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Review of the Experience of Weight-Based Stigmatization in Romantic Relationships

Abstract

Purpose of Review

This narrative review summarizes literature on the stigma and prejudices experienced by individuals based on their weight in the context of romantic relationships.

Recent Findings

Individuals presenting with overweight or obesity, particularly women, are disadvantaged in the formation of romantic relationships compared with their normal-weight counterparts. They are also more prone to experience weight-based stigmatization towards their couple (from others), as well as among their couple (from their romantic partner). Currently available studies showed that weight-based stigmatization by a romantic partner was found to be associated with personal and interpersonal correlates, such as body dissatisfaction, relationship and sexual dissatisfaction, and disordered eating behaviors.

Summary

Scientific literature on weight-based stigmatization among romantic relationships is still scarce. Prospective researches are clearly needed to identify consequences of this specific type of stigmatization on individuals’ personal and interpersonal well-being. The use of dyadic designs could help to deepen our understanding as it would take into account the interdependence of both partners.

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Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Correspondence to Catherine Bégin.

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Catherine Bégin declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Marilou Côté declares that she has no conflict of interest.

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Côté, M., Bégin, C. Review of the Experience of Weight-Based Stigmatization in Romantic Relationships. Curr Obes Rep 9, 280–287 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13679-020-00383-0

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Keywords

  • Weight-based stigmatization
  • Prejudices
  • Weight comments
  • Weight criticism
  • Romantic relationships
  • Romantic partners