FAT PEOPLE 'DISABLED' SAY TEENS; Concern at Discrimination Faced by the Overweight
Byline: By ANNE LUCEY
TEENAGERS see being fat as "a disability", the first study of adolescents' attitudes towards obesity has found.
Some added they would be embarrassed to sit beside an overweight person on a bus.
The Psychological Society of Ireland annual conference in Killarney, Co Kerry, heard the attitude was partly due to fear of being associated with the obese person and out of fear of being discriminated against themselves.
University College Dublin PhD student Aoife Menton said her main finding was there was "huge discrimination" against obesity and overweight people.
She added: "Attitudes towards obesity held by adolescents are negative and stereotypical, further emphasising the stigma faced by obese persons in Irish society today."
Her findings are based on responses of more than 1,500 people between the ages of 15 and 17 in Co Dublin over the past year.
Around a fifth of the respondents were underweight and a third overweight or obese.
When asked what came to mind when they heard the word obesity, 11 per cent replied "McDonald's". …