Weight Discrimination and Risk of Mortality

TitleWeight Discrimination and Risk of Mortality
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsSutin, AR, Stephan, Y, Terracciano, A
JournalPsychological Science
KeywordsEmployment and Labor Force, Health Conditions and Status, Risk Taking

Discrimination based on weight is a stressful social experience linked to declines in physical and mental health. We examined whether this harmful association extends to risk of mortality. Participants in the Health and Retirement Study (HRS; N = 13,692) and the Midlife in the United States Study (MIDUS; N = 5,079) reported on perceived discriminatory experiences and attributed those experiences to a number of personal characteristics, including weight. Weight discrimination was associated with an increase in mortality risk of nearly 60 in both HRS participants (hazard ratio = 1.57, 95 confidence interval = 1.34, 1.84 ) and MIDUS participants (hazard ratio = 1.59, 95 confidence interval = 1.09, 2.31 ). This increased risk was not accounted for by common physical and psychological risk factors. The association between mortality and weight discrimination was generally stronger than that between mortality and other attributions for discrimination. In addition to its association with poor health outcomes, weight discrimination may shorten life expectancy.


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Endnote Keywords

psychological stress/open data/open materials/health Status/body Mass Index/PERCEIVED DISCRIMINATION/OBESITY/Discrimination/Mortality/Risk factors

Endnote ID


Citation Key8190
PubMed ID26420442
PubMed Central IDPMC4636946