Obesity isn’t terribly consistent with good health. The more severe the obesity, the worse the health effects.
But extra pounds alone don’t account for all of the health problems in people who are overweight. A study out this week suggests that society’s bias against fat people is partly to blame too.
Here’s the theory behind how it works: The higher your body-mass index, the more likely you are to think that you’ve been a victim of weight discrimination. And the more you believe you suffer from weight discrimination, the more your health suffers.
Researchers from Purdue University backed this up by analyzing data from 1,856 participants in the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States. Participants completed questionnaires in the mid-1990s and again in 2005; both times, they provided information on their height and weight (enough to compute their BMIs), whether they considered themselves to be overweight, their general health and degree of functional disability, and whether they had been subject to weight discrimination.