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“I was bullied for being fat in every situation, in every outfit, at every celebration”: A qualitative exploratory study on experiences of weight-based oppression in Qatar

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submitted on 2024-02-25, 11:31 and posted on 2024-02-25, 11:32 authored by Lily O'Hara, Bayan Alajaimi, Bayan Alshowaikh

Introduction

Weight-based oppression (WBO) has been documented as a widespread phenomenon in Western countries and is associated with a range of psychological, physiological, and behavioral harms. Research on weight-based oppression is largely absent from the Arab region.

Methods

We conducted a qualitative exploratory study using semi-structured in-depth interviews to examine the internalized attitudes, values, and beliefs related to body weight, and experiences of external weight-based oppression of 29 staff, faculty, and students at Qatar University.

Results

Thematic analysis revealed six major themes on the characteristics of internalized WBO, and the nature, timing, source, extent, and impact of external WBO. WBO was regarded as so common in the Arab culture as to be normative, with damaging exposure to WBO beginning in early childhood.

Conclusion

WBO in the Arab region is an important and unrecognized public health issue. Programs to reduce WBO should be developed in all sectors.

Other Information

Published in: Frontiers in Public Health
License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
See article on publisher's website: https://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2023.1015181

Funding

Open Access funding provided by the Qatar National Library.

History

Language

  • English

Publisher

Frontiers

Publication Year

  • 2023

License statement

This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Institution affiliated with

  • Qatar University
  • Qatar University Health - QU
  • College of Health Sciences - QU HEALTH

Methodology

We conducted a qualitative exploratory study using semi-structured in-depth interviews to examine the internalized attitudes, values, and beliefs related to body weight, and experiences of external weight-based oppression of 29 staff, faculty, and students at Qatar University.

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