Anti-Fat Bias: Media’s Influence on Obesity Stigma, Lipoedema, and Its Impact on Receiving Quality Healthcare

By February 6, 2016Anti-Fat Bias, Lipedema

Anti-Fat Bias: Media’s Influence on Obesity Stigma, Lipoedema, and Its Impact on Receiving Quality Healthcare

Seo CA, Bird J, Ellis M, Dill-Shackleford KE; 2013

Synopsis: Lipoedema is often confused with obesity and women are judged, shamed and blamed by healthcare professionals, either implicitly or explicitly. This research poster describes the experiences of women with lipedema interacting with healthcare professionals, and how anti-fat bias has impacted the quality of care they receive.

Abstract: Media’s influence is far reaching. Nowhere does it have more impact than on the internalized and externalized images the culture projects about womens bodies. Perfect idealized images of women, impossible to attain and maintain, are disempowering and lead to widespread stigma and discrimination. Anti-fat bias is common and along with a lack of knowledge about lipoedema among healthcare professionals generally results in misdiagnosis for women with the disorder. Despite its medical vs. cosmetic nature, lipoedema is often confused with obesity and women are judged, shamed and blamed by healthcare professionals, either implicitly or explicitly. Women learn a sense of powerlessness in the face of antifat bias, and fail to advocate for themselves in healthcare situations. Cognitive understanding about lipoedema and mindfulness meditation are two interventions that can increase self-efficacy and self-caring, especially for women with lipoedema, allowing them to advocate for themselves in receiving appropriate quality healthcare.

APA Citation: Seo, C. A., Bird, J., Ellis, M. & Dill-Shackleford, K. E. (2013) Anti-fat bias: Medias influence on obesity stigma, lipoedema, and its impact on receiving quality healthcare. Poster presented at the 1st Annual International Weight Stigma Conference, 16th May 2013, Birmingham, UK.

AMA Citation: Seo, C. A., Bird, J., Ellis, M. & Dill-Shackleford, K. E. (2013) Anti-fat bias: Medias influence on obesity stigma, lipoedema, and its impact on receiving quality healthcare. Poster presented at: 1st Annual International Weight Stigma Conference, 16th May 2013, Birmingham, UK.