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Overweight or Obese Students in Physical Education Essay

In this thought paper, a social ecological constraint model study the inclusion of overweight or obese students in physical education by integrating key concepts and assumptions from ecological constraint theory in motor development and social ecological models in health promotion and behavior. There are some issues about the ecological constraint model. Often, overweight or obese are considered relative to their physical inabilities and how they differ from their peers.

Even worse, physical educators maybe negatively biased toward overweight or obese students. Greenleaf, Martin & Rhea, 2008; Greenleaf and Weiler, 2005) and may have stereotypical views of lifestyle behaviors, lack of individual control, outward appearance (Chambis, Finley, & Blair, 2004; Rukavina, Li, & Rowel, 2008; Rukavina, Li, Shen & Sun, 2010). Another constraint is obesity bias/weight stigma, often defined as the assumption that overweight people have negative character trait such as laziness, self-indulgence, or lack of intelligence (Puhl & Brownell, 2001).

In parallel of this article, given the social acceptability of negative attitudes toward obese individuals, it may not be surprising to learn that weight discrimination is common in the United States. Weight stigma or bias generally refers to negative weight-related attitudes toward an overweight or obese individual. These attitudes are often manifested by negative stereotypes (e. g. , that obese persons are “lazy” or “lacking in willpower”), social rejection and prejudice.

Weight stigma includes verbal teasing (e. g. , name calling, derogatory remarks, being made fun of, etc. ), physical aggression (e. g. , hitting, kicking, pushing, shoving, etc. ) and relational victimization (e. g. , social exclusion, being ignored, avoided, or the target of rumors). Many obese individuals report being treated with less respect or courtesy than thinner persons and being called names or insults because of their weight.

Thus, weight stigma can emerge in subtle forms, or it can be expressed directly. Discrimination is distinct from stigma and negative attitudes, and specifically refers to unequal, unfair treatment of people because of their weight. For example, an obese person who is qualified for a job but is not hired for the position because of his or her weight may have been the victim of weight discrimination.

Other examples include being denied a job promotion or fired from a job because of one’s weight; being denied certain medical procedures or provided inferior medical care because of one’s weight; or being denied a scholarship, a bank loan or prevented from renting or buying a home because of one’s weight. Despite the increasing prevalence of obesity, it appears that incidences of weight discrimination are only becoming worse. (Puhl, R. M. , Andreyeva, T. , & Brownell, K. D; 2008).


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