The social glorification of thinness is the most recognized environmental component in the rise of eating disorders.
By the age of six, girls in particular begin to show worries about their weight or physique. Forty to sixty percent of primary school girls (ages 6 to 12) are worried and concerned about their weight or being overweight. This major worry lasts a lifetime.
Seventy-nine percent of weight loss program participants reported eating additional food to combat weight stigma.
Sixty-nine percent of American primary school girls who read magazines claim the images affect their conception of the ideal body form. Forty-seven percent think the images inspire them to lose weight.
Family members and peers ridicule, tease, taunt and harass up to 40 percent of overweight females and 37 percent of overweight males about their weight. Weight teasing is a reliable indicator of weight increase, extreme weight control efforts, and binge eating.
The relationship between weight-based harassment among overweight kids and negative attitudes toward sports, lower levels of physical activity, and decreased involvement in physical exercise in overweight students has been established. Those who encounter weight-based social stigma among overweight and obese adults indulge in binge eating more frequently, are at higher risk for body image concerns and eating disorder symptoms, and are much more likely to be diagnosed with binge eating disorder.
Children of parents who are excessively worried about their weight are more likely to adopt their mothers’ harmful attitudes and practices.
The stigma associated with a weight poses a substantial hazard to physical and psychological health. It is a known risk factor for low self-esteem, depression, and body dissatisfaction.
Low self-esteem is a feature shared by many individuals with eating disorders.
Reported weight discrimination is highly related to a current diagnosis of anxiety and mood disorders, as well as the utilization of mental health treatments.
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