Weightism involves negative attitudes and discriminatory behavior toward people on the basis of their weight. Although in the developing world there is some bias against thin people, the most common form of weightism is bias against people who are heavier than average. When this bias is an attitude, it is sometimes called antifat prejudice. This entry looks at the origins of weightism, compares it with other kinds of prejudice and discrimination, and discusses its consequences and potential remedies.

Origins of Weight-Based Bias

Social norms regarding weight suggest that there is an ideal body type that individuals should strive to attain. Although there is variability in the ideal body type across cultures, most cultures endorse a lean, thin ideal. Because heavyweight individuals do not fit this ideal, they ...

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