Obesity: an empathy blind spot

The Obesity: an empathy blind spot report explains why we’re wrong in our beliefs about obesity, the harm caused by fat stigma, and how we can rethink what we think we know about fat.

The author(s)

  • Lucy Neiland Ethnography, UK
  • Eleanor Tait Ethnography
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I have to say, I don’t really respect fat people. It shows a weakness and a lack of self-control. I was a bit overweight myself and I managed to get myself back on track. Why can’t they?

These words are from our recent digital ethnography study for Johnson & Johnson Medical on the lived experience of obesity. We found that weight stigma is baked into public discourse, and programmes from Peppa Pig to Friends teach us that it’s acceptable to deride and judge fat bodies. The impact of this stigma for people living with obesity can include emotional harm, lower salaries (there is an obesity pay gap) and receiving worse care from doctors.

The Obesity: an empathy blind spot report explains why we’re wrong in our beliefs about obesity, the harm caused by fat stigma, and how we can rethink what we think we know about fat.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more, please contact Lucy Neiland and Eleanor Tait.

The author(s)

  • Lucy Neiland Ethnography, UK
  • Eleanor Tait Ethnography

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