JOPLIN, Mo. — Doctors at the Ozark Center are calling attention to Weight Stigma Awareness Week, especially during the pandemic.
According to a study at the University of Connecticut Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, people who have faced a social stigma about being overweight before covid-19 had higher levels of depressive symptoms, stress and eating as a coping strategy than those who had not. There is also a three times higher risk of binge eating for those who have been teased for their weight than those who had not been teased.
Dr. Jenny Copeland, Ozark Center, said, “Hotline calls across the nation to eating disorder organizations are up by seventy to eighty percent, across the board with people needing help. Every person with an eating disorder is experiencing worsening symptoms. More episodes of their symptoms, folks who have been in recovery for a very long time are relapsing as we go through this together.”
Doctor Copeland says binge eating is higher among men than women. Weight stigma awareness week runs September 28th through October 2nd.