Funding agencies: The English Longitudinal Study of Ageing is funded by the National Institute on Aging (grants numbers 2RO1AG7644-01A1 and 2RO1AG017644) and a consortium of UK government departments coordinated by the Office for National Statistics. SEJ is supported by ELSA funding. RJB and JW are supported by Cancer Research UK.
Brief Cutting Edge Report
Perceived weight discrimination and changes in weight, waist circumference, and weight status
Version of Record online: 11 SEP 2014
© 2014 The Authors Obesity published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of The Obesity Society (TOS)
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Volume 22, Issue 12, pages 2485–2488, December 2014
How to Cite
Jackson, S. E., Beeken, R. J. and Wardle, J. (2014), Perceived weight discrimination and changes in weight, waist circumference, and weight status. Obesity, 22: 2485–2488. doi: 10.1002/oby.20891
Disclosure: The authors declared no conflict of interest.
Author contributions: SEJ designed the study, analyzed the data, and drafted the manuscript. RJB and JW revised the manuscript for intellectual content. All authors were involved in writing the paper and had final approval of the submitted and published versions.
- Issue online: 17 NOV 2014
- Version of Record online: 11 SEP 2014
- Manuscript Accepted: 20 AUG 2014
- Manuscript Received: 29 JUL 2014
To examine associations between perceived weight discrimination and changes in weight, waist circumference, and weight status.
Data were from 2944 men and women aged ≥50 years participating in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Experiences of weight discrimination were reported in 2010-2011 and weight and waist circumference were objectively measured in 2008-2009 and 2012-2013. ANCOVAs were used to test associations between perceived weight discrimination and changes in weight and waist circumference. Logistic regression was used to test associations with changes in weight status. All analyses adjusted for baseline BMI, age, sex, and wealth.
Perceived weight discrimination was associated with relative increases in weight (+1.66 kg, P < 0.001) and waist circumference (+1.12 cm, P = 0.046). There was also a significant association with odds of becoming obese over the follow-up period (OR = 6.67, 95% CI 1.85-24.04) but odds of remaining obese did not differ according to experiences of weight discrimination (OR = 1.09, 95% CI 0.46-2.59).
Our results indicate that rather than encouraging people to lose weight, weight discrimination promotes weight gain and the onset of obesity. Implementing effective interventions to combat weight stigma and discrimination at the population level could reduce the burden of obesity.