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Fat Shaming Does Not Motivate People To Lose Weight

Update Date: Jan 30, 2017 07:40 AM EST
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People who experience fat shaming is more likely to shy away from fitness regimen and would rather find comfort in food (Photo : Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Fat shaming, or mocking a person for his size, does not actually motivate people to lose weight. According to a new research, the insensitive comments are counterproductive and can put a person at risk for illness.

The research from Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania revealed that fat shaming is terrible for a person's mental health. In fact, it is more damaging to the health compared to doing nothing at all.

People who experience fat shaming are more likely to shy away from fitness regimen and would rather find comfort in food, according to Dr Rebecca Pearl, the lead author of the study. She added that some people who are struggling with obesity are also fighting against the stigma that they are incompetent, lazy, lacking willpower and unattractive.

Dr. Tom Wadden, co-author of the study, believes that fat shaming people who are obese and blaming them for their weight is not an effective tool to promote weight loss. He encourages health care providers, media and the general public to be aware of these prejudicial messages.

The researchers looked into 159 adults who are considered obese. A questionnaire which explored about incidences on depression about the subject's perception on their laziness and unattractiveness was distributed to them. Basing on their scores, the group was divided into two groups. One group had high score for positive bias internalization, while the other group had low scores.

The group that believes in the fat shaming messages were three times more likely to have metabolic syndrome, which includes high triglycerides, high blood pressure and larger waist circumference. They are also six times more likely to have high triglycerides.

Pearl believes that the conclusion is significant. Fat shaming is not just insensitive, but it can also cause physical and mental harm to individuals suffering obesity.

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