Fat Shaming Can Literally Break Your Heart

Fat Shaming Can Literally Break Your Heart

Fat Shaming Can Literally Break Your Heart

When it comes to the style people stigmatize different body shapes and sizings, words can hurt more than only your impressions. New research indicates they may have real health consequences.

People who reported feeling been reduced by negative stereotypes about their weight were three times more likely to have a heightened risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke than people with similar weights and mental health who did not feel affected, according to a recent survey published in the journal Obesity.

Above and beyond the effects of weight, this internalization of weight bias is associated with poor health, the studys result writer, Rebecca Pearl, told The Huffington Post.

There is this misconception thats out there that a little bit of stigma could be used to motivate people or … get people to change their health behaviours, said Pearl, an assistant professor at the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders at the University of Pennsylvanias Perelman School of Medicine.Thats not the case.

Fat shaming is bad for your health

Past examines suggest that individuals who feel shamed for their physical appearance or weight are at increased risk of depression, anxiety, body discontent and low self-esteem. Other research shows that people who arebody-shamedtend to weighed more, have greater waist circumferences and a greater tendency to become obese over day and that people who face weight discriminationalso face a higher danger of mortality over time.

This latest study is important, Pearl explained, because it is demonstrated that fat shaming can affect health measures that are known to bring on diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Fat Shaming Can Literally Break Your Heart
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The new analyse included 159 overweight or obese adults, ages 21 to 65, who had signed up for a larger trial to asses a weight-loss upkeep program. They rated how much they felt stigmatized by weight-related stereotypes a measure known as weight bias internalization and indicated how much they agreed with statements like My weight is a major style that I judge my value as a person or I feel anxious about being overweight because of what people might think of me.

Everyone in the study also underwent a medical exam that measured blood pressure, waist circumference, triglyceride levels, HDL cholesterol and glucose. People with unhealthy measures in any three of those areas were diagnosed with metabolic disorder( the name for a group of conditions that create the health risks of heart disease, diabetes and stroke ).

The data revealed that people who reported higher levels of weight bias internalization were three times more likely to have metabolic disorder than people who reported low levels of weight bias internalization. People who felt the most stigmatized is likewise six times more likely to have high triglyceride levels.

Why its important to call out weight bias

When people agree with harmful stereotypes about their bodies, it can really shake their confidence and their ability to make healthy changes, Pearl said.

Given all the messages of shame and blame around weight that are out there, its really hard to not internalize some of these messages, she explained.

According to Pearl, health care providers need to be sensitive about these issues when theyre counseling patients. They should pay attention to whether patients call themselves lazy or criticize themselves because of their weight, she said and they should find ways of supporting their patients health behaviour goals without criticizing them.

Weight is a complex issue, Pearl said. It involves biological factors, environmental factors and things that do not involve personal characteristics at all. Its important for people to remember that weight is not a reflection of personal character.

Given all the messages of shame and blame around weight the hell is out there, its really hard to not internalize some of these messages. Rebecca Pearl, Center for Weight and Eating disorder, University of Pennsylvania

Pearl encourages people who feel stigmatized because of their weight to remind themselves how they break these stereotypes in school, in their careers or in their personal lives.

Setting specific, achievable, concrete goals to improve health behaviours can also help people be more confident and ignore the negative stereotypes out there, she added.

And for the public, its important to call out weight bias or discrimination when they see it, Pearl said.

It is not acceptable to shame others because of their weight, she said. It is important to understand that obesity is not research results of laziness or a lack of individual willpower.

More diverse, longer analyzes will reveal more

Pearl have emphasized that her examine was relatively small, so further research with with larger, more diverse groups is required. The majority of participants in the study were African-American women, who arenot often well-represented in obesity research.

The study authors note that certain race-relatedfactorscould have affected the results, though its not clear how. Longitudinal surveys that follow individuals over day are also needed to show whether fat-shaming stimulates heart disease and stroke determining factor worse.

But even with all those caveats, this study adds even more evidencethat weight stigma has negative implications for health, Pearl said.

This reporting is brought to you by HuffPosts health and science platform, The Scope. Like us on Facebook and Twitter and tell us your narrative : scopestories @huffingtonpost. com .

Sarah DiGiulio is The Huffington Post sleep reporter. You can contact her at sarah.digiulio @huffingtonpost.com .

Read more: www.huffingtonpost.com

Fat Shaming Can Literally Break Your Heart
Fat Shaming Can Literally Break Your Heart
Fat Shaming Can Literally Break Your Heart
Fat Shaming Can Literally Break Your Heart
Fat Shaming Can Literally Break Your Heart

Fat Shaming Can Literally Break Your Heart

Fat Shaming Can Literally Break Your Heart

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