The Relationships between Weight Bias, Perceived Weight Stigma, Eating Behavior, and Psychological Distress among Undergraduate Students in Hong Kong

Man Yan Cheng, Shu Mei Wang, Yin Ying Lam, Hiu Tung Luk, Yuk Ching Man, Chung Ying Lin (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Weight bias issues are rarely discussed in Asia. Therefore, we examined the relationships between weight bias, perceived weight stigma (PWS), eating behavior, and psychological distress among Hong Kong people. Using cross-sectional design, 400 undergraduate students (175 men) completed questionnaires and were assigned into a self-reported overweight (n = 61) or nonoverweight group (n = 339) using body mass index, and a self-perceived overweight (n = 84) or nonoverweight group (n = 316) based on self-perception. For self-reported and self-perceived overweight groups, more weight bias was related to higher depression (β = -0.403; p = 0.004). Self-perceived group additionally showed that weight bias was related to PWS and inappropriate eating behaviors; PWS related to inappropriate eating behaviors. For self-reported and self-perceived nonoverweight groups, weight bias was related to PWS, inappropriate eating behaviors, anxiety, and depression (β = -0.228 to -0.148; p's < 0.05); PWS was associated with inappropriate eating behaviors, anxiety, and depression. Thus, weight bias issues should not be ignored for both overweight and nonoverweight people.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)705-710
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2018


  • Asian
  • overweight
  • psychological distress
  • weight bias
  • young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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