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Obesity responsibility attribution and stigma coping communication: effects on obesity counseling intention, and health behavior intention

  • Health Communication Research
  • 2023, 22(1), pp.43-101
  • DOI : 10.24172/hcr.2023.22.1.43
  • Publisher : Korea Health Communication Association
  • Research Area : Social Science > Journalism and Broadcasting > Communication
  • Received : February 19, 2023
  • Accepted : April 27, 2023
  • Published : April 30, 2023

Soojin Kim 1 SUNOUK YOU 2 Yujin Lim 3

1이화여자대학교
2한경국립대학교
3숭실대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Twenty years have passed since the World Health Organization declared obesity a disease. However, there is a widespread perception that obesity is due to the responsibility of individuals who are lazy and not faithful to self-management rather than being recognized as a disease. Therefore, in this study, five research questions were set to find out how obesity stigma coping communication appears as a response to obesity attribution and obesity stigma, and how it affects obesity counseling intention and health behavior intention of obese people. An online survey was conducted on obese and non-obese people, and out of 1,100 respondents, 417 were obese and 683 were non-obese. As a result of the analysis, difference between the obese and the non-obese groups were found for the cause of obesity. The social attribution was higher in the obese group and the corporate attribution was higher in the non-obese. The obesity stigma coping communication of the obese were divided into four strategies: challenge, acceptance, transcendence, and denial, and the stigma coping communication was also different depending on the attribution of the cause of obesity in the obese. As a result of examining the relationship between stigma coping communication and counseling intention of obese people, exercise therapy counseling intention was higher for obese people who dealt with negative stigma, and drug treatment counseling intention was lower for obese people who showed challenging coping response and higher for those who showed acceptance coping response. It was found that the more obese people cope with transcendent stigma, the higher the intention to consult both exercise treatment and drug treatment. In addition, the impact of obese people’s stigma coping communication on health behavioral intentions was different, and it was found that obese people who transcend and accept stigma tried to actively control weight, and negative stigma coping was related to prevention behavior intention. Acceptance strategy of stigma coping communication was found to reduce efforts to manage health. This study has academic significance as an interdisciplinary study to view obesity stigma as a social problem and to provide answers to obesity problems through the convergence of communication and medicine. Through the stigma coping communication of obese people, practical implications for doctor-patient communication to solve obesity problems were suggested.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.