Nutritional sociology uses sociological theories and methods to study and influence food patterns, eating habits, and nutrition. Obesity and weight loss are important topics in nutritional sociology, and stigmatization of the obese is a long-standing interest. Most past sociological work has only described stigmatization, rather than developing ways to facilitate coping with it. A model for coping with the stigma of obesity is presented here. The model includes four components: Recognition, Readiness, Reaction, and Repair. Recognition involves awareness of the stigma of obesity and understanding about stigmatization. Readiness involves anticipation that stigmatization may occur in specific settings or by some people, and preparation for and prevention of stigmatizing acts. Reaction involves immediate and long-term coping techniques to deal with a stigmatizing act. Repair involves the recovery from stigmatization and attempts at restitution and reform of the stigmatizing actions of others. This model uses a sociological perspective to develop strategies for dealing with stigmatization, which differs from a medical model for dealing with obesity. This sociological model for helping people cope with the stigma of obesity may also be useful with other types of stigmas.
"Obesity and Nutritional Sociology: A Model for Coping with the Stigma of Obesity,"
Clinical Sociology Review: Vol. 9
, Article 13.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/csr/vol9/iss1/13