Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Richard Garnett

Second Advisor

Donna Sullivan

Third Advisor

Nicholas Freidin


This thesis addresses the problem of discrimination facing the obese in America, specifically the discrimination the obese population contends with in the work place. The purpose of this study is to show the scope of the obesity problem across the United States, stigmas placed on the obese, sociological perceptions regarding the obese, and discrimination that the obese face in the work place.

Despite reports on the growing problem of obesity in America, little is known about the perspectives of the obese themselves, especially regarding discrimination in the work place. Literature is largely negative, relating the obese with undesirable traits and as undeserving. This thesis addresses this lack of information and addresses myths, negative stereotypes, and stigmas regarding the obese. Survey data provides insight into personal and public opinions about the obese as well as personal insights from obese individuals regarding the discrimination that surrounds them. This study contributes to our knowledge of a neglected area of research and contributes to the need for future research on the topic.