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“Negative Things That Kids Should Never Have to Hear”: Exploring Women’s Histories of Weight Stigma in Physical Activity

Ashdown-Franks, Garcia and Meadows, Angela and Pila, Eva (2021) '“Negative Things That Kids Should Never Have to Hear”: Exploring Women’s Histories of Weight Stigma in Physical Activity.' Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 44 (1). pp. 1-13. ISSN 0895-2779

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Abstract

Scholars have proposed that cumulative experiences of anti-fat bias and stigma contribute to detrimental physical activity experiences, as well as social and health inequities. The objective of this research was to explore how enacted weight stigma experiences are constructed and impact women’s physical activity experiences long term. Eighteen women who identified as having had negative experiences related to their body weight, shape, or size in physical activity contexts participated in semistructured interviews. Using reflexive thematic analysis, four themes were identified: (a) norms of body belonging, (b) distancing from an active identity, (c) at war with the body, and (d) acts of resistance. These findings deepen understandings of how historical experiences of weight stigma can have longstanding consequences on physical activity cognitions, emotions, and behaviors. To equitably promote physical activity, it is imperative that movement spaces (e.g., fitness centers, sport organizations) both target anti-fat stigma and adopt weight-inclusive principles.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: gender disparity; body diversity; fat acceptance
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2022 12:12
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2022 01:33
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/31626

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