Thesis subject

Gendered meanings of obesity and weight loss surgery

Obesity is a growing epidemic affecting more than 650 million adults worldwide. It has detrimental effects on an individual’s health and well-being and poses a substantial financial burden on healthcare systems. Weight loss surgery is an effective way for treating obesity and its related comorbidities. While the rate of obesity among men and women is similar in the general population, a substantial gender disparity in the use of weight loss surgery exists, with women comprising over 80% of those patients who undergo surgery. In this study we are interested in understanding the gendered nature and meaning of obesity and weight loss surgery from the perspective of both men and women.

Possible research questions include:

  • How do men experience and make sense of obesity and obesity-sigmatization compared to women?
  • What are the differences between men and women who seek weight loss surgery?
  • Does gender influence the journey leading up to weight loss surgery, the experience of surgery, and the impact of surgery in everyday life?
  • Do cultural and social norms of masculinity influence men's perception of and experiences with obesity and weight loss surgery?

Interested or want to know more? Please contact Franshelis Garcia ( and Kirsten Verkooijen ( (include in the CC).

Duration: 6 months
Language: English

Start Date: As soon as possible

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