders are discussed. Recent studies on weight stigma substantiate the unique influence of stigma on psychological maladjustment, eating pathology, and physiological stress. Furthermore, research documents negative stereotypes and social rejection of individuals with eating disorder subtypes, while attributions to personal responsibility promote blame and further stigmatization of these individuals. Future research should examine the association of stigma related to eating disorders and physical and emotional health correlates, as well as its role in health-care utilization and treatment outcomes. Additional longitudinal studies assessing how weight stigma influences emotional health and eating disorders can help identify adaptive coping strategies and improve clinical care of individuals with obesity and eating disorders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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