Fat shaming won’t help with weight loss

Fat shaming won’t help with weight loss

If you believe that shaming a loved one into losing weight will work then think again as new research suggests otherwise.

In a study undertaken by researchers at the University College London almost 3000 adults were looked at over a 4 year period.

Those who said that they experienced weight discrimination or ‘fat shaming’ were found to have gained more weight than those who did not experience this issue.

Over the 4 year period those who suffered discrimination gained an average of 1 kg (just over 2 pounds) compared to those who did not experience any issues who lost an average of 0.7 kg.

Not the first study

This is not the first time that the results of fat shaming have been looked at, as another study published in the journal Obesity also looked at the issues encountered.

During this second study 50 people who ranged from a normal weight to obese were asked if they had encountered any day-to-day discrimination that was believed to be associated with their weight.

The examples of discrimination include:

  • Being treated disrespectfully
  • Receiving poor service in shops
  • Being harassed

While 1 in 20 overall said that they had encountered discrimination, this figure rose dramatically within the obese group. With 1 in 3 reporting discrimination with no difference noted between sexes.

Support rather than fat shaming is needed

The researchers state that fat shaming is counterproductive and instead you should try to support and encourage those attempting to lose weight.

Dr Sarah Jackson, the lead author of the study performed at UCL had this to say:

“There is no justification for discriminating against people because of their weight.”

“Previous studies have found that people who experience discrimination report comfort eating.”

“Stress responses to discrimination can increase appetite, particularly for unhealthy, energy-dense food.”

“Weight discrimination has also been shown to make people feel less confident about taking part in physical activity, so they tend to avoid it.”

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