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April: Studying weight | News and features

April: Studying weight | News and features


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Image from Pixabay by November 12, 2019

Press release issued: April 16, 2024

People who felt pressured to lose weight by family or the media as teenagers, women, sexual minorities, and people who experience socio-economic disadvantage are more likely to experience “internalized” weight bias. The risk is highest, new research led by the University of Bristol has found. The study was published today in The Lancet Regional Health Europe. [16 Apr].

Internalized weight bias is when we apply negative obesity-related stereotypes to ourselves, such as believing that our weight makes us less attractive, less competent, or less valuable as a person. It is to do. This is the first study to use a large UK sample to examine who is most at risk.

Approximately one in four people in the UK live with obesity, but obesity is highly stigmatized. Negative obesity stereotypes and weight discrimination are widespread in society. Experiences of weight stigma are a major public health problem. People affected by weight stigma are more likely to suffer from poor mental health and eating disorders, and may delay seeking treatment. However, because previous studies have used small and unrepresentative samples, little is known about which population groups are at higher risk for internalizing weight bias.

Use Bristol data kids of the 90s The new study (also known as the Avon Parent-Child Longitudinal Study) surveyed more than 4,000 people aged 31 and older to assess gender, ethnicity, socio-economic factors, sexual orientation, family and broader social influences in early childhood. This study investigated differences in internalized weight bias. puberty.

The study found that having felt pressured by family members to lose weight, being teased by family members related to weight, and having felt pressured by the media to lose weight as a teenager were all 31 years old. was found to be associated with higher levels of internalized weight stigma. Explained by differences in body mass index (BMI). Being bullied during adolescence (age 17) and adulthood (age 23) was also independently associated with internalized weight bias at age 31.

The study also found clear differences in internalized weight stigma between other groups in the population, which again could not be explained by differences in BMI. Women and people who do not identify as heterosexual are at higher risk for internalizing weight bias. People who spent most of their 20s as NEETs (not in education, employment, or training) or whose mothers had low educational attainment are also at higher risk for internalized weight stigma.

Dr. Amanda Hughes,Researcher Bristol Medical School: Population Health Sciences (PHS) and the corresponding author found that “pressure to lose weight during adolescence from the family environment, bullying, and the media has long-term effects on how people evaluate themselves based on their weight as adults.'' It could have a significant impact.”

“We have an opportunity to reduce weight stigma and its impact by changing the way we talk about weight in the media, in public, and within families, and how we respond to bullying in schools, workplaces, and other settings. there is.

“This is extremely important given that pressure to lose weight and weight-related bullying, prejudice and discrimination are common in many cultures around the world.”

The researchers now plan to closely examine the psychological processes by which these social factors may influence internalized weight bias.

This research was funded by: Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), medical research council (MRC), National Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NIHR), and welcome trust.


'Demographic, socio-economic and life course risk factors for internalized weight stigma in adulthood: Evidence from a British birth cohort study.Written by Amanda M. Hughes, Stuart W. Flint, Kenneth Clare, Antonis A. Kousley, Emily R. Rothwell, Helen Bold, and Laura D. Howe Lancet Regional Health Europe [open access]

Further information

About 90s kids
Based at the University of Bristol, kids of the 90sThe study, also known as the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), is a long-term health research project that enrolled more than 14,000 pregnant women in 1991 and 1992. The project has tracked the health and development of parents and children. Since then, I have detailed my children and now my grandchildren. It receives core funding from the Medical Research Council, the Wellcome Trust and the University of Bristol.

About the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
of Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by grants from the UK Government.

We fund world-leading research, data and graduate training in economics, behavioral, social and data science to understand people and the world around us.

Our work helps increase productivity, combat climate change, improve public services and create prosperous, inclusive, healthy and safe societies.

About the National Institute of Health and Medical Sciences
mission of National Institute of Health and Medical Sciences (NIHR) aims to improve people's health and wealth through research. This is done as follows:

  • Funding high quality and timely research that benefits the NHS, public health and social care.
  • We invest in world-class expertise, facilities and skilled delivery personnel to translate discoveries into improved care and services.
  • Engage with patients, service users, carers and communities to improve the relevance, quality and impact of research.
  • Attract, train and support talented researchers tackling complex health and social care challenges.
  • We work with other public funders, charities and industry to help create a coherent and globally competitive research system.
  • Funded global health research and training to meet the needs of the poorest people in low- and middle-income countries.

The NIHR is funded by the Department of Health and Social Care. Activities in low- and middle-income countries are primarily funded through UK Aid from the UK Government.

About the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence Bristol Biomedical Research Center (NIHR Bristol BRC)
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence Bristol Biomedical Research Center's (NIHR Bristol BRC) innovative biomedical research takes science from the bench and computer and develops it into new medicines, treatments and health advice. The world's leading scientists work on many different aspects of health, from the role played by individual genes and proteins to analyzing large-scale data collections on hundreds of thousands of people.

Bristol BRC is unique among NIHR's 20 BRCs across the UK due to its expertise in ground-breaking population health research.

About Welcome
welcome Supporting science to solve the most pressing health challenges facing all people. We support discovery research about life, health and well-being and address her three global health challenges: mental health, global warming and infectious diseases.

About the Medical Research Council
of medical research council We are at the forefront of scientific discoveries to improve human health. Founded in 1913 to tackle tuberculosis, the MRC now invests taxpayer dollars in the world's best medical research across all areas of health. Thirty-three of his MRC-funded researchers have won Nobel Prizes in a wide range of fields, and MRC scientists have made discoveries as diverse as vitamins, the structure of DNA, and the link between smoking and cancer. , has produced pioneering research results. These include the use of randomized controlled trials, the invention of the MRI scan, and the development of a group of antibodies used to make some of the most successful drugs ever developed. MRC-funded scientists are now investigating some of the biggest health challenges facing humanity in the 21st century, from the rise in age-related chronic diseases to the threats posed by rapidly mutating microorganisms. We are working on this.




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