Although obesity is one of the most prevalent and devastating health problems in the developed world, obese individuals face frequently prejudice and misconception of causal beliefs in the general public. The whole responsibility for the overweight is wrongly attributed to the obese person.
Considering the lack of effective lifestyle based interventions, barriers to their success need to be identified. Negative attitudes (stigmatization) towards individuals with obesity have been identified as one moderating variable of impaired individual and public health outcomes.
The stigma process, leading from the ascription of negative attitudes to discrimination and internalized stigma, has not yet been fully understood and research in most areas are lacking. Therefore, this junior research gruoup (MetaHabil Program) sets out to extent research stigmatization of individuals with obesity and its consequences.
Within the planned projects in total, a thorough analysis of the nature of stigma (incl. investigating new mechanisms such as disgust) and discrimination (assessing prevalence and quality of discrimination experiences and their connection to internalized stigma) will be conducted.
Additionally, behavior-relevant aspects of stigma will be investigated and newly-developed interventions to public stigma will be tested, modified and applied. As a consequence of all projects, a group-based intervention model for the coping with internalized stigma will be developed and piloted. This junior research group is headed by Dr. rer. nat. Claudia Sikorski.