Sunday, February 5, 2017

How Fat-Shaming Can Really Be Bad For Health


"You're fat, it's ugly", "You should lose weight", "You're not seductive with your extra pounds" ... Did you know that fat shaming also had a negative impact on health?

Do you know what fat shaming is? This expression, nowadays very popular in media language, refers first and foremost to behavior: concretely, one shows oneself fat shaming when one makes fun of an overweight person ... or that one voluntarily attracts the " Attention on his extra pounds, ideally in public. "You're so big that ...", "You'd be pretty with a few pounds less", "Are you sure you want to eat that? "" What are these swellings, have you grown? "Do not you think you're big enough like that?" Here are a few examples.

Unfortunately, very often on social networks, fat shaming carries certain worn-out stereotypes: "big" and "fat" would be lazy and incompetent, lacking willpower, deserving to find love and, above all, Fully responsible for their overweight.

"There is a widely held belief that the more people stigmatize overweight people, the more motivated they are to find the line - like an electric shock," says Rebecca Pearl, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania. The opposite is true: people discriminated against themselves, consume more calories, and cease to engage in physical activity. It is a vicious circle ... which has very concrete consequences on their health. "

Degrading remarks are bad for health

At the University of Pennsylvania (USA), the researcher worked with 159 volunteers - women in obesity, mostly of African American descent. Participants first had to assess the level of fat shaming they faced on a day-to-day basis, and to what extent these devaluing remarks had an impact on their morale. Then they had a full medical check-up.

Verdict? Volunteers who felt "heavily" discriminated against on a daily basis were about 3 times more likely to develop metabolic syndrome and 6 times more likely to have above-average triglyceride levels.

"The entourage, medical staff and the media must understand that humiliation is not an effective strategy to induce positive change in the overweight," conclude the researchers, whose work was published in the journal Obesity.


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