The relationship between weight stigma, weight bias internalization, and physical health in military personnel with or at high-risk of overweight/obesity

Lisa M. Shank, Natasha A. Schvey, Kendra Ekundayo, Deanna Schreiber-Gregory, Dawn Bates, Douglas Maurer, Elena Spieker, Mark Stephens, Marian Tanofsky-Kraff, Tracy Sbrocco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Perceived weight stigma is associated with adverse health indices, such as elevated cortisol, lipid/glucose dysregulation, and poorer self-rated health. This relationship may be particularly relevant for military personnel, given the cultural emphasis on fitness and weight/shape. Therefore, we investigated the relationship between weight stigma and physical health in 117 active duty personnel (66.7% male; 56.4% non-Hispanic White; age: 30.8 ± 7.4 years; BMI: 29.5 ± 2.5 kg/m 2 ). Participants reported weight stigma (general and military-specific), weight bias internalization, and the presence (≥1; n = 55) or absence (n = 62) of medical conditions. Logistic regressions were conducted examining the ability of weight stigma (general or military-specific) and weight bias internalization to predict the presence or absence of medical conditions. General weight stigma was not significantly associated with the presence of a medical condition (p >.05). However, individuals with military-specific weight stigma scores twice that of their peers were over three times more likely (p =.04) to report a medical condition. Weight bias internalization was not significant in any model (ps >.20). Longitudinal studies should prospectively examine the relationship between weight stigma in the military setting and health among service members.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-33
Number of pages9
JournalBody Image
Volume28
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychology(all)

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    Shank, L. M., Schvey, N. A., Ekundayo, K., Schreiber-Gregory, D., Bates, D., Maurer, D., Spieker, E., Stephens, M., Tanofsky-Kraff, M., & Sbrocco, T. (2019). The relationship between weight stigma, weight bias internalization, and physical health in military personnel with or at high-risk of overweight/obesity. Body Image, 28, 25-33. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bodyim.2018.11.003