Essay Discrimination Toward Obese Individuals

1556 Words 7 Pages
I felt the eye of judgment piercing through me as I entered the plane. I could hear people whispering and giggling. While scanning the rows to find my assigned seat, I could see the looks of concern from those who thought I might sit by them. The clicking sounds of seat belt buckles almost sent me into a panic. I was dreading asking the flight attendant for a lap belt extension, or worse, having it offered without asking. Words were not necessary to feel the intensity of mass criticism. To make matters worse, it was a hot day, and my clothes were sticking to my body, outlining my multiple layers of over-indulgence. I was overheating and could taste salty beads of sweat trickling down my face.
As an overweight kid, I have felt this
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With the first bite, a floodgate of emotion opens and it is likely that a food binge may occur. Binging is usually an attempt to stuff hurtful feelings back inside. A gorging session is like the alcoholic or drug addict who feels bad about themselves for getting high or drunk, but returns to the very same substance to feel better. While alone, the large person enjoys food, but in public, they feel they have to justify each bite. Weight discrimination feels as bad as racial or religious persecution, but is not considered a protected class under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Rebecca Puhl, research scientist and lead author at Yale University states, “These results show the need to treat weight discrimination as a legitimate form of prejudice, comparable to other characteristics like race or gender that already receive legal protection”. Puhl’s co-author, Tatiana Andreyava , also of Yale, indicates that weight bias is more widespread than other well known types of discrimination. “However, despite its high prevalence, it continues to remain socially acceptable” (Obesity 2009).
Portly people may also have difficulty in the workplace. Heavy people may be considered a risk due to obesity related disease. Roehling and Reese (2002) believe that fat people have been perceived by employers as a burden when it comes to providing health care insurance. Some companies have chastised employees for their
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