Research

I am interested in the effects of experienced and internalised weight stigma and their impact on health behaviours and health outcomes. Ideally, the goal should be to eliminate, or even reduce, prejudice and discrimination because of weight (or for any other reason). But we haven’t been very successful at that so far.

In the mean time, there is increasing evidence that internalisation of society’s negative attitudes about weight, devaluing yourself because of your weight, is a major driver of maladaptive coping and worse physical and mental health. And while not internalising stigma won’t protect you against outright discrimination in employment, health, education, or any other domain, it does seem to offer some protection in terms of psychological wellbeing.

I’m also interested in the role of group identity in explaining why some people internalise societal weight stigma whereas others actively resist or fight back. Is resistance futile, or should we be pursuing it? And how would we go about that?

Drawing on the work of Patrick Corrigan looking at mental health stigma, I am using a framework from Social Identity Theory and Self-Categorisation Theory to create a model of stigma resistance in a fat population. Ultimately, I hope to develop and evaluate a brief, self-delivered, size acceptance intervention built upon the amazing existing online resource of fat acceptance blogs and social media, known as the Fatosphere.

Researchgate.net Profile

 

 

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