Is it helpful to use shame for health promotion? The impulse is certainly strong. Shame and blame have been consistent threads through years of grappling with the health impact of obesity. Along the same line, we’re seeing shame and blame trotted out for the unvaccinated in the U.S. as a the Delta variant produces a surge in COVID-19 cases.
Shame is a very natural response in some circumstances. But experience and some data suggest that shame does not work as a very robust tool for health promotion.