1Universidade de São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil, 2Universidade de Ribeirão Preto, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil, 3Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.
Introduction: The internalized weight stigma happens when people have guilt and self-stigma due to their own body weight and when they agree and apply to themselves negative stereotypes. The weight stigma internalization can harm psychosocial health and may be related to disordered eating. Objectives: Therefore, the purpose of this study was to analyze the relationship between internalized weight stigma, body mass index, and disordered eating, specifically restrictive and compensatory practices. Methods: The present sample included 418 individuals, which were 60.8% (n = 253) women, with the mean age of 30.8 years old (SD = 10.4) and a mean self-reported Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25.9 kg/m² (SD = 5.4). They answered The Modified Weight Bias Internalization Scale (WBIS-M), an instrument that measures internalized weight stigma across different weight statuses; and the subscale “Restrictive and compensatory practices” from The Disordered Eating Attitudes Scale (DEAS) which evaluate strict food restriction practices. The relationship between WBIS-M scores and disordered eating was analyzed with Pearson’s correlation and the significance value used was p < .05. Results: The WBIS-M score was positively related to DEAS - Restrictive and compensatory behaviors (r = .47) and to BMI (r = .44), indicating that the greater the internalization of weight stigma, the greater the restrictive eating and compensatory practices and the higher the body mass index. Conclusions: It can be concluded that internalized weight stigma seems to be higher among heavier people and to be related with disordered eating. These results are important given the scarcity of intervention programs targeting internalized weight bias within people who suffer most by it.
Keywords: obesity, disordered eating, weight bias.