Body Weight Stigma in Physical Activity Settings


  • Andrew C. Pickett, PhD
  • George B. Cunningham, PhD



Obesity, Overweight, Discrimination, Exclusion, Health, Activity


Given societal body ideals praising thinness and muscularity, physical activity spaces can be
difficult to navigate for those in larger bodies. Thus, stigma serves as a strong barrier to participation. In
this study, the authors explore ways that body stigma affects larger individuals’ participation in physical
activity. This authors employed qualitative, semi-structured interviews (N = 9), regarding personal experi-
ences of body weight stigma. Results suggest that body stigma is common and that various discriminatory
experiences led participants away from participating. Given the prevalence of prejudicial behaviors, which
exclude larger individuals, the authors argue for more inclusive physical activity spaces and practices.



How to Cite

Pickett, A. C., & Cunningham, G. B. (2018). Body Weight Stigma in Physical Activity Settings. American Journal of Health Studies, 33(1).