Presenter: Jeffrey Hunger, PhD
Title: Weight Stigma and Disordered Eating: A Multi-Method Approach
Description: We present multi-method evidence underscoring the role of weight stigma in disordered eating cognitions and unhealthy weight control behaviors. In Study 1, experienced weight stigma was associated with indices of disordered eating (e.g., dietary restraint, shape concerns), and this was mediated by greater anticipated stigma. In Study 2, participants were randomly assigned to imagine an experience with weight-based mistreatment or a control experience. Individuals who imagined a weight-stigmatizing experience, compared to those in the control condition, reported greater anticipated weight stigma, which predicted greater willingness to engage in unhealthy weight control behaviors (e.g., purging) and higher state disordered eating symptoms (e.g., drive for thinness). Study 3 employed a longitudinal design, finding that weight labeling predicts increases in disordered eating symptoms and unhealthy weight control behaviors over a four-year period. These results are discussed within a broader framework that conceptualizes weight stigma as an important contributor to disordered eating behaviors.
Bio: Jeffrey Hunger, PhD, is a postdoctoral scholar in Health Psychology at UCLA. He received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Minnesota, master’s degree in psychological research from CSU Fullerton, and PhD in Psychological and Brain Sciences from UC Santa Barbara. As a social and health psychologist, Dr. Hunger is interested in using insights from psychology to understand and ultimately improve the health of stigmatized groups (e.g., higher bodyweight individuals, racial and sexual minorities). Dr. Hunger’s research is published in top outlets across psychology, public health, and medicine, and has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, NPR, and more. To learn more about his work, please visit JeffreyHunger.com
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