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Stigmatizing effects of weight status on lay perceptions of eating disorder-related distress

Osa, Maggie L and Siegel, Jaclyn and Meadows, Angela and Elbe, Connor and Calogero, Rachel M (2022) 'Stigmatizing effects of weight status on lay perceptions of eating disorder-related distress.' Eating Disorders, 30 (1). pp. 99-109. ISSN 1064-0266

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Abstract

The present study examined how weight status would affect lay perceptions of a White female student presenting signs of eating disorder-related distress. We recruited a mixed-gender, weight-diverse U.S. community sample through Mechanical Turk (N = 130; 49.2% female) to complete an online survey. Participants were randomly assigned to one of two conditions in which they read a personal statement section of a college application revealing eating disorder-related distress from a student who was either 'overweight' or 'underweight.' Participants evaluated the student on need for support, behavioural prescriptions for eating and exercise, and personal qualities. Although participants recognized a serious mental health concern in both conditions, they were more likely to prescribe eating disorder behaviors to the higher weight student. Findings suggest that weight stigma may bias lay perceptions of and even reinforce an eating disorder when exhibited by higher weight individuals.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Humans; Thinness; Feeding Behavior; Students; Female; Male; Overweight; Feeding and Eating Disorders
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2021 14:36
Last Modified: 07 Apr 2022 22:22
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/31879

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