'Fat shaming' does more harm than good

Posted on September 29, 2014

A study, scheduled for publication in the journal Obesity, found that weight discrimination is part of the obesity problem and not the solution.

Discrimination against overweight or obese people, commonly known as "fat shaming," does not help them lose weight and may do more harm than good. Being harassed or treated with disrespect, receiving poor service while shopping or being thought of as stupid may actually lead to more weight gain, the researchers found.

Many obese patients report being treated disrespectfully by doctors because of their weight. Everyone, including doctors, should stop blaming and shaming people for their weight and offer support, and where appropriate, treatment.

There is no justification for discriminating against people because of their weight. In fact, 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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Category(s):Eating Disorders

Source material from U.S. News