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Weight Discrimination Woes

Fat Shaming Can Lead to Weight Gain

Individuals who experience weight discrimination may be more likely to put on more weight, say researchers from University College London. Published in Obesity, the study found that adults who reported weight discrimination gained more weight than those who didn't report weight discrimination. Researchers believe that making people feel ashamed about their weight (fat shaming), may lead to comfort eating. Examples of discrimination include receiving poor service, being harassed and being treated disrespectfully. The four-year study, which included almost 3,000 adults aged 50 and older, examined data from normal weight to obese adults who were part of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing.

More at BBC | Posted 4 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: University Nixes Fat Course Requirement

Tags: Journal Obesity, University College London, Weight Discrimination, Fat Shaming

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Peter commenter Peter at 8:04 pm on September 20, 2014

I think fat shaming can lead to weight loss just as likely as it can lead to weight gain. Anecdotally I know of people who were jolted into a diet after being called a fatty, for instance by a passing motorist or the like. The reason for this is that many people are not aware of how fat they are. That seems unlikely, but it's true. They avoid looking at themselves in the mirror (except for the front facing view they get when brushing their teeth), and they avoid photographs and videos. So when they are suddenly brought face to face with the reality of what they have become, they get religion and diet. This can happen when they see a photo or video of themselves that they didn't know was being made, or it can be when someone rudely points out their condition.

In a society where "fat shaming" is absolutely absent, people can balloon and balloon without even being that aware of it. Having someone, a friend or family member or workmate or even a stranger comment on your weight can help plant a mental milestone that gets you thinking, and maybe eventually taking action. But if everyone conspires to just never mentioning your weight, you can fool yourself into doing nothing.

Yes, every fat person knows he or she is fat, they not every fat person KNOWS it in the sense of knowing exactly how fat they are and in the sense of having it in the front of their minds. And fat shaming can accomplish this. Maybe we can rename it to "weight self-perception assistance."

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