Survey finds Americans will give anything not to be fat
(Washington Post)
Updated: 2006-05-31 11:46

Almost half of Americans would give up a year of their life to avoid being fat, according to a recent survey.

The online survey of 4,283 of Americans ages 13 to 79 also found that between 15 percent and 30 percent would rather leave their marriage, give up the possibility of having children, be depressed or become an alcoholic than be obese.

Five percent said they would rather lose a limb, and 4 percent said they would rather be blind.

"We were surprised by the sheer number of people who reported they would be willing to make major sacrifices to avoid being obese. It drives home the message that weight bias is powerful and pervasive," said Marlene Schwartz of Yale University.

Schwartz led a team of researchers that reported the survey results in the journal Obesity.

The primary purpose of the survey was to gauge anti-fat bias.

People of all weight categories exhibited a significant implicit bias against people who are overweight, the researchers found. But they said that thinner people tended to be more biased.

"The fact that even obese individuals exhibited a significant implicit anti-fat bias is important because it suggests that they have internalized negative stereotypes, such as believing they are lazy," Schwartz said.