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Date of Award


Degree Type

Dissertation (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Committee Chair

Jean Furchner, PhD

Second Advisor

Dan McKitrick, PhD


Obese, overweight, or fat are terms many people use to describe themselves and others. The terms often reflect a prejudicial attitude toward fat people which causes much emotional pain and negatively affects body image and self-esteem. The current paradigm holds that all people can and should be "slim" and that fat is the result of gluttony and within the control of the individual. This dissertation explores the extent and effect of fat prejudice. It challenges the current paradigm~ discusses diagnostic problems, proposes a new DSM-IV personality disorder called Ego-Dystonic Body Image, and develops recommendations for psychologists working with fat clients or clients presenting with the desire for weight loss.