Research Article

Perceived Weight Discrimination and Obesity

  • Angelina R. Sutin mail,

    Affiliation: Florida State University College of Medicine, Tallahassee, Florida, United States of America

  • Antonio Terracciano

    Affiliation: Florida State University College of Medicine, Tallahassee, Florida, United States of America

  • Published: July 24, 2013
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0070048

Reader Comments (3)

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Personal Experience

Posted by jlbisme on 28 Jul 2013 at 05:21 GMT

As a United Methodist Minister there are quiet a few hoops we must jump through on the path towards ordination. One of these hoops is called "Personal Growth and Development". It was in this area that I "failed" for lack of a better word. This was due to my being overweight. I must add that this was never mentioned as a possible factor on the previous steps of the journey. I was to do several things and return in a year for follow-up with "The Board". I arrived the next year a slightly smaller but still overweight person who done all that was asked and a bit more. This was only to hear comments such as "Don't you think you came back too soon?" and "You're still morbidly obese". Ahh, Christian love. So that was five years ago and I am still fighting the battle and will personally and LOUDLY proclaim that this experience did nothing to inspire me to change but rather made me feel like a total failure, even more self-conscious about my weight (like I didn't know I was fat, I'm the one who spends the most time with me!), especially since I am still doing the work of a pastor but was turned from being commissioned (a step in our ordination process). Nothing like feeling as though your colleagues said "Fatty McChubbypants, you can't join our club" because of your weight to make you feel like a complete loser because that has never drove a person headfirst into a quart of ice-cream before.
I am thankful for your work in this study as you have actually given me hope and validated a suspicion I've had all along, that being they did more to harm my effort than to help.

No competing interests declared.

RE: Personal Experience

jmgb replied to jlbisme on 21 Oct 2013 at 14:42 GMT

I'm sorry you have had such a bad experience. What your colleagues don't realize is that as an obese person who has probably been ridiculed by others (I am obese too and have suffered "the slings and arrows" too) you are in a unique position to sympathize with anyone who has been harassed for any reason. You know what it feels like to be put down for a physical attribute and as such you are probably more empathetic too.

When I was a child, my mom took me for an eye exam and the eye doctor remarked that I probably didn't get much exercise because I was overweight. My mother said to him, " Doctor, we aren't here for her weight, it has no effect on her eyesight." What was particularly hurtful is that I was an active child, I liked to play outside like everyone else, I just didn't burn the energy like the other children.

Just remember that whether or not you have the approval of those so-called Christian people, you are still doing good for others and for yourself. It's what's on the inside that counts.

No competing interests declared.