Weight Discrimination and Risk of Mortality.

TitleWeight Discrimination and Risk of Mortality.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsSutin, AR, Stephan, Y, Terracciano, A
JournalPsychol Sci
Date Published2015 Nov
ISSN Number1467-9280
KeywordsAdult, Aged, Female, Humans, Male, Mental Health, Middle Aged, Mortality, Overweight, Prejudice, Proportional Hazards Models, Social Discrimination, Stress, Psychological, Surveys and Questionnaires, United States

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


Alternate JournalPsychol Sci
Citation Key8190
PubMed ID26420442
PubMed Central IDPMC4636946
Grant ListR15 HD083947 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
P01-AG020166 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
U01 AG009740 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
U01-AG009740 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
1R15-HD083947 / HD / NICHD NIH HHS / United States
P01 AG020166 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
U19 AG051426 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States