Prejudice against fat people: ideology and self-interest

J Pers Soc Psychol. 1994 May;66(5):882-94. doi: 10.1037//0022-3514.66.5.882.


Prejudice against fat people was compared with symbolic racism. An anti-fat attitudes questionnaire was developed and used in several studies testing the notion that antipathy toward fat people is part of an "ideology of blame." Three commonalities between antifat attitudes and racism were explored: (a) the association between values, beliefs, and the rejection of a stigmatized group, (b) the old-fashioned antipathy toward deviance of many sorts, and (c) the lack of self-interest in out-group antipathy. Parallels were found on all 3 dimensions. No in-group bias was shown by fat people. Fatism appears to behave much like symbolic racism, but with less of the negative social desirability of racism.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obesity / psychology*
  • Prejudice*
  • Race Relations
  • Rejection, Psychology
  • Self Concept*
  • Social Desirability
  • Social Values