Don't weigh in on obese people, study says
April 22, 2011
Obese people are more likely to avoid the exercise they need to fight the battle if their loved ones tease and criticism them, a new study shows.
The study, published this month in the journal Obesity, surveyed 111 obese adult men and women about weight discrimination and how it influenced their motivation to exercise.
"This idea that we can use a tough love approach, it just doesn't seem to work," Dr Lenny Vartanian, a researcher from the University of NSW and lead author of the study said.
"In fact it appears to backfire, making people less likely to exercise."
Dr Lenny Vartanian, who studies the psychology of body image and weight discrimination, said one reason for this could be the embarrassment felt by overweight people when others "stare, laugh or make negative comments".
"When we exercise this mostly takes place in public, like in a gym," he said.
"So if someone gets negative comments it makes people want to avoid being in those public situations."
Almost half of those surveyed reported experiencing some form of weight stigma at least once a week, whether it be hearing negative comments or missing out on a job because of their weight.
Respondents said the most hurtful comments came from spouses, family members and doctors.
Dr Vartanian said public policy should also focus on lessening discrimination against fat people.
"We have certain policies in place to guard against all those groups who have been historically marginalised, whether due to race or religion," he added.
"Fat stigma is really the last remaining acceptable form of discrimination."
Fat stigma exists because it is related to unhealthy behaviours - what's next? Don't pick on people who smoke? Don't criticise violent people? Fat stigma is not discrimination. Obesity is an epidemic which costs us millions of dollars... What about all of us who AREN'T fat because we make healthy choices... People just need to wake up to themselves and learn some restraint and it doesn't help having 'professionals' defend their poor behaviour...
OverExcuses - April 22, 2011, 9:40AM
And that comment by OverExcuses is why I'd like to punch smarmy thin people in the mouth.
I'm dealing with a doctor who wants me to have lapband surgery so he can wipe his hands of any problems I have. Apparently it'll fix everything. I do make healthy choices, don't smoke, don't drink. I don't go to a gym, there are no pensioner rates at the gym. Fine, walking is free if you don't fall over broken footpaths, get chewed by dogs or run down by creeps on skateboards. Or the arthritis is hurting in both feet because of the cold weather or the tin knees are still recovering from the last fall or you know you're going to fall heavily on the first skinny bitch that wanders in front of you just to hear her matchstick legs break. It's a wonder Abbott hasn't thought of a way to tax us on poundage, $2 off the pension for every bit of blubber that wobbles.
Damn, shouldn't have said that, he soaks up other people's ideas like bread soaks up gravy, not that I'm allowed to eat bread or gravy.