WEIGHT CRIMES Fat people are more likely to face prejudice than any other minority group, damning study finds


OBESE people endure more prejudice than any other group even compared to ethnic minorities, gay people, women or those suffering mental illness, a damning global study finds today.

The World Obesity Federation report said 62 per cent of of adults in the UK believed people were more likely to suffer discrimination for being overweight – more than any other category.

And almost half suffered stigma and discrimination due to their weight that put them off looking for help from their GP or hospital.

Johanna Ralston, chief executive of the World Obesity Federation called for better education for medical students and healthcare workers.

She blasted: “People are being blamed for obesity, but decades of public health research show that obesity is complex and there are multiple causes.

“Despite this, society at large continues to treat people with obesity unfairly. Stigmatising obesity undermines people’s health and makes it harder to seek support.”

The Federation also called on social media companies to clamp down on weight abuse online after a snapshot poll found many social media users were using discriminatory language on sites.

The research showed the impact was far reaching and damaged people’s career prospects and could lead to social isolation.

Based on an academic study, the report highlighted the common the use of negative images used by media when reporting on obesity.

Looking at online media in 22 countries, outlets in South Africa, Hong Kong and Italy were found to be the most stigmatising, but authors said all the countries examined showed some bias.