Fay Gale Centre Lunchtime Seminar Series: Dr Andrea Bombak
Weight Stigma & Health Inequities in New Brunswick Marginalized Communities
Weight stigma (negative attitudes or treatment based on weight) affects stress, mental health, and risk for cardiovascular issues. Little research has explored how people who face other stigmas (like racism, ageism, heterosexism, or classism), are affected by weight stigma. New Brunswick has specific groups that may experience stigmas. These groups include older adults, Francophone Canadians, Newcomers to Canada, those with lower incomes, and sexual and gender minorities. People of higher weights in these groups may find how they are treated in some places is made worse by other stigmas. We know people facing multiple forms of stigma report worse health than those facing fewer stigmas. We know weight stigma is damaging to health; affects people of different gender, race, and class groups differently; and motivates different coping behaviours among different groups. Other forms of stigma might interact with weight stigma and further affect health. We need to understand how local groups experience weight stigma and other stigmas to deliver culturally safe care. Aims: We examined experiences of weight stigma and recommendations for healthcare and for making places in New Brunswick more conducive to wellbeing among diverse, higher-weight New Brunswick adults (≥18 years old) (n=55) over the course of two interviews at 2-to-3-month intervals and participant observation.
Dr Andrea Bombak is Associate Professor in Sociology at the University of New Brunswick. She is a critical weight, health services, and public health scholar whose research critically explores messaging and policy concerning the ‘obesity epidemic’ and the lived experience of weight stigma.
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