Discrimination: Obesity and Legal Protection

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Discrimination against overweight people is prevalent. Jennifer Coleman, the author of “Discrimination at Large”, focuses on the problem of discrimination against fat people as the most crucial form of intolerance that exists in our society. The whole society widespread and reinforce weight inequity. Unfortunately, comparing to other forms of discrimination, it does not have a legal protection. However, it should have one.

Discrimination against overweight people, particularly women, is as common as racial discrimination, according to 2008 study by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University. The research scientist and the author of the study, Rebecca Puhl, points out the importance of treating “weight discrimination as a legitimate form of prejudice, comparable to other characteristics like race or gender that already receive legal protection”. The study documents the generality of self-reported weight discrimination and compares it to the experiences of discrimination based on race and gender among a nationally representative sample of adults aged 25- to 74-years-old. The data has been obtained from the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States. The study has also revealed that women are twice as likely as men to report weight discrimination in the workplace or interpersonal mistreatment. Co-author of the study, Tatiana Andreyava says that weight discrimination is more prevalent than discrimination based on sexual orientation, nationality/ethnicity, physical disability or religious beliefs;”however, despite its high prevalence, it continues to remain socially acceptable”.

Another important issue is what impact discrimination has on overweight people. Linda Bacon may have an answer to this question in her book”Health at Every Size” (2010). Such form of intolerance weaken people`s self-esteem. When they are constantly hearing the message that something is wrong with them, they start to believe it. And it is...
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