Weight Stigma, Chronic Stress, Unhealthy Diet, and Obesity in Chilean Adults

Daniela Gómez-Pérez*, Margarita Cancino, Patricia I. Moreno, Manuel S. Ortiz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Obesity is highly prevalent around the world, including in Chile. Although various psychological factors have been previously associated with obesity, there has been less attention on the role of weight stigma as a determinant of obesity in Chile. Therefore, the primary aim of this study was to examine the direct effect of weight stigma on obesity and determine whether chronic stress and unhealthy diet mediate the relationship between weight stigma and obesity. Methods: Faculty and staff from a Chilean university enrolled in the Chilean Study of Psychological Predictors of Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome and completed anthropometric measurements and measures of weight stigma, chronic stress, and unhealthy diet. Results: Three-hundred and eighty-three participants (Mage = 45 years old; 58% female) were included in the present analysis. Structural equation model analyses demonstrated a direct effect of weight stigma on obesity, chronic stress, and unhealthy diet. However, chronic stress and unhealthy diet did not mediate the relationship between weight stigma and obesity. Conclusions: Weight stigma is an important determinant of obesity and is associated with high levels of chronic stress and unhealthy diet in Chilean adults. Our results provide further support for the multifactorial nature of obesity and can inform future interventions aimed promoting weight loss in people with overweight and obesity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Medicine
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • Chronic stress
  • Obesity
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Weight stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

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