Fat Studies

Esther D. Rothblum

in The Oxford Handbook of the Social Science of Obesity

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199736362
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Fat Studies

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  • Health, Education, and Welfare



People in the United States, regardless of their own weight, have strong negative attitudes about fat people, and the stigma of weight is particularly apparent for women. There is a huge economic market that depends on people wanting to lose weight, feeling dissatisfied with their bodies, and buying diet products. It is important to emphasize that weight and income are negatively associated in the United States, and that this correlation is especially pronounced for women. Media preoccupation with the health risks of fatness ignores that life expectancy has been increasing. Body weight, and even women's body weight, cannot be understood without reference to race, ethnicity, social class, and sexual orientation. A major focus on fat studies as social inequality needs to come from the social sciences, such as psychology, sociology, political science, and economics. There has been a surge of fat-positive movement and exercise programs.

Keywords: fat studies; United States; economic market; body weight; social inequality; exercise

Article.  4963 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Health, Education, and Welfare

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