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Obese People Always Remembered as Fat by Relatives, Even After Losing Weight

Update Date: May 31, 2012 12:52 PM EDT
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There is no point counting those calories or putting all that hard work trying to look slim. A new study reveals that friends and relatives always remember obese people as being overweight, no matter how much weight they lose later on.

The research says that even if someone loses weight considerably after being fat once, friends and relatives continue to see them and label them as lazy and greedy, reports Mail Online.

For the study conducted by Manchester University, the University of Hawaii in Manoa, and Monash University in Melbourne, 273 volunteers were shown pictures of five 31-year-old women and also given notes about them to be read by the volunteers.

Out of the five women, one woman had been slim all her life, one had been overweight, and the other three had been previously overweight but had lost around five stones and looked the normal size in the pictures.

When the volunteers were asked to rate the women in the pictures based on their attractiveness, most of them regarded the woman who had been slim all her life as being more attractive than the ones who were fat but lost weight later.

Also, they even made negative remarks about those who were previously fat. They had certain "fat prejudices" against them.

"Obesity stigma is so powerful and enduring that it may even outlast the obesity itself," Researcher Dr Janet Latner, from the University of Hawaii at Manoa was quoted as saying by Mail Online.

Dr Kerry O'Brien, from Manchester University's School of Psychological Sciences, said that fat people struggle to lose weight in order to escape the social stigma against obese people which is very painful.

"We need to rethink our approaches to and views of weight and obesity. Given the great number of people who may be negatively affected by this prejudice, obesity discrimination needs to be reduced," O'Brien added.

Adults as well as children have the social stigma against obesity. Hence, while adults have certain "fat prejudices" against other obese adults, obese school children often get bullied in school by their classmates or friends.

The NHS(National Health Service in UK)'s controversial weigh-in for schoolchildren only adds up to the misery of pupils by labeling some of them fat and leading to more bullying, MPs warn.

The National Child Measurement Programme, takes the Body Mass Index(BMI) of a child at the age of five and then again at ten. But then the BMI calculation is not always accurate since it does not take muscles into consideration. Hence, instead of the calculation of the BMI, a child's wait size or body fat should be measured, recommend the MPs according to the report.

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