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Keywords:

  • Coping mechanism;
  • obesity bias;
  • weight stigma

Summary

Obesity bias such as teasing or weight criticism during physical activity can lead to psychological or emotional damage for overweight or obese individuals. The literature indicates that the adverse effects of stigmatization on overweight or obese individuals can be mediated by coping mechanisms. However, little is known about how overweight or obese children and adolescents cope with weight stigma in physical activity/education settings. This paper provides a conceptual analysis of coping mechanisms through reviewing work on weight stigma in psychology literature and discusses the future research directions. The most promising areas for future research include conducting an in-depth qualitative exploration of overweight or obese individuals' coping mechanisms against obesity bias and studying potential individual and situational factors as moderating variables in physical activity/education settings.