Self-compassion as an alternative approach to obesity treatment
MetadataShow full item record
Obesity is a complex and multi-faceted condition that has been associated with numerous negative health effects. Traditional approaches to obesity treatment focus on weight loss through behaviour change and place the responsibility on the individual to maintain a healthy weight. However, traditional approaches to obesity treatment have been shown to be ineffective and can contribute to weight stigma. Weight stigma, the prejudice and discrimination that higher body weight individuals face, has been linked with numerous negative outcomes and has been argued to be more harmful to individuals’ health than obesity itself. Therefore, alternative approaches to obesity treatment that can help individuals cope with the detrimental impacts of weight stigma are needed. This thesis explores how the practice of self-compassion can be used to help higher body weight people better relate to themselves and their bodies. Self-compassion is a unique approach to helping individuals with obesity and consists of three main elements: kindness, a sense of common humanity, and mindfulness. Based on the literature reviewed, self-compassion has the potential to help improve the overall health and well-being of higher body weight individuals and may help them cope with the negative effects of weight stigma.