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Weight stigma and health behaviours

   Department of Psychology

About the Project

Obesity is one of society’s greatest challenges with 2/3rds of UK adults being overweight or obese. Weight stigma (anti-fat attitudes, weight-based prejudice and discrimination) is experienced by 54% of adults and deters individuals from engaging in healthy behaviours targeted in obesity interventions (e.g. healthy diets, increased physical activity and improved sleep) (Nolan, 2016). The mechanisms underpinning the impacts of weight stigma on health behaviours are currently unclear.

This PhD project will use a mixed methods approach to examine biopsychosocial explanations for the effects of weight stigma on health behaviours. The project will investigate potential mechanisms, individual differences and possible interventions.

Please direct initial queries to Nicola Buckland ()

Funding Notes

Self funded or externally sponsored students only. Intakes are usually October and March annually.

NB The University has some scholarships under competition each year. More details can be found - View Website


Nolan, L. J., & Eshleman, A. (2016). Paved with good intentions: Paradoxical eating responses to weight stigma. Appetite, 102, 15-24.
Pearl, R. L., & Puhl, R. M. (2018). Weight bias internalization and health: a systematic review. Obesity reviews, 19, 1141-1163.
Tomiyama, A. J. (2014). Weight stigma is stressful. A review of evidence for the Cyclic Obesity/Weight-Based Stigma model. Appetite, 82, 8-15.

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