The Weight of Stigma: The Effects of Internalized Weight Bias on Eating Behaviors in Young Adults Across the Weight Spectrum
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This study aimed to explore the nature of internalized weight bias in young adults across the weight spectrum and to investigate the potential role of restrictive eating in social settings in the relationship between internalized weight bias and binge eating. Ninety-seven Duke undergraduates completed an online questionnaire that included measures of internalized weight bias, binge eating, and restrictive eating in social settings. Participants also wrote about past experiences of body shame and responded to scales related to the salience and significance of these memories. The findings supported the hypothesis that restrictive eating in social settings would mediate the relationship between internalized weight bias and binge eating. The results did not support gender differences in the relationship between internalized weight bias and restrictive eating in social settings. Participants’ ratings of their memories of body shame indicated that more salient and significant body shame experiences were associated with more severe internalized weight bias. Qualitative analysis of participants’ body shame memories suggested that everyday experiences, such as changing clothes in the locker room or taking photos with friends at the beach, can be distressing and stigmatizing, and may contribute to weight bias internalization in individuals across the weight spectrum.
DepartmentPsychology and Neuroscience
CitationNicholas, Julia (2019). The Weight of Stigma: The Effects of Internalized Weight Bias on Eating Behaviors in Young Adults Across the Weight Spectrum. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/18352.
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Rights for Collection: Undergraduate Honors Theses and Student papers
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