Woman with obesity facing prejudice

The impact of weight stigma

Weight stigma contributes to emotional distress, poor physical health, and reduced quality of life.

Video about the adverse health behaviors of weight stigma

The impact of weight stigma on health

Weight stigma, adverse health behaviors, and the overall harmful effect on health and well-being are explored.

Podcast about the damaging impacts of weight stigma.

The damaging impact of weight stigma

Professor Puhl discusses the psychological and physiological consequences of weight stigma.

Research indicates that weight stigma may have wide-ranging health effects, from increasing inflammation and metabolic dysregulation to promoting maladaptive eating patterns and avoidance of physical activity.1–3 This increases the disease burden already observed in people with obesity.4 Optimal care of patients with obesity requires an understanding of weight stigma and its harmful impact on health.

How does weight stigma impact health?

A summary of the health consequences associated with weight stigma


Handout showing that being shamed about weight increases risk of psychological and physical effects
Guided self-reflection about why we make assumptions about people with obesity

Guided self-reflection on weight stigma

Reflect on what you have learned about weight stigma and how you plan to use this knowledge.


Patty Nece explains why no one should be blamed or shamed because of their body weight and why it is important to understand the harmful effects of weight stigma on patients.

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