Weight Bias and Stigma: Impact on Health

Nurs Clin North Am. 2021 Dec;56(4):479-493. doi: 10.1016/j.cnur.2021.07.001.


Weight bias and stigma exist in a variety of realms in our society (media, education, employment, and health care), and unfortunately many view it as a socially acceptable form of discrimination. Patients with obesity often avoid scheduling appointments for health promotion visits and routine care due to perceived weight bias and stigma from their health care provider. Within the health care setting, it is important that health care providers strategically focus on reducing obesity bias and provide high-quality obesity management. People-first language should be used and waiting rooms and examination rooms should be accommodating to people of all sizes.

Keywords: Explicit bias; Implicit bias; Obesity bias and stigma; People-first language; Weight discrimination.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Bias*
  • Humans
  • Obesity / psychology*
  • Social Discrimination*
  • Social Stigma*
  • Stereotyping