Changes in Weight Bias and Perceived Employability Following Weight Loss and Gain

Abstract

Background

The present weight stigma study examined whether attitudes toward and employability of a normal weight person can change after learning that the person had been obese.

Methods

Participants (N = 154) viewed an image of a normal weight woman and rated their impression of her. Next, participants rated their impression of her overweight image after learning how she had previously gained and subsequently lost weight.

Results

Participants rated the model far less favorably including perceived employability if they thought the once overweight model lost weight through surgery vs. diet and exercise. How the model initially gained the weight had little impact on participant ratings.

Conclusions

Surgical weight loss had a significant impact on personality judgments. These negative views extended to hiring decisions.

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Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Statement of Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Statement of Human and Animal Rights

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Correspondence to Robert A. Carels.

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Carels, R.A., Rossi, J., Borushok, J. et al. Changes in Weight Bias and Perceived Employability Following Weight Loss and Gain. OBES SURG 25, 568–570 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11695-014-1522-5

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Keywords

  • Obesity
  • Stigma
  • Weight loss
  • Weight gain
  • Obesity surgery
  • Diet and exercise