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Psicologia: teoria e prática

Print version ISSN 1516-3687


JUSTO, Ana Maria; CAMARGO, Brigido Vizeu  and  BOUSFIELD, Andréa Barbará da Silva. Overweight and weight control: lay thinking and its normative dimensions. Psicol. teor. prat. [online]. 2018, vol.20, n.2, pp. 213-224. ISSN 1516-3687.

This article aims to describe the social representations (SR) related to overweight and body weight control practices. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with 20 men and 20 women, aged between 30 and 57 years old, with and without excess weight. The data analysis involved a descending hierarchical classification using IRaMuTeQ software. The results are organized in five lexical classes that illustrate different representational dimensions, reflecting different ways of internalizing body standards. Fat is treated with affective distancing. It seems difficult to talk about the overweight without addressing its behavioral origin and the need for change. The SR of weight control practices are anchored in health standards. Eating stands out and reveals the polarity: control versus lack of control. The health ideal, based primarily on individual accountability, reiterates the blaming of overweight individuals for their condition, which reinforces stereotypes and makes weight control more difficult.

Keywords : social representations; overweight; weight control; body; social norms.

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