Tuesday, 17 July 2012


Stigmatization of obese individuals by human resource professionals: an experimental study

Katrin E GielStephan ZipfelManuela AlizadehNorbert SchäffelerCarmen ZahnDaniel WesselFriedrich W HesseSyra Thiel and Ansgar Thiel
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BMC Public Health 2012, 12:525 doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-525
Published: 16 July 2012

Abstract (provisional)


Weight-related stigmatization is as a public health problem. It impairs the psychological well-being of obese individuals and hinders them from adopting weight-loss behaviors. We conducted an experimental study to investigate weight stigmatization in work settings using a sample of experienced human resource (HR) professionals from a real-life employment setting.


In a cross-sectional, computer-based experimental study, a volunteer sample of 127 HR professionals (age: 41.1 +/- 10.9 yrs., 56% female), who regularly make career decisions about other people, evaluated individuals shown in standardized photographs regarding work-related prestige and achievements. The photographed individuals differed with respect to gender, ethnicity, and Body Mass Index (BMI).


Participants underestimated the occupational prestige of obese individuals and overestimated it for normal-weight individuals. Obese people were more often disqualified from being hired and less often nominated for a supervisory position, while non-ethnic normal-weight individuals were favored. Stigmatization was most pronounced in obese females.


The data suggest that HR professionals are prone to pronounced weight stigmatization, especially in women. This highlights the need for interventions targeting this stigmatization as well as stigma-management strategies for obese individuals. Weight stigmatization and its consequences needs to be a topic that is more strongly addressed in clinical obesity care.

Monday, 2 July 2012


GlaxoSmithKline to pay $3bn in US drug fraud scandal
Diabetes medication Avandia is one of the three drugs concerned in the fraud case
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is to pay $3bn (£1.9bn) in the largest healthcare fraud settlement in US history.

The drug giant is to plead guilty to promoting two drugs for unapproved uses and failing to report safety data about a diabetes drug to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The settlement will cover criminal fines as well as civil settlements with the federal and state governments.
The case concerns the drugs Paxil, Wellbutrin and Avandia.
Deputy US Attorney General James Cole told a news conference in Washington DC that the settlement was "unprecedented in both size and scope".
Doctors bribed
GSK, one of the world's largest healthcare and pharmaceuticals companies, admitted to promoting antidepressants Paxil and Wellbutrin for unapproved uses, including treatment of children and adolescents.
The illegal practice is known as off-label marketing.
The company also conceded charges that it held back data and made unsupported safety claims over its diabetes drug Avandia.
In addition, GSK has been found guilty of paying kickbacks to doctors.
"The sales force bribed physicians to prescribe GSK products using every imaginable form of high-priced entertainment, from Hawaiian vacations [and] paying doctors millions of dollars to go on speaking tours, to tickets to Madonna concerts," said US attorney Carmin Ortiz.
As part of the settlement, GSK agreed to be monitored by government officials for five years.
GSK said in a statement it would pay the fines through existing cash resources.
Andrew Witty, the firm's chief executive, said procedures for compliance, marketing and selling had been changed at GSK's US unit.
"We have learnt from the mistakes that were made," Mr Witty said. "When necessary, we have removed employees who have engaged in misconduct."